I grew up reading letters from others about how lonely, lonely can get. What they didn’t tell me was how much I would enjoy it. They didn’t tell me that I would prefer it. That it comforted me, that it let me stay in my own comfort of mind. No one told me that loneliness would be the one I would fall in love with some day. My head is filled with so many secrets. But not the type of secrets you’re thinking of. Secrets like where I’m going because I don’t really think anyone cares to know. I don’t even care to know, I’m just gonna get there somehow. Or secrets like when someone is passionately speaking of something they love and I want them to have that moment, I want them to feel like I have no idea what that feeling is just so they can use their hands and eyes and words to describe it to me. I don’t want them to know I know, I want them to tell me. Even if I do know. I want them to have that moment. Sometimes I hope no one actually reads these, just so I can say I spoke freely and nobody heard because ultimately I’m not writing to be heard, I’m writing to speak freely. I have a tendency of wearing my mind on my sleeve. The first project I ever did in art school was based off my best friend and one of her own secrets, never did tell her.
I’m currently reading six books at the same time and I keep getting confused with the characters, thinking the man who pretends to choke on his food to get money lives in the book about a boy whose trying to understand why his dad is such a dick. I’m confusing these characters and their lives told through story and I don’t think that’s very fair to the books themselves but I simply can’t seem to choose which one to put down. Like all things. Someone once asked me if I’d rather be exceptionally knowledgeable and great at one thing or mildly knowledgeable and good at all things and I told him I didn’t want to think so hard about such things. I want to be good and great at not being knowledgeable at all. Isn’t after all the point not to know everything there is to know but yet find new things we know nothing about just to get to know them. I always wonder why no one talks about how girls have hair growing on their breasts, but hairy balls has become an appropriate term for just about any conversation – guilty that I am. I came across a memo on my phone that said, ‘my therapist told me to’ and that was it. I don’t have a therapist. I was going for a walk and came up to a poem carved into the wall and I couldn’t make out the words and I was okay with that.
Today feels like my real birthday. One year ago today I packed my life into the back seat of my car and drove north. It was the beginning of my own relevance and the best decision I ever made, moving to San Francisco. I’ll save you the life changing post about how the city was where I was always meant to be and how I found myself through the art I created, the strangers I met and the moments I fell madly in love for, that only a city could give you. Plus, my portrayal of such won’t even do my days in the city justice, so I guess you’ll just have to move to San Francisco and find out for yourself. What I will tell you though, is what I’ve personally learned this past year that has absolutely nothing to do with anything:
When you get too comfortable, it’s time to move. If you want a bunch of art school kids to do almost anything, tell them that there is pizza there. Sexual harassment is real and what has helped me get through it is eating an apple while walking to where I need to be. The crisp crunching completely overpowers their gratuitous words. God gave us laundromats and their heavenly aromatic smell for the times you walk by a street doused in piss. Homeless men are smarter than you even realize they also have a far better imagination than you do, and that’s something. If a ‘crazy’ person starts at you, act crazier than they are and I promise, they won’t want anything to do with you. Also, don’t use the word crazy. Everyone is in a rush on their way to where they’re going, all the more reason to stop them and compliment their teal hair. Routine isn’t a thing in the city, and I couldn’t have been more in love with that. ‘Bored’ also isn’t a part of the city humans’ vocabulary. Learn to be a good listener, not just with your ears, but with your entire body – this city has much to say. And you’re going to want to listen. Take good care of your feet, they’ll take you to where you need to go. If a street performer makes you stop, you owe him your chump change at the least. ‘Hipster’ isn’t a word to describe anything, learn to use other words to describe what you’re trying to say. Everyone, and I mean everyone is an artist. If someone doesn’t believe in composting, don’t befriend them. If a booty call is two bus rides away, it’s not worth it. Don’t completely judge tourists, you were once that person too – eyes lit up and camera ready in hand just to simultaneously document with your eyes and device a sight you’ve craved to see for so long. If you feel the need to change who you are due to the comparison of those around you, you’re doing it wrong. The city, filled with hundreds of people can be the loneliest place, learn to find comfort and company within yourself before searching for that of vapid substance in others. And most importantly, when you get too comfortable, it’s time to move.
The photos of strangers I have photographed in my time living in San Francisco are very much apart of my year spent there but what has even more made my year was the days spent with myself, the nights with good company and most importantly the growing relationship with the city I fell madly in love with. Thus, these instax perfectly portraying those things exactly. Happy one year sf, I love you.
-ripped straight from my janky journal (my third!)