Yesterday I found myself talking to Sam about place and character and where the two intersect. We talked about change and moving and how a new city can shift your sense of self — how a new place can give rise to a whole sweep of newness and an overwhelming, invigorating sense of possibility.
And, of course, along with possibility comes a whole myriad of expectations.
Change, doubt, dreams, expectations — they all seem to go hand in hand, don't they?
I've moved a handful of times throughout my life: to San Diego for college, to Oxford for my study-abroad program, back to Chicago for grad school, and to San Francisco just last year. Whenever I've relocated, the physical shift has manifested itself in other ways, too. It's as if the change in scenery triggers a new chapter and I suddenly feel the need to reevaluate and refine absolutely everything.
In San Diego I became more calm, more centered, more fun-loving, more blonde. In Oxford I managed to be both reserved and wildly outgoing, both insecure and more sure than ever before. There, I also learned to let go. To move forward. And back in Chicago, I found clarity — clarity and drive.
I'm still discovering the San Francisco version of myself, still wondering what pieces of me will shift shape or grow or fade away. In all fairness, maybe this isn't about the cities at all. Maybe it's just life.
And yet, I look at the beach, at the bay, at the sun on the horizon...
I look out and I look up and I think: Of course it's this. It's all of this. How could it not be?
(Photo: Stinson Beach | My Instagram)