I thought it’d be fun to capture each month’s activities and milestones in a series called Witty Rewind. It may not be for posterity’s sake, but I hope you’ll enjoy looking back at the previous month with me.
It should come as no surprise that my health and wellness focus has fallen quite off the rails. I battled a couple of allergy attacks, and my motivation has run away further than any ol’ 5K would get me. I did focus more on meditation and mindfulness, so I’m trying to not beat myself up about it. But when you’re an all-or-nothing kinda person, it def feels futile. [Minutes meditated: ~200]
What I always come back to for relaxation and rejuvenation is READING. I’ve been “competing” in a one-book-a-week challenge at work and smashed my goal of 13 books in 10 weeks, with a week still to go. From awful self-help advice to the horrors of Nazi Germany, it’s been quite a journey. [Books read: 7]
Here’s how else I spent the month of May:
- Celebrated Cinco with margaritas and Book Club
- Had a roomie reunion dinner at a new Mediterranean spot
- Happy-houred with former colleagues and enjoyed comped treats from the chef
- Dinner and a pop-up show in Oakland — truly remarkable!
- Canceled plans on canceled plans on canceled plans (I blame mystery illness)
- My oldest niece graduated from VPK! The pics are everything
- Volunteered with the Junior League of SF and prepped incoming leadership
- Sat out the annual Bay to Breakers mayhem (let’s say because of rainy forecasts)
- Ventured to OLIVE GARDEN with my girlfriends who truly are family
- Continued furnishing the new apartment, despite incomplete deliveries and delays
- Celebrated the end of the League year with dinners, drinks, wine country… you name it
- Saw the Monet exhibit before it left SF…
- …and ended the evening with a scary (though relatively minor) car crash
- Remembered how atrocious the insurance and healthcare industries are in the US
- Traveled to Vegas with a lot of aspirin and saw CELINE DION in one of her final shows
It’s been a whirlwind of PR nightmares from Pepsi to United Airlines to Melissa McCarthy… (If you don’t understand the third one, start watching “Last Week Tonight.”) I don’t know many who are applauding those mega-oops moments, but here’s what I do appreciate this week:
- Spring Cleaning: In preparation for an upcoming move within SF, I’ve begun purging stuff with the help of friends. Thanks to two separate sessions, led by my master-purge peers, I’ve managed to gather countless items to donate and four bags of trash! Who knew I’d accumulated all that stuff in just 2.5 years?
- A Fresh Mani/Pedi: My Sunday night routine often involves painting my nails as a therapeutic way to wind down the weekend. I was trying some “maybe” colors I wasn’t ready to let go of, but then a dear friend suggested we catch up over mani/pedis Monday night. I can’t think of a better way to spend an hour — being pampered while connecting with loved ones is simply the best!
- Easter: This coming Sunday is sure to be filled with a joyous remembrance of resurrection and life for my fellow Catholics and Christians. Egg dyeing and chocolate bunnies aside, Easter has become one of my favorite holidays for humble reflection and celebration.
- “HUMBLE” – Kendrick Lamar: Speaking of humility, Kendrick Lamar’s latest has flooded my ears all week. It could be a coincidence, given the major blunders we’re witnessing firsthand, but I think I’d be into it regardless. Completely NSFW language ahead — beware before blasting in your office.
Today marks my second San Franniversary, so I thought I’d share some of the lessons I’ve learned since moving here. Bonus: It’s apparently (and arbitrarily) San Francisco Appreciation Week! If I’m missing anything, I’m sure you’ll all let me know 😉
1. Never, ever, EVER call it “San Fran.”
I realize I broke this cardinal rule in the very title of this post, but I believe a pun makes it OK. (I haven’t gotten an eye-roll yet in my empty apartment, at least.) For some reason, SF residents absolutely cannot stand calling their beloved city “San Fran.” It’s “SF” (pronounced “ess eff”) or “The City” (though I still save that for NYC). And I’m guilty of the hatred toward “Saaan Fraaan,” too. It strikes a nerve, sounds sooo country and feels like a betrayal to the Bay Area. Even worse: “Frisco.” *shudders*
2. There won’t be a heat wave in August.
It goes against everything you’ve ever been taught, but bring sweaters and jeans if you visit SF in August. With an average temperature this year of 58°F, you’ll thank me later. Easiest way to spot tourists here each August? They’re wearing overpriced Golden Gate Bridge sweatshirts from Fisherman’s Wharf, because they figured it’d be hot like everywhere else. On the flip side, September and October are our warmest months. I don’t make the rules; I’m just sharing them.
3. NorCal is very different from SoCal.
I haven’t personally experienced Southern California yet, but I’ve heard enough comparisons to feel confident in this lesson. NorCal is bourgie and techy, chilly and pretentious — while SoCal is beachy and sprawling, warm and pretentious in a different way. Also: Don’t expect me to “pop down” to San Diego or LA while you’re there on a weekday, since they’re 400+ miles away. I still love you, though 🙂
4. We work smarter, not harder.
Work/life balance is a constant topic of conversation here, almost to a fault. I haven’t worked in the smallest of startups — so there is some variation — but for the most part I believe SFers find efficiencies in their work, suggest changes to organizations’ processes and don’t have to prove their worth by how many hours they work. We value getting in, getting shit done and getting out to live life away from office walls.
5. We take our wine and our sports seriously.
This should come as no surprise, given electric playoff seasons from the Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants,and San Jose Sharks — plus the recent resurgence of the Oakland Raiders. Even the 49ers and A’s fans are fiercely loyal. And while wine and sports don’t necessarily go hand in hand, you can’t be just south of Wine Country and not have a strong appreciation for vino. Cheers to that.
6. Oakland is SF’s cooler cousin — and kinda too cool for me.
I haven’t explored nearly as much of Oakland as I’d like to, but what I have seen has been mostly awesome. The Fox Theater is a phenomenal concert venue, there are awesome restaurants and bars to try all over Downtown, Lake Merritt and more. Get comfortable with the BART map first, though, as I’ve gotten turned around and spent way more time on the train than is ever necessary for one human.
7. Trolleys are not the same as cable cars.
This is a lesson I’m still learning, as anyone within earshot is quick to correct me when I mistakenly identify a trolley (or streetcar) as a cable car. The key difference is how they’re propelled, which is exactly why I can’t seem to keep them straight. All I really know is, both types are adorable and strangely efficient forms of transportation — provided you avoid the stops at each end of the cable car lines.
8. Public transportation is laughable.
Ask me two years ago, and I’d say I would never, ever miss the MTA. But being out here, I miss the subway nearly every damn day. MUNI is inefficient, dealing with traffic and breakdowns and shitty people who refuse to follow the rules. BART is a hot mess of its own. And while I understand this city wasn’t built for the massive influx of people, it’s frustrating to feel like there aren’t any major changes in sight for affordable, efficient, reliable public transportation.
9. Uber, Lyft and Chariot are godsends… mostly.
It’s no wonder, then, we freaking love rideshare and shuttle services. Since Uber and Lyft were founded here, we’re often a test market for new features (and promos!) before they’re rolled out nationwide. I relied heavily on UberPool with my last job, since my 2.5-mile commute would take more than 50 minutes on MUNI. I’m now blessed with transportation reimbursement from my employer, so a shuttle service like Chariot (also founded in SF) makes commuting and getting around SF a breeze.
10. SF is a fantastic place to live.
There are plenty of challenges living in a big city with rich history and recent gentrification. It’s easy to take it for granted, but it’s truly become my favorite home. Whether making jokes about Karl the Fog; braving tourists on Golden Gate Bridge; or enjoying the quirky, eclectic local vibes, SF will always have a special place in my heart.
I’m officially able to announce the big move I mentioned so cryptically Wednesday: I’ve accepted a relocation offer with my company and will be moving to San Francisco!
I have nothing but love for New York — well, except for MTA and rats and smells and why am I always sweating?! — but have dreamt of living in the Bay area for some time.
Fortunately, my West Coast team is pumped to have me there in person, and I won’t spend nearly as much of my workday on the phone or chasing email threads. I’m super thrilled for the opportunity and couldn’t be more grateful for my supportive senior leadership and company.
So, until the actual move happens (sometime in late September), I’ve got an NYC Bucket List started and about a million things to coordinate. Wish me luck as yet another huge adventure begins. Eek!
While it was so much easier to move with only three suitcases in tow, I’ve quickly learned just how much I need to buy. Not stuff, necessarily — but certainly some necessities and touches to make our new apartment feel more like home than hotel.
For example, we’re currently sharing an air mattress. In the living room. Without curtains.
Adventurous, sure. But practical, hell no.
Thank goodness for Pinterest, allowing my Happy Home board to blow up as I dream of decorating and furnishing. I’ve never been so excited to spend monies.
A Perfect Palette: I love shades of gray + blush with pops of yellow.
Some pinspirations …
Off the Wall: From gilded temporary wallpaper to creative clings, I’ve
got it covered.
Clever + Cozy Accents: Hey girl, I know you love Kanye’s tweets and are in need of storage solutions.
And Just Because: Who doesn’t want a couch that converts into
All images and their sources can be found here.