I've never lived near or in a big city. Tallahassee absolutely does not count.  Although it is the capital of Florida, it is strangely laid out and by no means has the feeling of a big city, or a capital city for that matter. San Francisco is my first big city. I've been told time and again that SF is not that big, but relative to where I've lived it is gigantic!  Skyscrapers, people walking on top of each other, a dozen modes of public transportation, and the occasional naked person (we love our crazies in the South, in fact we tend to parade them around, but we keep them clothed) - that is big city San Francisco so far.  

I have a couple of cousins that have lived here for many years.  We grew up about an hour away from each other, so we knew them fairly well growing up.  As with a lot of relationships that go global, we didn't really keep in touch much after they left FL.  It is nice living in a place with other family. I try to get together with them every so often for lunch or whatever.  It's been great getting to know them again.  Today, I had lunch with Graham.  He works in the financial district so I can just jump on the BART and meet up with him for lunch really easily.  Before I met up with him, though,  I walked around a little so I could start getting a feel for the city.  This wasn't my first time walking around but I've made it a goal to get to know the city better on foot and without my gps (note to self: need to start acting more like a local, and not the I'm-homeless-and-my-best-friend-is-a-blade-of-grass kind).  Anyway, I got off at the Embarcadero BART stop and walked up toward the Ferry Building.  I took a few pics, which are posted below.  
 
 
Your present and your future are shaped by choices you've made and the paths you've taken in the past. Yeah, that sounds pretty good.  You can't be heading somewhere unless you've already been someplace else.  Makes sense.  Sometimes when I look at where I've been it's amazing that I've ended where I am.  The path makes sense for while - grew up in New Smyrna Beach, went to college in DeLand, worked in Ormond Beach, moved to Tallahassee for continuing my higher education - and then the path changes.  

For a long time I knew I wanted to be a college professor.  I had a great college experience at Stetson University.  Ended up with two degrees in a pretty tedious field called accounting.  Luckily, I was able to get a minor in information systems which made up for it, I think.  But I ended up taking a class called strategic management and knew as soon as it was over that I wanted to get a Ph.D. in that.  Well, I went into the workforce in order to gain some real work experience before pursuing the doctorate.  It was ok.  I mostly worked in accounting positions...nothing fancy...but I met some pretty rad people along the way. After a couple of years of those shenanigans, I left the Central Florida area for a more rural, yet metropolitan lifestyle in good ol' Tallahassee. And yes, Tallahassee is metro and rural.  Please feel free to visit there for additional evidence.  Florida State University, home to the Garnet and Gold Seminoles, is the university I ended up starting my doctoral program.  

I shall spare the details, but I ended getting through a little over a year in the program and realized this was not the path for me.  At least not right now.  Perhaps in a few years or many years I'll decide to actually get my degree, but for now I have put it on hold.  Don't get me wrong, I love strategic management.  One year of strategy in a doctoral program is easily, if not more than, the equivalent to a four-year Bachelor degree.  I love the subject, I just didn't love the type of career that goes along with being in academia.  

Before leaving the program I flew out to visit my sister, Laurel.  She moved out here a little less than year before that visit.  The Bay area was the first place outside of Florida that made me think I could live there.  I'd been struggling with continuing in the program prior to visiting, but once I had visited SF I knew that if I made a move this is where I would jump.  Then I did.  It was absolutely the craziest and most impulsive thing I've ever done in my life.  And huge!  I grabbed my cat, India, and we moved out here about a month later.

That's where my path completely changed, and now I'm trying to figure out where the path is taking me.  What kind of a job will I end up with?  Will I start hanging out with a different kind of person than I did when I lived in FL?  Is this place going to be a good fit for me?  Will I ever get used to the sun setting over the ocean? Or will I ever get used to the ocean being on the left when I'm driving north?  Here's to figuring out those answers!
 
 
How does a journey begin?  A thought?  A conversation with a new friend, or perhaps an old friend?  An experience that changes your perspective on life or one that has been lived over and over again?  Every time you make a "significant" change in your life you are probably told that you've embarked on a new journey, or a new chapter of your life.  Finishing grade school and choosing the right university, accepting an internship, the first "real" job, going back to school, choosing a new career path after believing you truly thought the last one was the one, adopting a cat that sat on your lap after having known you for only a few minutes.  Well, these have been some of my journeys.  

I'm not sure when my current journey began but I believe it is the journey I am supposed to be on right now.  There are moments (and at times they are frequent) that I think I made a huge mistake, but there are many more moments when I know it was right decision.  In my mind, and from the perspective of others I have talked with, starting this journey was crazy, huge, brave, exciting, freaking scary, awesome, out of character, but exactly what I needed.

For 27 years I lived in Florida.  I always made calculated decisions (appropriate for the accounting background that I have).  There was no way that I was ever going to move out of Florida. But one day, through thoughts running through my head, conversations I'd had with new and old friends, and experiences so familiar that I didn't have to think about doing them in the moment and others that were completely new, I decided my new journey was to move....all 2,600 miles to San Francisco, CA.  

This blog is not specifically dedicated to my new journey, but it's partly the reason why I decided to start blogging.  So, in this blog, you will find my adventures, experiences, thoughts on anything and everything, and my perspective on each of them.  Thanks for joining me in my head.