hit or miss

I am homesick. I am happy, and staying busy, and working
hard and getting things in order and exploring my little town slowly and
unpacking even more slowly but surely it is becoming my house and this is
becoming my town, and the boys–E. and the roommates–are becoming my rock, and
this is becoming my life.

It is a life that will get better and better, I think, as I
settle back into it and develop a routine and a schedule and get comfortable; I
am not entirely comfortable, yet. But in the middle of all this, this flurry of
activity and craziness and upheaval, I am missing San Francisco. I am missing my old life to the degree that
I expected to. San Francisco to Utah–as
you can imagine, it’s kind of a difficult transition.

Everything I had when I was living there, I took for
granted. But that doesn’t stop me from missing all of it. I miss my little house. I miss my tiny pink
and black bathroom. I miss the overgrown backyard, and the lilac bush. I miss
my coffee shop, and the baristas who had my order ready, and perfect by the
time I made it up to the counter, and working there on my proofreading jobs,
sitting by the window and watching the light change all Sunday afternoon.

My whole neighborhood. The bakery down the street with the
sourdough pizza, the shoe store, the used bookstore, the used clothing store
that kept me from going naked. The crappy bars, where they figured out how to
make a Manhattan for me.

I miss the park. I never went to the park, but it was just
three blocks away. I miss the museum I never visited and the Japanese tea
garden I rarely saw. I miss the lake I infrequently thought about and I miss
the bison I seldom remembered existed and I miss the ocean I brought
out-of-town visitors to, but hardly ever saw myself. I miss the light and the
sky and the weather, the streets bursting upwards and sweeping down into the
bay, all of which I never appreciated properly. I miss everything about San Francisco; I miss San Francisco.
It distracts me, and it aches, and it makes me sad; in the middle of working,
in the middle of walking, in the middle of making dinner or laughing or taking
a bath, I get sad.

San Francisco feels
very far away, right now; everyone I know feels very far away. When you work
all day, in pajamas, with only a cat for company, you start to feel isolated,
lonely, and a little ridiculous when you find yourself having long
conversations with your cat. At least he talks back to me. I know what he is
saying: Jesus, woman, comb your hair and
get your ass out of the house for a little while, okay? You’re going to go
crazy. Are you a little crazy right now? You seem a little crazy. A little
kibble here.

I miss the people in my life, and the routines they were a
part of. And I miss the idea of my life–me, in
San Francisco. The idea of my city that I loved, and that
I always thought maybe loved me back a little bit. I don’t feel that here, yet.
What I do feel, though, what surprises me, what I never expected is the feeling
that I can find that here. That this can be home, and not just a pit stop. The
feeling that as soon as my head stops spinning and my fingers find a grip and I
feel secure and safe, when I am doing everything I want, which I keep swearing
will happen any minute now, I will be happy here, and I will not be homesick,
because this will be home.

3 Replies to “hit or miss”

  1. San Francisco is definitely one of the best cities on Earth, so I can see why you miss it so. I’ve always lived less than an hour from SF, but it took living there for 2 years for me to truly fall in love with The City. Even though I’ve moved back home an hour south, I feel lucky to be so close to such an amazing place.

    I’m sure Utah will never be San Francisco, but you’ll find new places you love. New friends, new bars, new places to make you feel like you’re home. Hang in there.

  2. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I, too, left San Francisco for love. I remember so clearly–my last week there I rode the 43 Masonic bus over to the Marina to have dinner with a friend (I lived in the Haight, or Cole Valley, depending on whether one owned or rented!), and as it topped a hill in the Presidio, there was the Bay, spread out before me in all its splendor. And I thought “How can I leave this?”

    I’ve come to love Chicago. Wonderful things have happened here for me, including marrying the best guy in the world for me. Life is good.

    But you know, once you have lived in and loved San Francisco, there will always be part of you that misses it desperately. It’s not debilitating. In fact, it becomes quite bittersweet with age. But it never quite relinquishes its grip.

    Ah. The sound of the foghorns on a misty evening…

  3. I was born and raised in SF and when I left in 1995, to go to graduate school in Michigan, I was SO ready to leave. BUT I didn’t realize that I was likely leaving there forever – or at least for a very long time – since while being an academic is terrific, it doesn’t allow tons of flexibility in terms of where one resides. Sometimes I miss it so badly my heart aches. And, as a result, sometimes my visits there are incredibly bittersweet but still amazing and wonderful.

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