on 05-17-2009 at 02:59 PM (402 Views)
I'm back from my 2 week trip to the West Coast and feeling like I have some new challenges to face and a new perspective on life. It was a great trip - relaxing and stressful, but a learning experience for me.
The part that really woke me up was being back in San Francisco, which I haven't seen in 2 years. I lived there for a good 9 years (in the Bay Area, really) and I think I didn't realize how good I had it. My brother was in the city, I had wonderful friends, plenty of activity and just a great liberal feeling overall.
There was a huge deal about an apartment building my brother is trying to renovate. The deal was that he wasn't getting the loans he needed in this economy so my parents agreed to help him out - in exchange for buying one of the apartments for me and my sister. The original plan was to get people to rent it for a few years until the housing market became a bit more stable, since they are up to their necks in loans from family members. I was totally fine with that and I was even unsure if I wanted to move back to the city again.
Now all that has changed. Being in the city and realizing how alone I am here in TX (nice place, but I work from home and all my grad school friends have left the city a long time ago) and how there is nothing for me here, except for a cheap cost of living. The apartments he's building up are going to be steller (he's good at that) and just the idea of owning my own place is going to make things very different. I feel like I've stalled in my life for years now and its time (at 39!) to get my life going again. I felt like this visit put me back into the land of the living.
Part of that was also raw food. My brother's partner took me to Cafe Gratitude (it's 2 blocks from their house!) and I got a chance to taste gourmet raw food for the first time. The pizza I had was wonderful (though very different from what you'd expect a "pizza" to be) and the dessert of an almond cream truffle - divine! It made me realize how maybe I've been failing on raw food because I've been living in areas that aren't really conducive to raw foodism and someone with my food issues needs support to succeed.
But I'm going to try as much as possible to make all of this work. I've been looking to add more work to my schedule for a while but now I'm really putting it into gear. I'm also looking at more options for me in the Bay Area - face-to-face teaching and not just online teaching. I realize that while I love the flexibility of online teaching, I think I need a f2f setting as well, at least a few classes. I need the dynamics of that.
I bought "The Raw Food Revolution" at Cafe Gratitude and I like the 21 day plan - very sensible, all raw, not too restrictive. If I can get started here, I know that when I get to SF, I'll have a lot of support. The apartment I would take is a few blocks away from Rainbow and there are so many little local produce stands within walking distance. I already found that there's a living food support group in the Bay Area through Yahoo and they host monthly raw food potlucks.
It's not going to be easy for me - it means a much higher cost of living, mortgage payments, housing that will mean paying out 4x what I'm paying now. But I know in every aspect - physical, emotional, and spiritual - it will be worth the struggle. The apartment building in SF even has a small space in the back for gardening and my brother asked me, "If you would move here, do you think you would take an interest in gardening?" I said, "hell, yes!" It's a win-win situation all around - a great apartment, family and friends nearby, a great city that will get me out of the house, hopefully a writer's support group as well (I really need that too) and a raw food support group.
Now the challenge is to make it happen. The greatest stress right now is that I have to get more employment by the time my brother is ready with the apartment, since he can't afford to let it sit empty. He's guessing that will take 4-6 months. So I haven't much time.
Needless to say, I'm shooting out those resumes!!!
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