san francisco, why are you so hard to get along with?

i have been asking this question for about the past month. why can’t i love this city? this was the city of my dreams! i would travel here for work and love it. i would feel inspired, run around and even celebrated running across the golden gate bridge! i have imagined moving to san francisco for a few years now. it’s a tech hub, people bike all over the place, there are state parks all over and the temps are stable all year long!

running golden gate bridge
me on the bridge. january 28, 2012.

after asking this question, i think that i have finally been able to come up with the answer this past week. chris and i have been talking up and down and back and forth trying to figure it out.

it’s a big city. it will be harder to find your routine.

duh. we have found it harder here to get our routine down. it’s obviously bigger than bend and so there is more to choose from which is great, right? it also makes it harder. i think we’ve nailed a walking route in golden gate park, i’ve found the coffee shop that i work from often, and a bike route that i love. it sounds crazy but simple things like seeing the same barista every day or not having to use google maps to bike downtown are huge these days.

chris is also working nights which adds a lovely dynamic. what does one do alone at night in a city? is it safe to walk here there and everywhere? we’ve been working on establishing what this means.

we’ve been traveling for over two months.

this has less to do about san francisco and more to do with our general state of being. we’ve been away from family and friends for over two months and while it has been amazing, there are large parts of us that just want to have the folks who know us well do life with us again. we realize we have an amazing community in grand rapids which makes being away harder. but, we have found an awesome church and slowly (VERY slowly) are building relationship there. this helps.

owning a car in this city is hard. and expensive.

because we’re driving around the country, we obviously depend on our car to get us from point a to wherever point b is. all of our stuff in tow. our apartment (that we’re paying my left arm for) does not include parking. this means that we are at the mercy of street parking which is hilly, unavailable and has great consequences if you don’t do it right (think a parking ticket for being over a curb and a tow for being in a tow zone a few minutes too long). they clean the streets all the time here as well so we have to watch out for that or another tow will be in our future.

our apartment is also tiny which is fine, but we haven’t figured out how to hang out here comfortably yet. essentially it’s a garage converted into an apartment so lovely old character that we appreciate doesn’t exist.

chris hanging our bikes with care. in the kitchen.
chris hanging our bikes with care. in the kitchen.

but we’re slowly overcoming this. the past few days have been awesome. we’ve felt some renewal, hope, and general excitement of being here in san francisco and using this experience to really mean something and not just to let the days pass. a few things that are wonderful:

we’re only three hours away from this cutie. 

riley drinking from straw

visits to see my brother and family are much easier. it makes sense to spend three days out there. it’s a car ride, not a plane ride. and auntie em time rocks.

the area is really beautiful if you find the right hikes (or nature walks as we call them).

walking to land's end. yes, the land ends here.
walking to land’s end. yes, the land ends here.
spending the morning watching the surfers. and wishing i was in there with them!
spending the morning watching the surfers. and wishing i was in there with them!

biking has transformed the city for me.

we ordered a U-lock from Amazon and it was probably the best investment we’ve made in a long time. we now can ride our bikes around the city with ease and lock them with care. i rode into the steelcase showroom to work this week and on my commute was surrounded by 20 other bikers. we were like a little biking community out to pedal the city together, power up the hills, and elbow those cars out of the way. it’s much more fun to bike around the city than drive. and you see so much more than just walking.

i’m taking a class.

as referred to above, san francisco is the tech hub. circumstances lended themselves just right so that i can take a 10 week coding class. that’s right, i’m a geek. i love it. having something consistent every monday and wednesday evening has been lovely. and i’ve been challenged which is good.

san francisco. you’ve been a bit harder to love than i previously thought. you make our bank account look pretty sad. your hills still make my heart race. your parking rules suck. but i believe there is something about you to love. i believe God is teaching us something through you. so, here’s to you san francisco.




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