Story 9. Leaving the Bay
I’d stopped caring about the pastel colored houses against Karl the Fog. The magical hues that once warmly blended with the heavy, thick San Francisco air had lost their charm. Every day I ran into similar people with familiar thoughts and ideas. And I vowed that I’d soon leave the city behind.
But circumstances made me bring my two dogs up from my parents’ house.
Then, I started taking early morning walks every day two weeks ago. Well, it all happened inevitably as they whimpered and scratched at my door. Afraid they’d wake up my roommates, I ran out in half pajamas, stuffed them in the backseat and just pressed the pedal.
Every day, I (at first) begrudgingly drove my two newly relocated dogs and myself a few miles away from my normal route.
First, I revisited Berkeley, my second home, my sweet alma mater. I took my dogs to where I fell in love, my favorite bakery in town, and places I’d droop my shoulders low to talk to my best friends about feeling not myself.
I wanted to share with them all the beautiful places where I sat with my heartbreak, heartburns, headaches and a heavy heart.
When the weekend came around, we drove further away, away and away from the mid-afternoon Bay Bridge traffic to free ourselves on trails near the Pacific Ocean and hop to Ocean Beach to cool down afterwards.
I began to see the cotton candy skies and relished the everlasting sunsets that set the mood for the rest of the evening.
My accidental journey with my two tourist dogs has been a rewarding one to say the least. They helped me rediscover my love for the Bay.
No, I’d always been in love but I just had to remind myself.
Instead of complaining, I just had to wake up an hour earlier and go explore, make mistakes and do it over and over again to see what I’d been blind to see.
It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. -T.R.