Spring has sprung and there's still snow on the ground, but cheers to my never having to say that again! (The real reason I'm jumping for joy.) Hey, here's that SXSW recap I promised you I'd write. Can't believe almost two weeks have already sped by since the panel, and now we're about to hop on a plane and go meet my brand new baby niece!
If time was a horse, I'd be yanking on the reins and hollering 'whoa'
The kiddo is just over two months out from her graduation date and we are nowhere near ready to sell this house. I'm a little anxious and preemptively bracing myself for what I imagine will be chaos. Concentrated and short-lived, to be sure, but chaos nonetheless. I welcome any and all house-selling advice, so leave your tips and wisdom in the comments. I'll be forever grateful!
Even though I've kept my finger on the pulse of things, I don't think there's a lot a person can do to prepare themselves to go back home when home is the SF Bay Area in 2016.
Years and years ago, when my non-native friends used to pack up and leave, sometimes to go back to wherever home was or try out NYC or someplace else with a faster clip to the daily vibe, I'd just chuckle, roll my eyes fondly and say, "Sugar, I'll miss you, but you'll be back." It must have driven them nuts! I was almost always right, though, they usually did come back, sometimes sheepishly, sometimes just plain relieved. Now that it's my turn — and that was always the plan, it's what we said; "Just four years, it'll fly by" — the city we're going home to is in many ways nothing at all like the one we left in 2012.
When the grass WON'T GET any greener...
No matter how homesick I've been, devouring all the headlines and thinkpieces and studies and research and long reads and snarky local coverage from afar isn't the same as having lived through it.
I can't change that. It isn't enough to say that we're very, very lucky to switch coasts as it pleases us; that's privilege, and as we fix our sights on heading home, acknowledging that is more important than ever.
The truth is that being low-key obsessed with the goings-on of my birth city (SF) and the town that has my heart (Oakland) these past four years has kept me sane. Heartbroken and angry, sometimes proud and often desperate with yearning. But sane. Grounded. Some folks might argue that it kept me from having an open mind about Boston, but I know myself. My eyes are wide open and I'm not quite as naive as I used to be. Which I hate a little bit if I'm honest, but I'm also the one who was so excited to find out who I am outside of the bay.
The obviousness of the answer is (of course) that I'm exactly the same person I've always been — a total weirdo in high femme regalia — except now I better understand how integral to a person's well-being it is to live in sync with her surroundings, not at odds with them. It's the sort of thing you just don't know unless you go out and live it, for better or worse. Now that I have, I'm very, very ready to go back to my clan of fellow weirdos and social misfits.
I still believe that the world is full of us, even though it sometimes seems like it's harder and harder for us to find one another out there. And if you're reading this and you're a bona fide weirdo and you haven't found yours yet, don't give up! It's the best thing in the world when you find each other! I know, I was lucky enough to find a couple right here.
Semi-related, the other day a bi girl came out to me after I "came out" to a bunch of folks at my barre studio (it's in air quotes because I feel like coming out implies some measure of intent and I was just chattering away as usual, in fact it took me a full drive home racking my brain through everything I'd said numerous times before I realized it was "my wife" during a silly story), so that was really sweet and pretty cool. I still think of all the lovely things Texas femmes (and friends) had to say during South By, it was such a big, empowering dose of support and visibility, more than in a long time now. Femmes are the best!