There is no happiness without sadness, and I was reminded of that quickly during my first week of moving here to the San Francisco Bay Area. When I first set this goal to move across the country I thought of all the sweet moments, all the resounding victories, but as time got closer I realized I was actually feeling very sad. Why? Because I realized how much my life was about to change. I will be saying goodbye to friends that I’ve known since childhood, I will be saying goodbye to family that loves me. I will no longer be able to walk the streets that I know like the palm of my hand, I will no longer be able to tell tourists where to go, or give recommendations of places to go, because I will be that new person.
Today marks the end of my first week here in the Bay Area, and I couldn’t help but feel a little sentimental as I settled into my new apartment. After a fun filled week with a friend visiting from NY, I am now truly alone in this new city. Although certain parts of this town seem familiar to me, most of it is unknown. The unfamiliarity and loneliness was unsettling, but even after just a week, this city is starting to look brighter, the people are looking friendlier, and the streets more welcoming.
Although I’m still in the same country, the distance from home definitely hit me today when I was asked by a cashier for my zip code. I started to reply “1…” because that’s how my zip code has always started, but then I realized I was no longer in NY and that my zip code actually started with a 9. I had to pause for a second and pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, that I was really here, and I’m building a new life in a new home.
That moment itself was worth a thousand doubts.