Six Years in San Francisco: A Soundtrack and a ‘So Long’
I love San Francisco, which is why I’m content to say… I’m leaving it. Today, March 3rd, marks my 6-year anniversary in this beautiful city. In six days, I’ll be on a one-way flight to NYC.
Over the course of my six years here, I often had to fight my (somewhat tormenting and romanticized) nomadic tendencies.
My first year in San Francisco was the worst. Having come back to the states after a few years overseas, I was depressed by normalcy. My identity as an explorer had expired. I was just like everyone else, and what a painful reality that came to be.
I had a 9-5 job with a bus commute full of men in suits. I bought a smartphone, and to my dismay, found myself looking at it rather than people in the eyes. Two years in, I was aching to leave.
I made a plan and put together a list of things I had to see before I left for NYC. But it dawned on me: Why not always have this mentality? Why not live with joy and a sense of urgency as if I’m always about to lose this city? So I stayed because saying sayonara felt too soon. Plus, I needed to learn how to stay put and be happy. Something I wasn’t used to.
Then, I met someone.
One year later, that someone broke my heart in a million ways plus one. And while he lived across the bridge and the city was “mine,” the idea of even existing in the same state seemed unbearable.
I made a plan and compiled a list of Brooklyn neighborhoods to live in. But, it dawned on me: People aren’t perfect, and I still seemingly loved that heartbreaker of mine. So I decided to stay and see if things could be forgiven with time.
One year later, to paraphrase Mariah Carey, that heartbreaker got the best of me and I should’ve have known right from the start he’d go and break my heart…again.
The break up sucked, and a new city seemed like the perfect remedy. But, I’d just started a new job, at a startup no less. Leaving wasn’t an option, as much as I wanted it to be.
In two years’ time, I came through to the other side. I no longer wanted to run from San Francisco (though, of course, it was never the city I was running from). I loved it, even.
I also feel incredibly lucky to have shared this city with my beautiful sister and best friend. A city that taught me how to vogue, DJ a radio show, make a film, dance ballet, let loose at a show, start a blog, enjoy long walks, and most importantly, how to find adventure and love in just one spot.
Only now do I feel as if I can leave this city’s arms. Because I know they’ll always be open, and I’ll forever be happy to jump back into them when or if the time comes. But why am I leaving at all? While I’ve learned my lesson, living in New York has always been a dream. And, I don’t like to make a habit of regretting things.
So, to celebrate the last six years, I’ve decided to create a soundtrack – One that includes my top 6 most listened to jams from each of the 6 years I spent in SF (2011-2017). These jams may not be brand new, but they’re still amazing, and will always remind me of you.
So long, SF.
- Mozart’s Sister – Don’t Leave it to Me
- Austra – Lose it
- Class Actress – Love Me Like You Used to
- Grimes – Crystal Ball
- Elite Gymnastics – Omamori
- Twin Sister – Bad Street
- Grimes – Genesis
- Vacationer – Good as New
- Purity Ring – Obedear
- How to Dress Well – & it Was You
- Charli XCX – Nuclear Seasons
- Tennis – My Better Self
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra – So Good a Being in Trouble
- Helado Negro – Dance Ghost
- No Joy – Hare Tarot Lies
- Angel Olsen – The Waiting
- K-X-P – Easy
- Blood Orange – You’re Not Good Enough
- St. Vincent – Prince Johnny
- Trust – Capitol
- Rickey Eat Acid – It Will Draw Me Over to it Like it Always Does
- Tirzah – Inside Out
- Hundred Waters – Show Me Love
- Black Milk – Dirt Bells
- Widowspeak – All Yours
- Julien Baker – Something
- Prince Rama – Bahia
- Grimes – Kill v. Maim
- Empress Of – Everything is You
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Ur Life One Night
- Mitski – Your Best American Girl
- Woods – Can’t See At All
- Banks – Gemini Feed
- Julie Byrne – Natural Blue
- Julia Jacklin – Pool Party
- Beyonce – Don’t Hurt Yourself (feat. Jack White) (not on Spotify, sorry) / Subbing in with Miya Folick – Pet Body
- Austra – Future Politics
- Sampha – Plastic 100°C
- Temples – Certainty
- Future Pelo – Swamp
- Jens Lekman – What’s that Perfume That You Wear?
- Tei Shi – Keep Running …. Fitting? 😉
p.s. The featured image/picture is one I took of Sutro Tower from my backyard – What a gloriously breathtaking city.