When I take stock of the last year of my life, even the last 6 months, I just have to shake my head and say, “Wow”. I guess you could say I’m in my “Saturn Return” phase– that area between 27-30 years old when a person experiences a wake up call and sobers up to their own foundation and mortality. I knew for a while that I wanted a change, I felt it in my bones and down into my cells, it was all that I could think about. Well, I got it.
In September of last year, I went to visit a friend who had moved from Colorado (where I lived and had spent my whole life) to the Bay Area. It was the moment that I saw the ocean, drove through the fog, experienced the rush of a “big city”, that I began aching (and in my own mind “dying”) to be in or by San Francisco.
–quick note, I realize that MANY people feel that way when they visit SF and my experience is very much shared–
Anyways, on September 21, 2013, we went to a Bassnectar show. As many of my friends and spin students know (I play him all the time in class and refer to him often), he is my favorite DJ and producer, a pure genius. This show was in San Jose and there is no reason that I would be in San Jose, but to see him. Long story short, I meet a guy, I lose the guy in the crowd and by sheer luck I run into him again. I’m not kidding when I say it was love at first sight. Actually, more like love at first feel. I needed to stand next to him. I needed his eye contact. I needed to feel his energy next to me. In that short time that we spoke, I had never felt more understood or connected to another person than I had in my whole entire life.
Back to this long story being short, we fall in love, engage in a long distance relationship for five months, I move to Oakland to be with him. Now we live together with our cat and we have a beautiful life together. Sounds great, yes? My transition has been hard. I’ve had many breakdowns. It’s been six months and I still feel like I’m settling in and dealing with culture shock. I don’t have many friends other than my co-workers and students that I see when I teach (which is actually totally satisfying) and if I can say one thing about the Bay Area, it’s that while it’s great and I really love it here…it’s unapologetic. I don’t have the comfort and security of knowing what’s what and it’s up to me and only me to figure it out. No matter what time it is, there’s a constant buzz in the air. It’s been a humbling adjustment to say the least. I truly feel like I know what it means to live in a fast-paced environment and it forces me to stay sharp.
Breaking into the teaching world here is hard. SF is the yoga capitol of the country, the pool of teachers that have been at it for 10, 15, 20+ years is HUGE. I’m a small fish, a minnow maybe, in a very big pond, no one knows who I am, or cares, and that’s where I’m at.
While I realize that my road is long, I know that I’m doing the right thing. People WILL know who I am, and not because I have some sort of agenda to become famous or have people follow me around and tell me how awesome I am. People will know who I am because I do what I do for my students. I’m capable of helping and changing lives and if my experience in Colorado has taught me anything, it’s that people are all very tender and vulnerable. I can create and hold the space for them to connect to that and own it. I don’t mean for this to sound cocky, rather, I say this with confidence and self-realization. I’ve realized my gift and I own it. I get such a huge f*cking high connecting physically, emotionally and energetically to every person that shows up in my classes. Everything that I do is for you guys and I will be completely honest and raw about my experience.