A collection of silly and insightful musings from my first week in SF
After spending a week in San Francisco, I thought I would keep track of my thoughts from my day-to-day experiences. I didn’t do anything special nor extraordinary. I just chose to notice the things I was experiencing, feeling, and put them down to paper.
Maybe you’ll find something useful here. Maybe you won’t. But I do hope it makes you see what can sometimes be a mundane world, a little differently.
Tuesday 29th May, 2018
I picked up an Uber pool from the airport to my boyfriend’s. My Uber pool partner and I actually start talking. I then realize he sat right next to me on my 6 hour journey. The only reason I picked up on that was he mentioned where he worked and I could see the person next to me on my flight worked at the same company from his laptop screen.
It’s so easy to silo yourself from a person even though you’re sitting right next to them. That’s a scary thought.
We talked travel. Travel seems to be a common (and somewhat overused) topic of conversation. We bonded over our shared love of Japan’s culture, food, and their public transport system. It’s that good.
I tell him I’m starved. He invites me for dinner. I feel compelled to tell him my boyfriend is actually cooking me dinner.
And suddenly I feel uncomfortable and want my uber ride to end. Was it wrong of me to assume? It’s unfortunate I have to default to protection mode even if an advance really could just be friendly.
I see my boyfriend after two months apart. I’m reminded of his warmth, his patience with my impatience, and his amazing cooking skills. But also, damn he is so pretty. Go me.
Wednesday 30th May, 2018
Slow cooking eggs is an under-appreciated art. But as I left to the museum, I realize most art is under-appreciated.
Modern art museums are places where people go, “I could have done that.” Well, guess what. You didn’t.
There’s probably a lot of things you could’ve done but didn’t. It’s easy to judge, to critique, to put down. It’s a lot harder to do and put yourself out there. Perhaps we’d be better off if we saved our judgment.
SF is a lot colder than I thought. I left New England to escape the cold weather. Not walk into a wind storm of it. Note to self: this is not shorts weather.
I really love ice cream. There are only a few foods that make you feel like a giddy kid. In fact, only a few experiences as well. Being an adult (all the time) is just a little too serious.
We should seek out more experiences that bring out the childlike playfulness within us.
I decide to visit every major ice-cream store over the next three months.
Thursday 31st May, 2018
There’s something cathartic about walking through the streets for three hours and not knowing what you’ll find. Giant galleries full of vegetable sculptures that look like skeletons. Persian poems reclaimed with their initial, intended sexuality. A clog stores with a month-long waiting line. A gift store celebrating local artisans — handmade candles, full-cork bags, aroma therapy tea drops.
Human creativity is a beautiful thing. We shouldn’t lose it in our science-forward world.
Friday 1st June, 2018
Friendship fills the soul. It isn’t defined by the time you’ve known someone. Or how often you talk. Or silly metrics really. I’ve come to define friends as the connection I’m able to create with them, be it for five minutes or fifty years.
I walk to SOMA to see one friend. My other friend’s meet up got cancelled so he also suddenly became free. I introduce the two of them.
Maybe the best thing about making friends is helping those friends make other friends.
Some call this the network effect. I call it spreading the love.
My dad arrives. He flew halfway across the world for 24 hours to see me. I’m the luckiest daughter in the world to have a dad who loves me as much as he does. I should let him know that more often.
We could all probably do a better job of letting our parents know we love them (if they’re deserving of that love and gratitude).
Saturday 2nd June, 2018
There was a time I couldn’t imagine introducing my dad to my boyfriend. It’s not something South Asian girls do. It’s really not something South Asian girls do when their boyfriend is white, atheist, from a Jewish family and you grew up in a Muslim family with a small expectation that you’d be with someone within your own creed.
But here we were; eating French food, learning about my dad’s architecture projects, and debating San Francisco landmarks. We’ve come a long way. Although, my dad posted a picture and captioned it, “With Samanee and friend for dinner.”
Little steps. Little victories. That’s what I keep telling myself.
Sunday 3rd June, 2018
I recently got accepted into a women’s society. Our orientation was six hours long. But being surrounded by so many strong, capable, badass women made me reaffirm I love being around strong, capable, badass women.
In all seriousness though, not to undermine my many wonderful male friendships, but there is something very special about being around women who raise each other up and want you to succeed.
By association, you push yourself and become a better person. You start to activate that “potential” everyone kept telling you, you had. And you start to believe in your own badassery.
Find your cheerleaders. When you’re down in the fourth quarter, they’re the ones that will keep you going.
Monday 4th June, 2018
First day of work. Holy cow. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m scared. I’m sort of shitting my pants (figuratively. Mostly).
I’ve never really liked any of the places I’ve worked (and I’ve worked in 8 companies at the ripe old age of 22). But this place feels right. They care. They empathize. They even told me to bring my dad to work and give him a tour!
This is how I always imagined work to be like when you actually like your job. And my co-workers totally didn’t judge me when I told them about my lying, cheating ex and our crazy adventure around the world. TMI? Maybe.
But if I can’t be my whole self at work, what’s the point?
Yet I still have that annoying voice in my head. The one that’s telling me that I really want to start my own company. Make my own rules. Impact the world how I want to. It’s a really tough voice to quiet down.
Can I still function when I have two opposing voices in my head? Guess we’ll find out.
Tuesday 5th June, 2018
It’s been one week. I explored SF with my dad. I’ve set good strides at work. I’ve touched base and made plans with many of my friends. I’m reconnecting with my boyfriend. I adore the women’s society I’m in. I can even walk to work without Google Maps (almost). And I’ve crossed off four ice cream spots on my ice-cream store list.
But there’s still work to be done. I still have to make strides on my business idea, organize events, go to concerts and talks, and do some outdoor adventures. But I got three months to do it all. And even if I don’t, who cares?
I’ve come to see my life as a party, and I’m having a ball.
But what about you?
Keep track of what you’re doing for a week. What are the thoughts you go through? The experiences you want to have?
Life passes us by whether we notice it or not.
So why not try to notice it just a little bit more. You may be surprised with what you find.