One reason I love living in San Francisco is that it is such a hub. People travel through and come to visit this stunning city all the time. It makes me feel connected to the world on a global and on a personal level. Having lived in a fair number of cities, it is so nice to hear from friends I haven’t seen in years and to be able to meet them for a coffee, join them for dinner, or host them at my house when they come to San Francisco.
Meeting up with my good friend, Hannah, who I met at Parsons in New York City (<– blast from the past with some art photos!) was a reminder of how time and space can be irrelevant. With people of your tribe, sometimes the days that turn into years and the distance of thousands of miles can not take away from the comfort you feel around someone. I love this feeling.
Catching up face to face is priceless. Getting straight into the meaty parts of our lives we shared first hand accounts of love affairs, adventures abroad, apartment fires, kickstarter campaigns, jobs, art and future dreams. It brought me straight into the present moment. After a long day of project lists and general overwhelm, I found myself right where I needed to be. This is the fabric of life: food, warm bodies, and talk.
Though I haven’t written much, I’ve accomplished a ton in the past 6 weeks. Writing hasn’t fallen to the wayside for lack of inspiration or something to talk about. My mind feels like it might explode every time I look at the date. It’s July!? Where did the year go?
Rewind: last October I started Interchange, a counseling program that explores different philosophies and techniques in therapy. My original intention in starting this program was to figure out if I want to pursue psychology as a profession. Since I am a self-proclaimed self-help nerd, I knew I would get a lot out of the training based purely on my love for introspection and self analysis. I fancy myself a pretty good listener and I am proficient at speaking about my feelings. Interchange took me to the next level. I am proud to say that I have completed the ten month program and have received my certificate!
As far as my original intention, I am clear at the moment, that I have no interest in a masters in psychology. I am intrigued by life coaching, general counseling, and people who create personal brands. I love talking to people about their problems and their passions. Helping others to connect with their dreams and desires in order to live happier lives excites me. However, I am not in the space at the moment where I wish to make that my profession. Similar to my dream of starting a hostel, I do not rule this out as a career, but know that it is not for right now. Either way, completing Interchange was a longer term goal and I am proud to have achieved it!
Through Kate Courageous, a lovely woman who taught a marketing series at Interchange, I managed to get my hands on a ticket to the World Domination Summit. When I told people about this conference, many thought it had something to do with CrossFit, which I found very amusing. The World Domination Summit is actually a conference with people from professions across the board, coming together to talk about how to create change. It’s about refining your skills, unearthing your passion, and turning your dreams into a reality. It’s about focus and connection.
I traveled to Portland, stayed with a good friend, and listened to Chase Jarvis of Creative Live, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, Danielle LaPorte, and Nancy Duarte, amongst others pour their hearts out. The whole conference was incredible! Chris Guillebeau did an incredible job orchestrating WDS. The events sounded insane. I missed a lot of it due to visiting with friends. I had a tricky time balancing the old with the new, and really needed some down time after mingling and listening to speakers from 8am till 4pm each day. I would love to attend again and make sure to take full advantage of each of the special events.
A specific goal that I have had for a long time is to attend a Kink.com Armory tour here in San Francisco. I finally managed to do this. A friend of mine was equally as excited about the idea and said “let’s go!” So we jumped online, set a date and bought tickets. Of course as I am waiting on the steps in front of the Armory, I run into some other friends who are also going on the tour. I love how small the world is. The armory is magnificent and kink.com has totally piqued my interest as far as its business model is concerned. We all know sex sells, but Kink seems to be operating as the change it would like to see in the world. 40% of it’s employees are women, while 60% of their directors are female. Apparently, this is unheard of in media companies. Let’s take a moment to ponder what this means as far as the production of porn. Women at Kink have significant influence over the type of porn being produced and are controlling how it is being put out into the world. This is a big deal. I like it.
June and July are demonstrating just how crazy busy life can get. New goal: simplify simplify simplify. I am ready to get back to some passions of mine that haven’t been nurtured in a while. This means drawing, letter writing, and reading. It also means hanging out without scheduled meetings on some afternoons and getting my ass in the ocean to try surfing again. 2013 is more than half finished. How are you going to spend the rest of the year?
It’s bike to work Month! Thursday May 9th is bike to work day! I would be lying if I didn’t mention how disappointed I am that I am not volunteering for bike to work day this year. I’ve volunteered for bike to work day for years now and this time around I have forbidden myself to take on any extra activities. I just paid about $350 in bicycle repairs, so I’ve been rolling along these San Francisco hills again.
Yesterday, as I approached the Arguello Gate into the Presidio on my way to San Francisco CrossFit, a round-bellied cyclist swung into the lane in front of me. He turned his head and did a double take. “Oh Hey!” He said with his eyes twinkling behind his glasses. It took a few seconds until recognition kicked in. “Doug! Haha! Hello!” I replied with enthusiasm. I had never seen this coworker outside of the context of work, and here he was at 7:30AM in his retro stretchy biking outfit. It’s always fun and exciting to see people out of context and realize you are crossing paths with a friend.
The day passed and at 4PM it was time to bike home. Getting my ass up and over the hill back through the Arguello Gate is always daunting. It’s such a big hill! So I remind myself that I have all the time in the world to get up and over that incline. One pedal at a time. Sit back and enjoy the ride. Notice the sun on your skin, the breeze on your little hairs, indulge in all of your senses as you inch forward. It is a chance to slow down and take it easy.
The last crest is a bit of a doozy. Near the top of the hill there is a bizarre y-shaped three-way intersection as you go over the last slope. It always seems perilous to me and I try to be extra aware of motorists as I huff and puff my way to flat ground in the bike lane on the other side of the road. Success! I made it to the top! Smooth sailing mostly downhill the rest of the way home! I inhale deeply and soak in the view of the bay and Alcatraz. I see two lovely women cycling towards me and register the blonde as my roommate on her turquoise cruiser. I ring my bell and wave, “Hey Ladies!” I’m smiling now as gravity pulls me around the bend, the wind lapping my hair around my ears.
It’s only been about 48 hours back on the bike and I am bumping into friends on the road left and right. I love how accessible and connected the city feels at times. This is the magic of the bicycle. It connects you with the outdoors and the elements, and with your community as you cruise the streets. None of this idling inside your stuffy vehicle. Breath in the smell of eucalyptus and salty sea air as it sweeps down Geary, feel your sun-kissed shoulders getting tanner as you stretch your arms at the stop light.
The pedal revolution is often one of silent daily activism. The power that it has to transform and delight is horrifically understated in the United States. Cycling instills feelings of freedom and joy, while empowering individuals to make things happen by their own steam. It’s an empowering practice to know that you got yourself from point A to point B. It was all you, every pedal of the way.
Now get off your ass and ride.
I am realizing why it is so hard for me to post about my 8 goals this November. For several of them, I do not have much to say. I feel that a picture is worth a thousand words and that accomplishing the thing itself was so exhausting that reliving it through writing may be too much for me right now. But since I’ve resolved to blog each goal, I would like to write at least a little something for each. Or at least link/show you what’s up.
GOALS I ACCOMPLISHED IN NOVEMBER!
- I read a book! There is Nothing Wrong with You by Cheri Huber: This book is super simple and therefore enjoyable. It is a bit repetitive, but fun and sweet.
- I made mail art! I participated in Snail Mail My Email 2012: I have basically already blogged about this, but it’s one of the goals I am most excited about because so many people made awesome letters! Check out the gallery and the map.
- I took my bod-photos. This is a difficult one for me to post about because I am really self conscious about it. Inspired first and foremost by San Francisco Crossfit when I did the Paleo Challenge, I am trying to eat better and if not actually lose weight, at least pay attention and monitor my body. Other sources of motivation and information are Robb Wolf, Nerd Fitness, and Mark’s Daily Apple.
- I did not smoke for 30 days: this is a hard one for me to write about because it means that I have to admit that I smoke sometimes. Well, I was smoking too much this summer and I said enough is enough! I know I can drop it (like it’s hot), so I did. Here’s some info on building new habits. Or “How to not suck at building new habits.”
- I expressed my feelings when it was difficult for me multiple times and recorded it somewhere… I’m no Penelope Trunk so I won’t get into the super personal details of all the times I had challenging conversations over the past month. At least not at this point in time. But to give you an idea, I apologized when I thought it was important for me to do so, I spoke up for myself, and I gave honest feedback.
- I attended the 2nd Interchange weekend. The theme was Storytelling and Reauthoring: Narrative Therapy.
- I got new jobs! Three to be exact. I now work at Biergarten, Suppenkuche, and Lululemon. Wowza. Don’t be shy, come by and say “Hallo!”
- I moved to San Francisco! WOO!
I’m terrible at keeping up with blog posts. This fits in perfectly with the current theme of my life: When it rains it pours. Coincidentally, it’s pouring in San Francisco right now and has been for the past day or so. I have been working on my goals all month and have accomplished many (8!) I haven’t blogged about a single one. So now, when I sit down to write a post, I am completely overwhelmed because I don’t need to write one post, I should write 8! Ack! I suppose this is why I have included blogging on my goal list; an attempt to make it a habit and manage it more.
Well, here I am. It’s a Friday morning, I woke up at 6AM, but skipped Crossfit because it is storming outside and I did not want to ride my bicycle through the flood zones. Instead, I am attempting to catch up on my goal review. However, instead of facing the daunting task of writing 8 posts, one about each goal I have accomplished in November – I am going to make a list (I LOVE LISTS) of the goals I’ve worked on and write about them more specifically later (uh… perpetuating the problem??)
GOALS I ACCOMPLISHED IN NOVEMBER!
- I read a book! There is Nothing Wrong with You by Cheri Huber
- I made mail art: I participated in Snail Mail My Email 2012.
- I took my bod-photos.
- I did not smoke for 30 days: this is a hard one for me to write about because it means that I have to admit that I smoke sometimes. Well, I was smoking too much this summer and I said enough is enough! I know I can drop it (like it’s hot), so I did.
- I expressed my feelings when it was difficult for me multiple times and recorded it somewhere…
- I attended the 2nd Interchange weekend.
- I got new jobs! Three to be exact.
- I moved to San Francisco! WOO!
This is a big month for me. In the past 5 weeks I have worked 4 jobs and moved into the city, plus worked on everything else mentioned above. Needless to say, I have been super stressed out and been fending off anxiety attacks. YAY LIFE!
Let’s put it this way – I am learning a lot at an accelerated rate. I am excited for the holidays so that I can spend time with my family and hole up in cozy homes. Bring on the movies and hot tea! Oh yea and definitely give me a high five and a hug the next time you see me. Thanks.
Love, Strength, and Vigor!