It was six years ago. I had just switched jobs within Google, and since I had just bought a house in Atlanta, I was adamant that I wouldn’t move to San Francisco for the role, even though they were asking me to. We worked out a deal…I would come for six weeks to help get Google Analytics underway, and then six-month-old Lila Belle and I would head back to Atlanta to do the job from there.
And that six weeks turned into six amazing years living in San Francisco. Six years that are culminating with me bidding this fantastic city farewell in five short days.
It’s bittersweet, this move. I have loved so much about my time here; have been so very grateful for the experiences and the people and the opportunities that I don’t think any other city would have afforded me. I’ve built a relationship with this city, one of give & take, of mutual respect. I can’t be more sincere when I say I LOVE San Francisco. But in the past few months, I’ve felt this relationship change a bit. I liken it to a romance…you have the honeymoon years when everything is shiny and new and the passion and fervor is palpable. You then settle into the relationship; you’re happy. You’re content. You have everything you’ve ever wanted. And somehow, as months and years pass, you notice some cracks in the relationship. Little things that begin to mar the memories and the brilliance of your love. You find yourself being short-tempered and frustrated over things that once would have slid off your back. Little arguments pop up. And become more frequent. And then there’s the breaking point, that no-turning-back argument where you say something you never thought you’d say to the other person, doing irreparable damage, turning bitter and cruel and you can’t believe the words came out of your mouth but know that once they were said, they could never be unsaid. You’re staring at this person who you love so very much, who you now realize you once loved, and you have turned something perfect and amazing and beautiful into something hateful and painful and tragic.
I don’t want that to happen with San Francisco. I refuse to find myself in a situation where I resent this city that has been so amazing to me. I want to gracefully part ways with it when I can continue to feel love for all that it is, even if I may no longer be IN love with it. I want to keep this city in my heart and let it be a place that I may one day return to, refuse to burn that proverbial – or, given our architecture in San Francisco – magnificent bridge.
So when people ask me why I’m leaving, that’s the explanation I give. I’m not running from anything here…not a relationship nor a job…and neither am I running TOWARDS anything in NYC. I’m going because it’s time, because I want to let my love for San Francisco retain an unequaled place in my heart while making room for something new.
This Friday, I’m boarding a 6:30am flight to New York. On a one-way ticket. My dog Lila Belle will be with me by my side in the cabin to lick my hand as I likely try to maintain my composure, though fully anticipate being in tears for most of the flight. I’m saying goodbye to friends, to people I love, to people I once loved, to my amazing roommate, to my house, and to this city, and doing so with 100% confidence in my decision, though with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes.