For a little over a month I have been living a thirty minute BART ride out from San Francisco yet have only gone into the city a measly four times. Why is that? Well, mostly because I’ve been grappling with the irrational fear that everyone here is after me and that I’ll be attacked immediately after putting my guard down. Now, you might be thinking the use of caution while traversing a big city is not unwarranted. I agree with you, however, the reason I’m finding this fear strange is that I have no trouble wandering other large cities like New York City. Meet up with my friend for dinner a few back alleyways from Times Square? Okay! Walk to a tiny bar at the heart of Chinatown in the middle of the night with one other girl? Seems legit. My fear of San Francisco seems to be outside the realm of “wow this a big city maybe I should use caution” and something more psychological.
To be clear, I have gone into San Francisco by myself. Last week I met up with a friend for lunch in the Financial District and had a really fantastic time. I know what I’m feeling is irrational so I’ve been making myself face the city in an attempt to overcome that feeling. The thing is, more than overcoming my fear; I want to know why I am feeling this way to begin with. I’ve hypothesized that it’s my lack of connection to the city in general. I know New York, have been visiting there since before I can remember and have tons of people I know there. Here, I have a handful of friends, but am otherwise on my own. Another hypothesis is the general detachment I’ve encountered from strangers since arriving here. Dear god, the level non-conscientiousness that people conduct themselves with here is too damn high! It is not going to kill you to look up from texting for five seconds so as to ensure you don’t ram into another human being (then glare like it was their fault). I cannot figure out how I will ever find myself able to wholly befriend a San Franciscan when they in general walk around in a haze of egocentrism.
After looking over what I’ve written I think the issue at hand is exactly what I moved across the country to solve – my dependency on others. I want to be an adult (yes I’m 24 and still don’t consider myself a grown up) who is able to walk into any situation with the knowledge to act gracefully and rationally. Security in my own skin was something I thought I’d developed during college, but perhaps I was wrong. Living away from everyone I know might just be the final step I need to take in finding that grown up part of me. Maybe.
At any rate, I hope I didn’t bum anyone out with this post. If you’ve got any advice or just want to leave your thoughts definitely leave a comment. Thanks for bearing with me and I promise tomorrow will be much more lighthearted!