From the starting gate to Golden Gate

In merely 25 years, I’ve manged to do a lot of living. Even though I often chide myself for “playing it safe” so much of the time as compared to so many other people I know, I’ve actually already had a lot of great adventures. The most recent being a move to San Francisco. In many ways, it doesn’t seem that big of a deal; its the shortest move I’ve ever made, I already know some people here, I’ve already been living in California for three years now, and its not even the largest city I’ve lived in. And yet, despite all of this, I find myself exposed to things here that I never dreamed of.

I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky which is a funky and lively town in its own respect. I grew up going to art museums, plays and the orchestra, taking music lessons, playing sports, riding horses; the same as any good Jane Austen heroine. My neighborhood in Louisville is known for its eccentricity and eclecticism; it’s not unusual to see a homeless person sitting on a step with a stranger sharing philosophies and music recommendations, next to a local coffee shop where hipster teens and twenty-somethings mingle with the upper middle-class middle-aged while drinking lattes and admiring the featured local artist pieces.

I went to college in Ohio at a small liberal arts school where I, in true form, majored in everything and nothing at the same time. Logically, my degrees in Communication, Spanish and Studio Art led me to a career in the culinary industry as a pastry cook. I moved from the Midwest to the West Coast almost three years ago to pursue my dreams and attend culinary school in the Napa Valley where I was surrounded by amazing food and wine and nature and, well, not much else. A five month externship in Chicago and a month-long  European adventure with my family helped to tide me over while I struggled with the frustrating simplicity of life in a valley. And so, three years later, with my degree and one year as a chocolatier under my toque, I decided it was time to move on to bigger and (hopefully) better things.

So here I am- San Francisco. I traded in my car for a bus pass so I could afford to live in an insanely overpriced studio apartment with my cat, Oreo. I work in a restaurant that will look amazing on my resume, but that pays me just over minimum wage and sends me home each night an exhausted shell of a person. And even though it takes a stern talking to from the voices in my head to peel my zombie corpse off of the couch in the morning to run errands or go back to work, when I finally walk out the front door of my building and greet the city for the first time each day, I realize that I made the right choice.  As weird and stressful as life in San Francisco can be, this is home. For now.