Life Changes: Seattle to San Francisco


For 2015 my New Year’s resolution was to move to NYC. If you are going to dream, dream big right?  Easter seemed like the perfect time of year to move. Not too hot, no longer cold and a perfect time of year to adapt to a new environment. Well, Easter came and went and I was no closer to moving to NYC than I was to moving to Antarctica. I was becoming more and more antsy about moving somewhere but mentally I couldn’t come close to fathoming actually making a move across the country. That was when I took one of my frequent trips to San Francisco. San Francisco had always been in my mind as somewhere to move, but more as the backup little brother that kept nagging that if I couldn’t handle NYC I could always fall back to SF. Little did I know, that was the little brother I needed in my life at that moment in time to give me a minor reality check.  After jokingly (but not so jokingly) talking with my close friends about moving to SF instead of New York, I went home and did the only thing I thought would prove that NYC was better than SF.  The old “Pros and Cons” exercise…..

NYC pros: Incredible city, so much opportunity if I wanted to pursue my photography career, my uncle lives there and I have a few college friends that live there so I wouldn’t be moving blindly, one of the top foodie cities in the country

NYC cons: 5-hour flight home, best friends and family live on the west coast, rent is sky-high, everyone has that artist dream of moving to the city and making it big – what makes me so special, the seasons are extremely dramatic

SF pros: Incredible city, some of my best friends live there, just over an hour flight home to see family, my brother and best friend live in San Diego – another hour and a half flight, seasons are similar to Seattle…just a little warmer with less rain, it’s no more than a two hour drive to one of my favorite places in the world…Napa, one of the most foodie friendly cities there is

SF cons: Rent is sky-high, it isn’t NYC…

The more I kept writing out pros and cons for each city, the more I realized that San Francisco was becoming the clear winner especially when the rent of the two cities was fairly comparable and if my only other con was that it wasn’t NYC, then that really couldn’t count against it. A lot of people I know have talked about having an ah-ha moment and the more I thought about my moving plans the more I realized it was my own insecurities and my own self doubt that was holding me back from making a decision. (Ah-Ha!) I had been at my company for nine years, which is almost unheard of, especially for a millennial, and the thought of leaving my co-workers who had essentially become family was heartbreaking to think about. My parents, who are two of my closest friends, are in Seattle and not having their continual guidance and company was unchartered territory that made me nervous to think about. So if these two things were the only reasons I wasn’t moving to a new state for a new start, then what the heck was I doing? These people were going to be part of my life no matter if I moved within Seattle or to a new state and this was one of the biggest mind games I had to overcome.

Finally, after going back and forth with confidence and then with fearfulness over and over again, I started saying out loud that I was going to move to San Francisco. Hearing myself say that over and over gave me more confidence that I could ever dreamed of having. I started telling my close friends that it was going to happen – and not like the 100 times before when I would tell them, “yeah I am totally going to move to SF.” Not this time! This time I gave my friends and myself a date and was going to make it happen. By publishing it to my friends, it had to be real because who is going to take back a hard deadline and then have to explain that you aren’t actually going because you are too much of a coward?

The moment in time that made the move the most real and with it came the most emotion was when I was sitting at my desk and my dear coworker who is also one of my best friends jokingly asked me, about a week after I decided I was moving, “so when are you leaving me for California?” I had already been toying with how I was going to tell my boss that I was leaving, and constantly feeling a pit in my stomach because I was hiding this huge secret that only a couple of people knew. But at that moment I lost it.  All of the pent up emotion and stress of keeping my “big secret” released and it looked like I just had a major tragedy happen in my life. With alligator tears rolling down my face, she asked me what was wrong and what had happened with the most surprised look I had ever seen on her. I told her I was going to move, but not totally sure when, as I didn’t have a job, a place to live or any solid facts on what might make my impending move legitimate. After talking to her, actually more like gasping and trying to talk to her, this huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders, at least for the time being. Two weeks later, I flew to San Francisco and found a place to live with a friend from college, paid for rent for the month of August (even though I wasn’t moving till the end of the month) and made the move official. All I had to do was tell my boss…

If it wasn’t already hard enough telling one of my best friends and coworkers, telling my boss who had given me a job for nine years of my life was going to be like the final signature on divorce papers. It would make it official and there was no going back. Much like my conversation two weeks before, the tears started before I even got into his office and they didn’t stop even after I was done telling him that I was moving. It was really happening and in three short weeks it would be the end of my PRO Sports Club career. You know that funny thing people do when you look like you have been crying and they ask if you are ok or what is wrong with you? That’s always fun because the tears decide to show right back up again and after about six hours of on and off tears I went home and sat down. A wave of calm, almost numb, came over me and I realized it was going to be okay. The hardest part, telling some of the people that mean the most to me, that I was leaving them for a new start, was over and the reactions people had made any nerves I might have had disappear.

Fast forward exactly one month from my move date, and I am sitting here in a café writing about every emotion and feeling I had when I was deciding to leave Seattle from January 1, 2015 to present. The move has been fairly seamless and so far this city has been nothing but welcoming. There are moments that I am sitting in the living room or my bedroom and think to myself, “what the hell did I do?” (Which I am told is perfectly normal). I have started getting used to my neighborhood and exploring outside of my comfortable ½ mile radius, making myself learn the city the only logical way, walking EVERYWHERE. Every couple of days I get a new flood of emotions where I feel confused, lost, lonely, homesick or impatient (I’m still looking for a job) but then I have moments where I have the greatest surge of happiness, contentment, joy, encouragement and love from everyone that has helped and made it possible. There is a never-ending list of restaurants I can’t wait to try, walks I can’t wait to take, sights I can’t wait to see and people I can’t wait to meet. Taking that leap of faith and realizing I will land on both feet, especially with the incredible support system I have backing me, has been one of the scariest yet most rewarding things I ever done and I am so grateful!

I can’t wait for the new content this city is going to bring for Wine Dine Wander and experiences I am going to have. I would love recommendations for anything and everything this city has to offer, both common and completely hole-in-the-wall. People usually say that you have to give a new city as least a year to give it a fair chance. This city has already impressed me so much that I have a feeling a year will fly by, and I have no intentions of leaving.




© Rachel Davidson and Wine Dine Wander, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rachel Davidson and Wine Dine Wander with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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