When I woke up in San Jose, it was day 8. That meant I had been on the road for one full week. During that week, I made strides in my thinking and started to become more conscious about what I’m doing not only on a day-to-day basis but a minute-to-minute basis. I began to meditate during this period and also question myself. I’d ask myself “Why do I feel anger here?” Or “Why am I doing this thing, that way?” Through this self-talk I realized that a lot of my problems stemmed from me thinking too much. Once I started examining my own decisions this way, I realized that my overthinking can be minimized my taking a step back. Realizing that one bad decision is not the end of the world and that focusing too hard on one mistake compounds my thinking was huge for me. It allowed me to move forward with my day instead of stressing out on one particular thing.
Leaving San Jose was bittersweet as I was comfortable there and enjoyed spending time with Spencer. However, I was about to see a lot of people that I had left behind in my second home, San Francisco. First, I needed to see Berkeley. I had never spent much time in Oakland when I was going to school and as a result, I had never seen UC Berkeley. Going on these campus visits was humorous for me since I felt like an old man walking around but I’m so glad I did it or else I would have never seen how cool Berkeley is. It was a school day so hundreds of students were milling about the campus going to and from classrooms, dorms and other buildings. As I walked through campus I couldn’t help but feel a sense of history and pride there. The buildings were old and spread out all over campus with nature making its presence felt wherever it could. That was the coolest part: it was like the school decided long ago to let nature take its course and they would build around it. I walked around campus for about an hour and half just taking it all in.
After leaving Berkeley, I made my way out of Oakland, towards the Bay Bridge and the city of San Francisco. I had plans to pick up my college friend Noah from his work at City Hall. Once I swooped him up, we got back in the car but it was rush hour and cars were packed along every street downtown. As I was driving, I felt an enormous car on my left that felt way too close for comfort. I looked in my side mirror just in time to see this huge tow truck swerve out of his lane and into mine. It happened so fast that all I could see was the frontside of his truck smashing into my passenger door. We pulled over and I got out preparing myself for the worst. I was able to open the door without a problem (good sign) and when I finally looked at the damage, it was only a dent with 3 little scratches (great fucking news!). My truck was fine and drivable and I could continue on with my day (the best news!!). (Sidenote: I never got the that tow truck company to pay for the damage).
After that ordeal, I was shaken up. I was happy that it wasn’t worse though and I was happy to be in the city that I love. San Francisco became a second home for me once I went to college. It was so different than Orange County and in the beginning, everything was exciting and new. Even after the allure had worn off, the city stayed exciting for me. Once I knew where to go and where I wanted to be, everything fell into place. I also met some amazing and great people there. People I would have relationships with for the rest of my life. One of these was Noah. I sent out a text to everyone I still knew in SF saying that I was coming up that way and Noah texted me back within the first 15 minutes. He was excited to see me and host me and that made me feel great. Just like with Spencer…we hung out, drank a little beer and we talked. We had some tremendous, life changing talks about our future and what we wanted to do and the whole night inspired me. In addition to our enlightening conversations, the backdrop of his living room was the city. Noah lived on Twin Peaks which is this group of hills in San Francisco that overlooks the city. You could see all the way to Oakland and the entirety of downtown from Noah’s living room. It was a breathtaking view.