Goodbye SF: Growing Past Me to We
November 17, 2018
I’m writing to you as you sleep in our hotel room in Reno, Nevada. We escaped out of the deadly air of San Francisco as the wildfires continue to wreak havoc upon us. But this moment is symbolic of much more, for you and me both.
Your mom is in Denver, Colorado. She just saw a house. Not any house, but our new home. We’ll be moving from San Francisco in January to Denver, Colorado — the place you’ll undoubtedly identify as home. Holy shit.
We’ve never owned a home… we never really imagined it — your mom and I are city-folk. We love the convenience, the chatter, the city. But life isn’t just about me and her, it’s about us.
I lived in NYC for three quarters of my life. I was there for my 16th birthday, for my 18th, 21st and many more. I was there for my first startup, my second, and my third. It made me an entrepreneur. It made me a cynic and an optimist. It made me — your dad.
It also made me fight. Every, single, damn, day. It made me defend who I was. It filled me with uncertainty and doubt (and the balls to spit in the face of them). It made me wonder what else there was, in spite of claiming it was everything.
In 2003, I went to SF as an adult (only previously visiting a couple of times with family and friends). By 2005, I was shuttling back and forth. By 2006, I was living there. What San Francisco lacked in size, it more than made up for in heart. The beating heart of San Francisco pumps idealism like ours pumps blood. I never met an ideal I didn’t want to get behind, even if every other part of me knows it’s doomed to fail.
San Francisco is where I found my family, literally with your mother and figuratively with a collection of smart, passionate idealists I’d come to love and hate with equal passion. To me, that’s family.
It was the home of my forth, fifth, and sixth startups — all failures in their own right. But here in San Francisco, failure isn’t always loss and the journey is appreciated for the value it offers. I’ve always appreciated that; it’s given me tremendous perspective.
San Francisco also was the first home your mom and I built together. We became ourselves here, wrapped in the warmth of friends and encouragement. Nothing could ever shake a stick at San Francisco, until now.
San Francisco was never perfect, though, and we’ve grown frustrated with much here. That said, I’m grateful. I want to look back on it, and our friends and found family, with all the grace and joy it afforded us.
I’ve been here a long time now. I held on tight for as long as I could, feeling like there was something I still had to prove. I lived for ideals, thrived on ambition, and hid in my own shadow. But that was all before you.
Now, as a husband and a father — your father — I’m changed forever. My old compulsions have given way to something bigger and better. This decade of intoxicating selfishness is going to be hard to get over, but we’ll have no hangover in Denver.
Moving to Denver isn’t about changing geography, it’s about family. It’s an acknowledgement that while I’m not rich, I’m wealthy beyond belief. It just took a little “papa” to understand that.
We’re moving for us.. to be us. I’ll never regret any moment of my time in San Francisco, just every moment I’m still there instead of doubling down on us and your future. I’m well past content, I’m complete.
I can’t wait for the next chapter in our lives, son. I’m filled with optimism, idealism, every -ism. I know that change is never easy and sadness is the shadow cast by difference, but I can’t bring myself to have any doubts.
It’s funny how fast fools fall in love, but only the wise know they’re fools.
Let’s go home.