New Chapter: San Francisco, California

Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California (Photograph by Monica Neary)

Marshall's Beach, San Francisco, California (Photograph by Monica Neary)

Photograph by Harley Rayner

Photograph by Harley Rayner

After four-and-a-half years of living in Brooklyn, I made the much needed decision to move back home to San Francisco. New York City is crazy, beautiful, magical and electric but the concrete jungle doesn't at all compare to feeling that I get when I am in the city by the bay. Even though San Francisco is changing in many ways, that feeling of wholesomeness I get when I am here hasn’t strayed. While I was living in New York, I developed a great work ethic and an abundance of new career skills as well as a whole new set of life skills that I absolutely cherish. If you are reading this and you are someone I connected with in NYC, just know that my leaving was so bittersweet and that I miss you.
 

I went through a lot of ups and downs while living in Brooklyn. From my dog, Kora, passing away from Chronic Kidney Failure to one of my Airbnb guests attempting to suffocate me with a pillow or having a seizure in my shower and experiencing what is was like to not have acceptable health insurance in New York City. (I have Kaiser Health Insurance from San Francisco and the only way I could be treated or seen by a doctor was by going to the emergency room at Beth Israel in Manhattan. Perhaps I’ll speak more on this in another article.)

Through all of my struggles, I am thankful for my experiences. I own my mistakes and my decisions as they have made me stronger, wiser, more appreciative and humble. I have a different look on life now then I did before and I’m more aware of my Ego. They say that home is where the heart is, so it’s clear to me that I left my heart in San Francisco. I am ready to start my new chapter here and enter adulthood. I am okay with the fact that I may have taken a bit more time than others to figure things out but I hold no shame in that anymore as I do not seek the approval from others.

Photograph by Harley Rayner 

Photograph by Harley Rayner 

Dolphins at Marshall's Beach
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Photograph by Harley Rayner

Photograph by Harley Rayner

I just want to thank my boyfriend Harley for inspiring me every day and making me a better person. He points out when the Ego is driving me and notices when I forget to live in the moment. I am trying to train myself out of constantly thinking, “This is a great photo opportunity for my blog...I have to get the right photo.” and instead when in a moment, cherishing it. “Let’s sit here and watch the sunset together. Can I take some photographs of you?”

In that moment, I found happiness, no longer longing for the perfect instagram photo, but instead, finding my artistic and creative abilities through a lense and capturing my loving partner in complete and total happiness. Just seconds later, Harley yelled, “Whoa, Dolphins!! Mon, did you see that? Look!” I thought to myself, whoa...is this an omen? As if mother nature herself was showing me that I made the right decision to come home and the city was saying welcome back, friend.


On my way back up the trail from Marshall’s beach I took one long deep breath inhaling through my nose and slowly out through my mouth. What did I smell? What did I feel? I smelled the salt in the air and the surrounding ecosystem around me. I felt happiness and joy. My soul felt free.

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