One Line a Day in San Francisco

Three years ago, back on March 10, 2013, I bought this “five-year memory book.” It’s a journal where each page is a date, and the page is divided into five sections that represent five years. You write about what happened that day in the first section, and then next year on the same date you write in the next section and so on. Then you can see on one page what you did for five years on the same date.

It was funny to read my entry from March 10, 2013 when I bought the journal and was looking for a job. And I did find a job but would get laid off in less than a year. It would be depressing to be back to square one in March 2014 looking for a job when I felt like I was just doing that last year; I felt like I wasn’t progressing and it was frustrating. It was also funny to see that I applied to Jobvite on 3/10/2014 because it’s a competitor to the place where I work now. (I completely forgot I applied there; I applied to so many places.) Later that year I found a gig at Dictionary.com but by 2015, I was pretty bored and found myself applying to jobs again for a new challenge. I could see how circuitous my journey had been; I was used to looking for jobs, interviewing, getting rejected and getting offers as well.

Then Lever reached out to me at the end of 2015. I never heard of the company but in hindsight, I’m glad I followed up because it was the best opportunity for me; it has the culture and challenges that I assumed other big companies had but in reality don’t judging by what I read in the news. Because these companies have gotten so big, they were bureaucratic and corporate and were dealing with diversity woes, employee layoffs, etc. Had I landed jobs there, I don’t think I would’ve been very happy.

In March 10 of this year, I worked and didn’t come home until midnight. But I was fine with it because I like Lever and signed up for the challenge. I only wished I could do more. It took three years but I feel happy to be where I am with my job and where I live; the set up couldn’t be more ideal.

Jobs I had in SF within three years as represented in mugs.

Writing one line a day is hard because life is just busy. But you do get perspectives on your personal growth. I see how I’m still the same in some ways, and how I’ve changed too. I still find myself getting too impatient and angry more than I would like. I still can’t stick to a stupid workout routine or wholesome diet. But in other ways I’d like to say I’m calmer because I learned to let go of trying to control everything. That’s a sign of maturing, right?

If you write one line a day in SF, you’ll probably write about brunches, drinking, dating, apps, startups, running, hiking, job hunting, Dolores Park, cruffins, yoga, Muni and BART woes, Stern Grove, Bay to Breakers, the Warriors, Mark Zuckerberg, diversity, racism, bicyclists, traffic, nudists, rent, The Giants, Hardly Strictly, tacos, burritos, dim sum, wine, farmers markets, organic and local foods, artisanal toast, coconut water, kombucha, Sunday Streets, coffee, Bi-rite ice cream, gentrification, the tech scene, the fog, impossibly steep hills, and finding gorgeous views all around the city.

After three years, I finally feel like I’m getting used to this stinky, stressful, crazy, expensive, and lovely city; I feel somewhat settled. I look forward to what I’ll be writing in 2017, but I‘m trying to treasure the present for now because I want to enjoy living in this city while I can.

“For me, paradise is a garden, but heaven is a city.” — Sara Miles

My roommate on the roof looking toward Noe Valley.
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