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October 2, 2013

One Year Later (an introspective post)

Today is the one year anniversary of VU Day, also known as my (voluntary) unemployment. A year ago I left a very cushy job at a huge corporation to take some time off and do, well, whatever crossed my path and piqued my interest. After six years of long days and nights in the office as I busily climbed the corporate ladder, I wanted to take time to stop and smell the roses.

I explored New York. I did some things. I wrote some stuff. I went some places. All of which were completely and utterly awesome experiences.

And after seven years in NYC, I drove cross country and made my way back home to San Francisco.

Except what I found when I got here was that it didn't really feel much like home now. Outside of a summer spent back here in college and various trips home for holidays, I hadn't lived here since finishing high school, and man, things were different.

I didn't know people. I didn't know places. And let me tell you - it was hard.

It's still hard.

I think at the center of it was just not knowing my place in this new world. My family (whom I love) is here, but I had next to no friends in this area. So, for social purposes, it was like moving to a foreign country where I happened to speak the language.

And, now that I think about it, that's freaking scary.

I took this photo in Istanbul this past April on one of my trips. Unbeknownst to me at the time, it's actually part of a larger street art campaign by the artist Curtis Kulig. What drew me in was its simplicity and the honesty behind the message because, really, isn't that really what all of us want: to find someone to love us?

But I think first, before you can expect anyone else to love you (or, in my case, care about becoming friends and socializing), you have to love yourself. I'd been so used to my social circle in NYC - where I knew people; I had people - that not having those people around me or things to do really took me by surprise. To be completely frank, I felt pretty lost for quite some time.

So did I find my way?

After tackling a span of self-doubt (did I make the right choice to move back? why did I leave all of that behind?), I got back to doing things that I enjoyed without regard for who was doing it with me or why I wanted to do it. I regained self-confidence that I'm a pretty damn awesome person (and, even if I still felt crappy sometimes, fake it til you make it, right?). How? I stopped caring what would happen to me here in this new city...and sought out stuff I just enjoyed, period.

I've always been pretty comfortable alone, but coming to a new city and being truly, actually alone threw me for a loop. It made me question myself, and while self-exploration is usually a good thing in the end, it's a difficult thing when you're in the midst of it. So I basically relearned how to get comfortable with myself and spending time with me.

And it has helped. It really has. I enrolled at the junior college to explore some other areas of interest. I spruced up my resume and have been discussing possible career options with one of the instructors. I joined some Meetup groups for stuff I love doing *coughs* karaoke *coughs*. =) I reached out to some people and things are just...better now. After a couple of months of a word drought, I even started writing again, which is a bit of a relief.

Anyway, this post is pretty emo for me, but I wanted to explain my absence and show my appreciation for all of you guys who have stuck around during my marked dearth of posting in the last couple of months. I've been gathering my bearings, as you can see, and just trying to figure things out.

The takeaway, then?

Change is change. It's scary, even when you're the one to introduce it into your life. But have confidence in yourself and things will almost always pan out. And, until then, fake it til you make it because, chances are, nobody else can tell the difference...even, eventually, including you.



  1. Well I think you're pretty awesome and I've never actually met you! Glad that things are getting easier with you Nico - I say San Francisco is lucky to have you. :)

    Oh and karaoke - you're taking that to V!

    1. Thanks, Lori! <3 Yes, karaoke will definitely be happening at V - and we'll Skype you in to prove it. :D