Once again, here we are at the beginning of another month, and I’ve unintentionally neglected to write again. I miss writing, and I miss the discipline that I had with it over the past few years, but, like with all things, I’m trying to be easier on myself with accepting that sometimes, other things are in the way. I’m still here though, I promise.
In the highlights reel version of life these days:
It struggled to really ‘be spring’ in the Tahoe parts, and (I really haven’t written anything in this long?!) it spontaneously dumped one final snowfall on April 15th, and I played hookie on a Monday to explore the powder at Alpine with ski friends Gretchen and Julie. It was well-needed; Gretchen and I had managed to (by chance) hit the other crazy powder Sunday of the season a few weeks earlier up at Northstar, and I feel like those two days made up for the lack of other days.
While Squaw and Mammoth were still open through May and we kept having the best intentions of going… the skis have been replaced by golf clubs, and that’s kind of okay.
Somehow we again hit that once-quarterly time where I get to see my coworkers in full, three-dimensional form and not over type or grainy, sporadic internet connections. Over the past year, as engineering has grown, these have shifted to twice yearly team-only gatherings (instead of all of us in San Francisco). I’m currently on a very small team (focused on a very specific area of the customer-facing business), and our self-imposed criteria of a “somewhat tropical city, maybe with some Spanish flair, passports okay” landed us on cheap flights to Mexico City for the week.
Mexico has never really been on the ‘places I’d like to see’ checklist (for whatever reason, that list is quite low these days – I feel like I’m in a burnt out phase of enjoying travel that’s probably a product of no longer being young… but that’s a digression), and I had no idea what to expect. I was a little nervous, and given Americans aren’t extremely popular in Mexico in general at the moment, and that I speak very little (read: no) Spanish, in my mind I was equating it to that time I went to Morocco with Zoe during second year of uni where despite my best efforts to appreciate the culture, I was terrified. I had one, extremely vivid anxiety dream early on after we decided we were going there in which my three teammates and I were desperately trying to find a bathroom in an open market (oddly the one Spanish phrase I do know)… but that was all I was going by.
I was very pleasantly surprised; we stayed in an Airbnb in an older, nicer section of the city, and I was struck mostly by how green and leafy everything was. It reminded me of a (much) larger version of Charleston, with neighborhood-y, cobblestone streets and colorful architecture and large parks throughout, and at no point did I feel slightly uncomfortable or unsafe. It helped that my one teammate is Mexican and so could fluently communicate and had some insider knowledge of where to go and what we could do.
We mixed a good amount of work in with city exploration (by running, hitting the anthropology museum, seeing the ballet, and dining at extremely fine establishments), and trekked out to Teotihulatan to see the pyramids. I feel like I got a good overview of Mexican culture, although I know what I saw was very biased to what the upper-class lives. I’m glad we picked there to go.
I overnight tripped down to the Bay last month to take T into work with me. She watches me work from home all the time and has a general idea of what I do now, and so I’ve been hoping there’d be a reason to bring her to the office to see what it’s like at some point. We crammed a lot into our 24 hours there and hit a good mix of seeing some SF highlights in between without too much crazy city-crossing (…I am getting better about not making people ride bikes to Sausalito and back and then walk across the city). I had so much fun; even when I’ve struggled with going back to the city since moving away, I still get this engulfing, warm feeling when I am there, and I love sharing all of my favorite parts, and watching her wide-eyed excitement and amazement at it all was just really cool to see.
And finally… in the middle of all of that (and the other normal day-to-day craziness)… I am now officially a homeowner?! We’ve been sort of half-looking for a bit now and had been waffling around what to do and where to go, and kept coming back to staying where we are. We’d talked to the owner of the house we’re renting about buying it before in loose terms, but we asked him for real, and suddenly it went from ‘maybe we could do this’ to signing a contract two days later. It took awhile for all of the financing/appraisal/etc to go through, and it’s a bit weird to go from renting something to suddenly owning it and not having to do the whole moving thing… but it’s finally starting to feel exciting. The good part is we know what we’re getting, but I have a growing list of smallish renovations to get started on. It’ll be an exercise in patience for me to get through all of that…
The whole thing doesn’t feel real though, in the way that I still don’t really believe that this is where my life has ended up right now. Six months ago, when I was still in the throes of handing a huge chunk of my salary away (and at total breaking point with it), it never felt like anything was going to end… and then it did, and things started to really fall together, and I still feel like I’m in a movie that is not real.
I found out one of my running friends up here, Julia, was killed in a car accident on Memorial Day… and it was hard. I met Julia a few times after I moved up here, and – as she was one of the few people my age here, who had a love of writing, crazy adventures, and weird medical things – she was one of those people I instantly connected with. I’d last seen her at a Christmas party, where she and I had ended up holing up in a corner for HOURS in an intense conversation that covered every area of life, and had left with plans for things once the snow cleared and we all reemerged from hiding. Literally the day before I was running and thinking of her and almost texted her – I wish I had.
We had a somewhat impromptu trail race on Saturday for her, where we climbed straight up and ran straight down in King Beach, which was the perfect way for our group to honor her. Even though I’m running much less these days (which is a good thing), I’m still grateful for this community up here.
And… that’s all for now. I have some non-this-is-what-happened posts in progress, but I’m gearing up now for the end of school busyness and well-spaced out summer travel and events. We’re about to take off on a mini-southwest road trip (aka Le Tour de Mickey et Parents), and I am really looking forward to disconnecting and getting away.
How is it summer?!