2 years in the San Francisco Bay Area

For the next posts, I would like to dedicate my blog to reflect on what I’ve learned since moving to California.  I’ve been busy at work, editing videos, etc.–that I’ve neglected my blog.  I’ve learned to steer clear of journal entry kind of posts, however, I believe my experiences can be inspirational to some people going through similar transitions.  While I write a lot about my amazing adventures, it is equally important to me to blog the whole truth of my experience.

Background story:

This June would mark my two year anniversary of moving from New York City to the San Francisco Bay Area! Time flew by!

Five years ago, I graduated college, feeling helpless and lost without a single idea what I wanted out of life.  I desperately needed to pay off college loans.  I was able to achieve this from my first job but I hated it so much that I quit after half a year.

My second job was actually worst.  I was making under $30k, less than my first position, mostly because I was desperate for any job and I still had no idea what I wanted to do.  I settled and sold myself short because I didn’t think I have much to offer.  Now that I’m thinking about it, I just did not have a good mindset.  The reality hit hard, I was inexperienced, fresh out of college with a liberal arts degree.  When applying to jobs, I focused so much on the negative, on everything I lacked that I only applied to what I thought I qualified for instead of what I would have really liked to do.

Then I started working out and the gym became what I looked forward to the most after work.  At that time, I remembered thinking, gosh I have no idea what’s next for me.  All I wanted was to move out.  I could not afford to move out with the salary I was making, not in New York City.

Somehow I just kept on grinding, finding motivation within myself to do what’s best for me that makes me happy.  I also ended my relationship of 6 years.  I was actually happy.  I made new friends, went out often and really felt alive.  I felt hopeful.  I even began going to service at church on Sunday, which was what I did in my teenage years.

Then job didn’t seem so bad after all.  My job didn’t change, my mentality did.  And the heavens answered!  I found an opportunity to move out of home and across the country to California.  In college, I’ve always dreamed of living there, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in the west coast, by the beaches.

So off I went and here I am!

“It is okay not to be okay”

This lesson took me a very long time to learn.

We can be so cruel to ourselves.

Every time I stumbled or disappointed myself, I rage war in my head.  Like the time I decided not to go to a meetup I signed up for.  How pathetic. The time I turned down an invitation to have dinner.   I felt debilitated because I couldn’t drive.  The time I couldn’t build the courage to talk to someone I wanted to be friends with.  What the hell is wrong with me.  Not having motivation to go into the city to enjoy events civilization had to offer.  While I was in this transitioning state, I found myself going back to my old vices of being anti-social.

Whenever I felt lonely or unhappy, which was pretty often at first, I didn’t allow myself time to understand why I’m feeling that way.  I pushed them out and refused to acknowledge them.  Perhaps I thought people would judge me if I appeared unhappy.  I stayed off social media, unfollowed people whom I felt envious of.  I have no reason to be unhappy, I have a job I actually like and I moved out and I’m in California, I would think.  I needed myself to be perfect, to be in a constantly happy state because if my external conditions have improved, why shouldn’t I be?

It is normal to fall out of your routine.

I remembered coming home, feeling so depressed.  I had no motivation to work out or do anything I used to enjoy.  I felt like I hit rock bottom.  I was so exhausted but my job wasn’t even demanding.  It was something I’m doing to myself.  It was unhealthy.  I remembered being home alone, haven’t spoken to anyone all day and just laying on my yoga mat, crying.

I just surrendered to the cosmos.   (Yes, I can be very melodramatic and honestly, I should see a therapist, I suffer heavily from depression and mood swings.)

In time, I realized that this whole experience is part of the process.

How I handle these lemons thrown at me is essentially life.  It really is not so bad, but somehow in the moment I feel like I’m in hell.  The more I meditated on this and allowed myself to be, the more I realize my suffering was really an illusion of things I tell myself.  I’m totally fine!

Even when I don’t feel fine, I am totally fine!

Removing myself from my old, comfortable environment, away from everyone allowed me to listen to myself clearly for the first time.

Yoga has helped me tremendously with this.

I’ve always thought of myself as self aware, but I really wasn’t.  You cannot consider yourself self-aware if you cannot see yourself within the bigger picture, if all you do is dwell on your craziness and self-created suffering.

When I’m on instagram or social media, I no longer feel jealous or FOMO because I know everyone struggles.  Perhaps the more people try to appear or project a certain image, the more they’re suffering to keep that image up.  I learned not to judge.  With growing confidence, I know that what others are doing isn’t my path.  I began to like the choices I make and I reconciled with my mistakes.  Though I’m still a bit upset about how long it has taken me to like myself!  This is not to say that I’m perfect now, it’s more like I’ve made it habit to allow myself to stumble and get back up.

For the first time in my life, I learned how to cultivate self love and that started with validating my own feelings, allowing myself to be okay with not being okay.  

If there’s a specific topic you would like me to write about, please let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “2 years in the San Francisco Bay Area

feel free to share your thoughts :)