The first month in San Francisco was rough. It was difficult for me to adjust to the city, and to begin living with someone I’d only been dating for a few months.
Since we only planned to be in the city for about 2 months, I didn’t bother looking for work. Instead, I picked up writing the novel again, engaged in all my leisure activities, and started volunteering at a food service for homeless citizens.
Upon a critical self-evaluation, I realized what my problem was, in moving overseas to change myself for the better. I was still looking to an external source to change myself, whereas what I should have been doing, looking to myself for change (sounding sickly spiritual and preachy there, I know). So, I decided to stop looking to places, people, situations, to change me, and to develop myself on my own. I planned that when I got back to New York, I would pick up the job hunt again properly, and seek new experiences to get out of my comfort zone.
The second month in San Francisco wasn’t exactly blissful, but my boyfriend and I stopped arguing, and things gradually got better. There were many things about the city that I still didn’t like, such as the plethora of crazy homeless people, the hills, the inconvenience of having little convenience stores, opening and closing times of stores, the windy weather. But I made do.
The last day in San Francisco, as I was packing up the apartment, having sold off some of my boyfriend’s furniture, and sitting on a mattress on the floor, clothes strewn on the floor, I felt something odd. I thought about how many times it had been since I got to America, that I’d packed up all my things, and left, to start again afresh. That morning, I had nothing but pleasant feelings on leaving the city I so disliked, but as I packed up and left, I felt grateful to be given the opportunity to begin again.