on-going mostly unedited stream of thoughts

Two years since I first fell in love with you, San Francisco

I spent this morning reading through my entries on this online journal and was reminded that I wrote milestone posts for my first and second month living in San Francisco. I thought it would be an opportune time to write another one, to reflect upon between then and now.

It has been 7 months since I officially moved to this city. And I just realized it has been almost exactly 2 years since I first stepped foot in her.

And I am still overwhelmingly in love with her, if not more than before. I met Patrick for coffee last week, in a lot of ways he is my human milestone marker for San Francisco too as he was officially my first friend from San Francisco. Throughout the past two years he has seen me go through ups and downs, he knows how crazy things have been for me. So when I tell people how ridiculous my life has been for the past two years and they are in disbelief, I have Patrick as a human testament to my journey.

Even how our friendship was formed was typically very SF-ish. I was supposed to meet him for an interview, the interview didn’t happen for some other reason, decided to meet for coffee anyway. We went to Golden Gate Park, sat in an empty stadium and bonded over introversion, design satires and a common vision for the future.

I met him a week into my first trip here in 2011 and I told him I loved the city. I met him again last week and he asked me again, if I still loved her. We both knew that was a redundant question as he could see it on my face. And for me, it was very meaningful to see the happiness on his face for me, because he knew whatever hopes I shared with him when he first met me, has materialized on a stupendous level, two years later.

I told him then, all I wanted was to live in San Francisco and pursue meaningful work at a company I believed in.

It sounded so simple, but only a few people knew how much it truly entailed for me to be here now.

And that is why I am still tremendously in a spectrum of constant gratitude, every single second, 7 months later. There are people I have met who moved here on a whim because they could, because it was easy for them to be here, it is also easy to take it all for granted.

It took so much out of me to be here again, that even till now, I still go into moments when I freeze, take in my surroundings and try to truly comprehend my actual physical location. Till today, I can hardly believe I am in the city I love. They say you don’t realize how important something is to you until you have lost it. I have spent an entire year last year when every single day I wished I could be here but I couldn’t, so it is impossible for me to have a less than serious relationship with San Francisco. I know my time here is limited, so I wake up every day feeling like I need to cherish every single moment I can place my footsteps in this city.

I have been sleeping at 10ish pm and waking up naturally before 6am, so 2 years later from the day I stopped having chronic insomnia, I am happy to report that I am still not having insomnia, in fact, I have levelled up, because now I am officially an early-riser. I have no idea how I organically transformed from a nocturnal creature having insomnia to an early-riser with no trouble sleeping now.

Well, they say true love transforms.

San Francisco and her people have transformed me in ways I could never have imagined. She taught me how to love myself, life and humanity. Through this love running the course of my veins, I am seeing the world, radically differently now.

Small tidbit. Running through my entries this morning, I found a little paragraph I wrote during New Year’s this year:

Meeting the founders of that startup was my inner-geek’s dream come true and I discovered through our conversations that I do not feel nervous or afraid at all if I truly believed in what i was sharing. I was passionate about making communication for humanity better, till today I believed it wasn’t exactly my work that led me to them, it was the way I was both obsessed and emotional with the idea of perpetuating change.

I smiled when I saw that snippet, because I wrote this on New Year’s, based on a memory of an event I had two years ago, way before I knew I was going to be at Medium. The bonus tidbit, if you have read so far. One of the founders mentioned in that little snippet, is actually who I am working for, today.

Life has an amazing way of surfacing opportunities in our paths if we have the courage and audacity to dream. Had I been satisfied with status quo and being realistic, I would have never bought that plane ticket to visit San Francisco, two years ago. I would never have even met Patrick for coffee because I would be so scared to venture out of my comfort zone.

I was a huge introvert, I had confidence issues, I was scared of meeting people, but I never lost sight of my dreams. I could be in doubt of my own abilities, but I was never in doubt of my intrinsic motivation, passion and purpose. When it is intrinsic, it never dies. I can almost never disown or hide it, because it shows up in everything I do and more tellingly, it shows up in my eyes.

How did I know what was I passionate about? I was and I am still, obsessed with it. By obsessed I mean, I cannot stop thinking about it. And if I ever talk about it, I can’t stop talking about it. It is hard to experience doubt when I feel it pulsating through my veins radiating from the core of my soul.

It makes me feel alive, and it is only possible because San Francisco made me discover what it means to be truly alive.

Two years on, I am still tremendously grateful. I am exceptionally grateful because now, I get to pursue not only meaningful work, but work that ties back to my original intrinsic passion and purpose. Every single day I go to work, I am astounded at how blessed I am, to be able to channel my energy and time in such a profound, meaningful manner.

Thank you, Universe.

And with how I typically end my other milestone posts, I will commit to always be reminding myself of the privilege I have been graciously given and I will be paying it forward in the best ways I can, for the rest of my life.

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