It’s a Thursday afternoon, and the start of spring. I am sitting alone at a café on the water, along the Embarcadero in San Francisco; a city that has become a sort of oasis to me over the past four years. Somewhere I know awaits me anytime I need to just roll my windows down, drown out thoughts into the sound of music, and be far enough away to feel gone, if only for a day.

The sun is blazing against my back; an unusually hot day in this city. But I can’t complain. It is, after all, the best seat in the house for watching the incoming boats. I ask the waiter to bring me something fruity and refreshing (with alcohol of course! I mean, it’s rare these days to have a day off during the week where I’m left to my own devices). He winks at me and disappears. I think about my hike earlier in the day and how I never tire of that view on a sunny day and the fresh ocean air tucked behind the hustle of the inner city.

(Lands End ~ San Francisco, CA)

As I sit there, alone and content, the waiter swiftly appears with a cucumber concoction that doesn’t disappoint. My next request…..a piece of scratch paper. I thought I had planned well for this day out by bringing my portable phone charger, that I then (ever so responsibly) left behind in the parking garage that housed my car. Not that I’m hating that mishap. After all, my lack of connectivity led me to scribbling this post (while simultaneously devouring the plate of fresh oysters that lay in front of me).

Rewind a few weeks back to the moment that led me here, retreating to the city for the day and to taking a bit of a life break (albeit only a week). This sudden, yet welcome crossroad I’ve arrived at….

I have become a firm believer that in life, if you are not growing and changing, you are not living. Complacency has become somewhat of a curse word in my book. As has settling. That said, I made the decision to leave my company of four years, where I was comfortable and had developed some great friendships. But comfortable doesn’t get you where you need to be. Not to mention, the person I was when walking in that door four years ago, damaged and dragged down by life, was not the person walking out. I created a new opportunity that is not the end goal by far, but is a stepping stone in the right direction. An opportunity for learning and growth…something I can be proud of, simply because I believed in my worth and did not falter from that.

As always, I’m eager for what lies ahead. Ready to learn, ready to build, to make mistakes and rise from them, to celebrate the little victories along with the not so little ones…..because that’s life. Ups and downs, crossroads and dead ends, clear sunny views and gloom and fog. You take it all or nothing at all.

On this day, in this vivacious, curious city…..I am present. And I am celebrating that presence and the failures that have brought me here. The failures that were in fact, not failures at all.

(Coit Tower ~ San Francisco, CA)

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