San Francisco at Dusk. March 2020 (Portra 300)

I fall in love with cities, more so the people. Wherever I go, I find myself present. Then I leave to the next with no expectations, still lingering in the former on repeat in my mind and ringing in my ears. The best part? I find myself constantly surprised in the new by the foreign atmosphere, aura, and people. I record for myself new memos: James singing Johnny Cash in Deerfield Beach, Florida, windchimes shingling in Macon, Georgia, guitarists riffing off at Sarasota Open Gap Preserve in Palo Alto. Soon, the wistful memories dissipate. I then begin to synthesize pieces of time and expenses for my next visit, another small window of opportunity to re-visit those beloved cities. Planning my extensive move, time and time again, I find myself combating a natural daunting impulse within me to re-locate myself wherever I have fallen in love with.

Yet this city, this place, filled with the ocean humidity and sweat of those rushing on and off Bart into Hayes valley from Berkeley Square and filled with hungry young artists and engineers, has continued to entrance me since 2016. It always has. I’ve never stayed as long as I would have wanted to in this city. Yet, I have untouched memories here: running onto the Bart to visit old college friends in Berkeley, getting hands-on a Boxoffice ticket for an A’s game, catching that last CalTrain to Palo Alto, getting a flat in Tiburon, serendipitously being offered a place to stay in Chinatown with that Yale kid you met at Spring Fling, and soaking in the dewy rays in Mission Dolores.

The swell of the intellectual hustle and soul-grounding history of Asian-Americans welcomes me home. The growing hubbub of art and culture refusing to be held back, roped by tradition but thrust forward by innovation, ingenuity, and inclusion, makes me excited. The lingering remnants of Asian immigration weaved into the Wild West fabric gives me hope that there is more to be done: that there is space for me to make my mark.

Today’s thoughts just overall linger around excitement. I got into a class that I believed would make or break my academic career. That one class you knew would transform your perspectives and challenge your pre-existing conditions, leaving you to ask yourself what will you change for the better? There’s something that keeps me on my toes, making me envision the future that could unravel and take place all in this city.

That’s all. More food for thought.

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