06 May 2009

community

what a word. i don't even know where to begin with what i want to say about the topic, but it's something i've been thinking about a lot lately.

i guess i'll start with this: san francisco is a small town that shares attributes of a big city. i lived in nyc for 8 years. 4 in manhattan, 4 in brooklyn. i loved living in that city, and i still think that brooklyn has my heart (sorry sf!). i loved how big nyc was, constantly finding new things, discovering new routes, visiting a museum repeatedly only to find new rooms with art from across the world, the zen garden, star wars fights in small gallery windows, whatever.

i liked the anonymity of living in that city. i liked that people didn't know who i was, and i made no effort to try to establish an identity. but i did like that i could escape from manhattan when i lived in brooklyn. manhattan's neuroses felt suffocating when not in school or at work. brooklyn was more my speed. i liked how familiar everything was. riding my bike through prospect park with my all girl bike gang, riding with the SO to park slope, coney island, and yes, even up to billyburg (ew). going anywhere and everywhere that wasn't manhattan. so the parameters of a community were beginning to be sketched out in my head, but i still had something to do. law school? there i went. 3000+ miles and a world away from the right coast.

and that was in my twenties. which i guess is the decade for discovery and all that business.

so when i first moved to the yay area, i hated that it felt so small. i hated that i kept bumping into the same people, having the same small talk, whatever. i was consumed with school, and when i left school, i just wanted to forget about school and work, and discover new things. i felt suffocated and kind of like a bucking bronco needing to get this damn person off my back.

at school i discovered a community. it wasn't the first time, and certainly not the last i will do such things. but school is a bubble, and we all have one collective goal: graduation. how we get there is the process that enables a quick foundation of community. you join a student group or a club based on your ideologies or ethnicity or a journal or you don't. you spend lots of time with these people because you have to, not necessarily because you would normally choose to be with these people. kinda like the working world. anyway, forced community is one thing, trying to find your own is another.

i don't know really what i'm trying to say. i guess i just feel like san francisco is growing on me. i don't mind that there's not as many restaurants to discover as in manhattan/brooklyn, that there are the same people who go to the same places and you even see those people in different neighborhoods. i don't mind it anymore now that i have come to realize that my family is far away and that while i miss them, i need to make a home away from tejas if i'm to feel comfortable wherever i live.

it took a few years, but with bici and the weather, i'm starting to find a community on my terms, and i like it.

so i guess this is me formally acknowledging that i finally like living in sf. this city is growing on me. i don't feel so much like the wild horse being tamed. i'm getting older and beginning to accept living in the present. now on to the next thing...

4 comments:

Duby said...

I always thought of graduation as a necessary evil.

the calitexican said...

word. to yr mutha.

Adrienne Johnson said...

Well, I for one, am happy you are looking for some community! Be careful what you wish for...: )

the calitexican said...

haha, i would have to agree with you! ;) but i'm gonna stay positive with this one.