"Love all. Trust a few. Do wrong to none." - William Shakespeare
12 years in San Francisco, this is the longest I have ever lived in one place. This is the first time that I have left a place when I was not running away from something, but running to something. Good bye San Francisco, I leave today, and want to say Thank You for the lessons. I am definitely leaving a piece of my heart here. I came here angry, defiant, entitled, imperfect. I leave here proud, in love, and open - but still imperfect. The best ingredients to make some tasty Awesome Sauce to serve up in SLC.
For 6 years I was defined primarily through my role as a county hospital nurse, secondarily as a wife to Nascar Pitcrew, and thirdly as a sister and daughter. Prior to that, I was an obstinate adult student (angry at the expense of college, angry at the lack of opportunities afforded my financially handicapped self, yet I was obstinate enough to make it happen for herself). I was a heavy drinker, hard, loud; I used drinking as a way to protect my broken heart. I never quite fit into any scene, so I made my own. A mix of burners, wine drinking philosophers, students, nurses. I have developed many faces, many attitudes to complement whatever role I am playing. During these years, I have often felt like Dora Maar, severe, bold, misunderstood (unless you are looking at her from the right direction). The common thread in all of these faces is a coarseness, an anger, that has promoted me, made me successful, kept me going. (You may not think that Dora is angry, but I think that having my nose on the side of my face would make me really mad)
As I drive away from San Francisco, I have nothing to be angry at. My husband, my successes, my life has been a work of art so far. Little Girl B defied the odds and Nurse Bacon has a pretty charmed life. In many ways, leaving San Francisco is what has to happen in order for me to let the last of the anger go and for the Awesome Sauce to set just right.
My life is full of the love of a good man, who brings stability, creativity, and a willingness to learn to the table. He has been waiting patiently for me to be at his side again. We are not without problems, but that is the way of life. Problems are chances for growth and learning. Cooperation comes from open communication and a willingness to accept criticism, as well as offer it, in a kind way. This can be a messy process, and often I look in the mirror disappointed with how I have chosen to behave. The love we share should be full of respect, empathy, pride, humor, comfort, and a little bit of naughtiness for some fun. I am always amazed at how the niceties get thrown away when the comfort sets in. We are biting, we bully with our emotions, and we forget to treat the VIP in our life with the same respect we offer to strangers. I am looking forward to practicing kindness with Nascar Pitcrew. Unencumbered by work schedules, family obligations, or the like (at least for 2 months), I hope to cultivate some habits of kindness and respect that last us a lifetime and propel us forward into the world even more successfully. How can I be angry (or even sad) about this chance?
I arrived in San Francisco, full of survivor's anger. I was extremely pissed off that those two individuals I called parents had left me and my brother to swim in the pools of their own severe dysfunction at a very young age. Upon arrival at the Golden Gate, I felt without opportunity, abandoned by my mommy, and abused by my daddy. Slowly, understanding set in. With every personal success, a feeling of forgiveness became palpable. Personal accountability was attained. The anger that brought me here has dried up. Sometime, during my life here in San Francisco, the raging waters of anger became a deep lakebed of penetrating sadness. The kind of sadness that takes therapy, the kind that tests friendships, the kind that is crippling. But then, time wears it down, the ashes disintegrate, and all you are left with is a void to fill. I filled that void with developing my career in nursing, and building lasting relationships with solid, yet scarred, human beings - we are all that, right? My heart leaps with joy when I hear my brother say he loves me and I know he means it. I will sing like a lovesick fool to Captain and Tenille with Gabby - anytime, anywhere. I will wax philosophical with Lex through pregnancy and old age, of this I am sure. I look forward to lady trips with a number of lovelies who inspire, as my life becomes less about work and more about living. The anger turned to sadness, and in the last 2 weeks, I think I cried out all my tears. The sadness has become a deep seeded gratitude for all that this adventure has given me. Love, friendship, self-esteem, and the recognition that life does not happen to you, but you are what happens to the empty canvas that is life.
When I drive away today, I will be singing along to a fabulous mixtape, made by a favorite DJ. A mix of Billie Holiday, Sublime, Tom Petty, and Beastie Boys. Gabby and I will practice the lyrics to Captain and Tenille at least 4 times an hour as we watch the mountains turn to high desert. I am not running away this time. In fact I am not running at all. I am taking off, on an adventure.
I am happening to life.
Auf Wiedersehen San Francisco!