I've lived in San Francisco for nearly seven years now, which I consider to be the majority of my independent adult life. The idea of leaving this city has literally been gut wrenching. I liken it to the ending of a romantic relationship when you know that you are still in love, but the timing just isn't right. And you have to make the right choice and move on. I'm still in love with San Francisco, but right now isn't the time for us.
So I have this quote swirling around my head lately that I've heard many times watching the Suze Ormon show:
“People first, then money, then things.” – Suze Ormon
Wow, if that doesn't just say it all right there, I don't know what does.
I came to San Francisco at a time in my life when my happiness seemed to revolve around simply putting myself into a new environment, filled with opportunity and the chance to create a life for myself that was not pre-planned. A life that was off-track from what most would have considered typical or desirable. I did not have a grand plan for myself other than to just get out to California and live. For the first couple of years, I felt like I lived on vacation. The allure and sheer beauty of San Francisco created a great romance in my life to which my small hometown in New Jersey couldn't hold a candle.
It's funny how things change, in time, when your priorities begin to shift.
Perhaps it's having a job that I can do from literally any place that has an internet connection.
Perhaps it's just getting older, and a bit tired of the scene in the city where people stumble home several nights a week slightly incoherent if not completely obliterated.
Perhaps I have been living in the wrong neighborhood for the lifestyle I lead.
I think it boils down to this: I have realized that right now I want to put people first.
My family is in a place where my physical presence and support is helpful beyond anything my emotional presence and support alone can bring. I've been back and forth so many times in the last several months, each time feeling like the PEOPLE there are what made me say each time I was heading back to San Francisco that I wasn't ready to come back. I actually wanted to STAY in New Jersey. Go figure.
So, here goes… “People first, then money, then things.” I've never been much for putting money or things first anyhow, but somehow putting the need to be around the people who make me feel grounded first just feels SO right.
I will leave San Francisco with a heavy heart for the life I've lived here, but I am beyond thrilled for the life, and mostly the PEOPLE, who await my arrival on the east coast.