As 2011 sets in, I find myself curled up on a new couch in a new apartment in a not-so-new city, reading today’s (and yesterday’s) New York Times, and listening to the rain fall against the skylight overhead. A Duraflame log burns in the fireplace, a bar of dark chocolate sits half-eaten on the counter, and a lull of soft music whispers from the stereo. I am cozy, comfortable and perfectly content. I am home.
If you had asked me on this day one year ago – a day spent nursing a mild hangover in a chilly apartment in Valencia, Spain, following a random night out partying with the America's Cup crowd – I never would have predicted I would return to San Francisco. But somewhere around August, one very long year of footloose, fancy free, home free (or more to the point, homeless) adventure became suddenly and completely unbearable.
In desperate search of something that resembled roots, I found my way back to a city that I know well and had once loved. A wide network of friends and colleagues made the return uncommonly easy, and to all of you who are reading this now, I thank you for welcoming me back with open arms. I quickly rented a place of my own and began to settle in – unpacking dusty boxes, unloading suitcases and scouring the internet for furniture. Something along the lines of a home began to take shape, and with it came that invaluable feeling of being at peace.
The first half of 2010 was spent trotting the globe from Valencia to Vancouver to Paris to Dubai, then back again. My passport and suitcase were my most prized possessions. A mere few months later, an apartment of my own became the one thing I needed most. As I reflect on this now, I am reminded - once again - of the simple truth that LIFE HAPPENS. We don’t always know what’s ahead, and we shouldn’t always try to know. Unexpected and unanticipated paths unfold before us, and if we are willing to take notice and walk along, they may just lead us to the one place that is exactly where we are supposed to be.
No... it's no Manhattan. And it certainly isn't Paris. The weather generally sucks, there's no proper subway system, and good luck finding anywhere to eat, anything that's open (or anyone who's awake!) after 11:00 pm. But San Francisco is a special place, and for the time being anyway, it is where I am supposed to be. For the time being anyway, it's my home. And - surprisingly or not - a pretty great home it's turning out to be.