what an odd time
The year of 23 (something something Michael Jordan) has definitely been weird. It kicked off with a gradual and painful acceptance that I would uproot myself from Austin. For mostly selfish reasons (who am I kidding, it was purely for selfish reasons), I wanted to experience moving away from the comfort of Austin while being relatively young (quarter-life crisis: a common phenomenon ravaging all of my peers and I which pushes us to do uncomfortable things that society usually deems exciting and memorable, note: I’ve bolded those two words because they are quite subjective. For all it’s worth, talking about moving to another city could be over-played), so I decided I would be safe in a city that values my career track (P.S. I don’t even like the idea of jobs anymore, but that’s a whole different story that involves me sitting at a bar and talking for hours). In hindsight I was wrong, and needless to say — San Francisco has been an interesting rollercoaster that’s educated me far more than I expected.
the good stuff
Thanks to working at a book store on the side, I’ve met many different artists (from writers to painters!) who have changed my realm of thinking. I’ve experienced what it’s like to hike an amazing national park on zero sleep (Yosemite you’ll temporarily have my heart despite being such a goddamn tourist attraction), have met amazing people that I live with (shoutout to my roommates for harboring me despite the fact that I float in/out of the apartment and surprise y’all in a ghostlike manner whenever I’m home), and being able to be by my wonderful family — who have managed to con me into constantly traveling to see them despite not having a car. The great part though, is that I get to hold my nephew or niece, which is nice because then I get to say I was that Texan uncle.
there’s always bad things though…
I’ve had my heart torn inside out from witnessing homelessness up front (rent really really sucks here, I once saw a person who seemed normal pull a bike out of a tent — which was his “home”), I have seen many people ravaged by mental illnesses in the streets (come sit on the bus and hang out, it can get pretty wild there sometimes), and I have seen the hostility that is warranted against software affiliates (myself included).
Other awful things:
- Sexism/Racism — I’m pretty sure there is enough data out there to explain this.
- Brogrammers — Likewise^
- Shitty tech — Likewise^^
- Shitty VC’s — Likewise^^^
- The nihilistic attitude towards^^^^ hence the reason for those points being made in the first place.
so where’s the silver lining anyways?
It’s quite an odd time, isn’t it (I ask this question expecting you to say yes, because I’ve essentially answered it myself, haha)? It’s weird being in a city where we’re supposedly always on the cusp on innovation, yet don’t have our shit together when it comes to homelessness, rent, and general kindness (I get the feeling a lot of people here are actually kind of mean. Or maybe I’m too much of an annoying Texan now and am being overly pedantic / rude myself? Oh shit…). It’s weird seeing extreme situations of people suffering, yet being so desensitized to it. And it’s hard to stay positive when all of this is going on (I think I need to start seeing a therapist, but most of us really should anyways, they actually seem quite nice).
However being the general optimist, I wholeheartedly believe there’s room for change. I’m confident in myself and everyone around me that I’m not the only person feeling this way (otherwise this would be the only article out there addressing these topics, and shit that would actually be kind of cool…). And consequently, I believe that our desire for change and humility will pervade through the rest of society.
alas (I was told never to use this in writing because it sounds silly, but it seems fitting in an ironic kind of way)…
I would cite a bunch of crap here for y’all to go ahead and look at the evidence of my above statements, but that’s a lot of effort and takes away from the self-centeredness of this piece. Regardless I do have a quote from one of my favorite authors and will decidedly end with that (b/c come on… quotes really do summarize things in a nice way, and make you feel nice when you read them):
Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today’s risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the “Oh how banal.” To risk accusations of sentimentality, melodrama. Of overcredulity. Of softness. Of willingness to be suckered by a world of lurkers and starers who fear gaze and ridicule above imprisonment without law. Who knows. — David Foster Wallace