I haven't written about San Francisco in a while. Maybe that's because I haven't wanted to. My views of the City by the Bay, the Bay Area, and California have evolved significantly in my second year living here. Once the honeymoon period waned, I began seeing things more clearly.
My thoughts and views of this place are difficult to articulate, but many feel the same way. The general sentiment seems to be shifting from overall amazement to daily frustration. Life as most people know it is difficult here. The basic necessities are too often out–of–reach for most people.
Whether it's ridiculously high rent or dealing with a mentally unstable landlord, all too often it feels as though the city, and even the state, doesn't want me here.
I think there has been a shift in the way people in San Francisco, and the Bay Area, view the city. People seem to agree that the city is changing, but not for the better. Much of the diversity of culture in the city is being forced out as the wealth, mostly from the tech industry, moves in. Many people who can't afford it are moving to Oakland or elsewhere in the Bay.
I have also noticed a shift in the way SF blogs are writing about the city. There seem to be more articles being written about how the struggles of living here are affects people's lives beyond the present. Many people move here every day for the opportunity that has largely come as a result of the tech industry, but people who have been here a while are realizing that this place is not conducive to building a life.
HotPads also recently posted Urban Renters Put Lives on Hold. The titles sums it up nicely, but the following quote from an SF renter in her mid-30s is poignant:
I could not agree more. I do not doubt that SF is the best place for me professionally to build my career, but there's more to life than a career. At least, I want there to be more to my life than my career. Aside from a career, I'm not sure how much else is here for me.
In many ways I moved to San Francisco to jump-start my career, but that was not the sole reason I moved here. I needed to take a leap, to get away from everything that was familiar, and to do something different. I needed adventure, opportunity, and healing, and this place definitely provided that.
Now that the healing has taken place, I am ready to move on the the next phase of my life and growth as a person. That sounds pretentious written down, but it's true and I'm not sure how else to put it.
The decision to move is still among the best things I've ever done with my life. I'm just trying to figure out my next step.