It has taken me a while to post photos of our trip to SF last October in part due to last year’s end-of-year craziness, but also because writing about and seeing photos of our former home still tugs on my heartstrings just a tiny bit. Sometimes it’s hard looking at photos of SF and realizing that I don’t belong there anymore.
We moved to the DC area two years ago for a many reasons: Sly had a great job opportunity, we would be closer to both our families, we both wanted a lifestyle change, etc. It was hard to leave, hard knowing that someone else would occupy “our” house, hard thinking that people came and left SF every single day and that we were now one of those people that ‘left.’ I didn’t like thinking that the SF I knew was already different than the SF of today because so much changed in the past two years out there. And so we left and never really looked back. We planned new adventures, explored the East Coast, camped and hiked and ate without really ever thinking once about returning to SF.
SF became my ex, my ex-home, and I didn’t want to see it in the same way that one doesn’t want to see an old ex-boyfriend. Because good or bad, being in his/its presence will always stir up old out-of-context memories and trigger those pieces of a younger self that belong to a particular, often rose-colored, time and place. I didn’t want to go back because I didn’t want to feel like a visitor–a frickin’ tourist–in a place I had called home for nearly a third of my life. I didn’t want to go back because I had finally moved on.
With these thoughts swirling in my head I wasn’t looking forward to visiting even though I was looking forward to seeing my friend get married (the reason we were traveling back to SF). But as was often the case, all that worrying and over-thinking and living inside my own head was for nothing. The moment we landed muscle memory kicked in. It felt as if we had never left. Yes, things were different, but they were also very much as I remembered.
Our first order of business, after being randomly upgraded to a white Ford Mustang (and nearly getting killed on the 280) was, of course, In-n-Out followed by ‘dessert’ at Beard Papas with coffee from Peet’s. It was the beginning of a week of non-stop eating.
Some things never change.
We roamed around down near Union Square, a place that I frequented nearly every lunch break to escape from work. Is it weird that I felt so comforted by all the retail stores where I once shopped? They greeted me like old friends and made me feel right at home. The old DSW was now an overcrowded Uniqlo but my best friend Macy’s was (and probably always will be) still there, the views from its windows as magnificent as ever from the upper levels. We mostly just window-shopped, ran into some of Sly’s HS friends who were also in town for a different wedding (random), and then made it back to our friends’ house just in time to catch the sun setting over the Pacific from their window.
It felt good to be back.
It felt good to be home.