In some ways I feel like I move slower than the people here. I think some of that just has to do with moving to a city, but some of it is the difference between the coasts. However, I feel like my mind is clearer and my decisions more carefully made than many people I’ve met.
Everyone here talks much faster and does not pronunciate as clearly. Sometimes it sounds to me like multiple words are mushed together into a single word. Combine that with the amount of international people who’s first language isn’t English, and I have to pay high attention to what people are saying to understand them.
Since I represent the East Coast, it’s interesting for me to try and explain the differences, which I am still figuring out. Some of the differences are due to the youthful population. I have seen very few old people; in fact, at least 90 percent of the people I have met have been under the age of 30. And if I was to guess, I would say I’ve met 50 people in the last two weeks, nearly all of them international, either traveling or recently moved here like me.
Many of the differences I’ve noticed have to do with the young, international culture. Several people have told me that almost no one who lives in San Francisco is from San Francisco. In some ways that is what creates this sense of unity; people have repeatedly told me that I would find a lot of “like-minded” people here, and that has proved to be true.
"Transient" is another word used to describe the city. I get the sense that nothing here is permanent, everything is temporary and subject to change. That is the exact definition of "transient," so yes, that is an accurate way to describe this place.
The idea of everything being temporary is new to me and counter to my nature. For many years now, I have trained myself to design things to be long-lasting and timeless. That was my parents’ mentality when renovating and fixing up rental properties. We wanted to build something that would last and return to us something for all of our hard work.
There is "rental culture" that is prominent in San Francisco. Almost everyone is a tenant, unlike where I’m from in PA where almost everyone is a homeowner. There is a completely different mindset between a tenant and a homeowner. Temporary vs permanent, or something like that.
I think both have their merits. The temporal mentality is good for me at this point in my life. Part of my reason for moving so far from home was to escape the sense of responsibility I felt. My tendency is to take ownership over a situation to steer the outcome. That’s a good trait to have in many cases, but it can leave me with a weight on my shoulders. I couldn’t shake the weight at home, so my family and I knew I needed to put space between me and the situation so I wouldn’t feel that responsibility. I’m happy to say that it’s worked :)