Beginning of the end, the end of the beginning

It’s time…the point where I’m meeting the truth of my immediate future; approaching the fork in the road knowing I must turn off one path and split onto another. In two months, I will be moving to South Lake Tahoe (still can’t believe it) to take over the management and operations of my godparents’ restaurant. Freshies is an organic and wholesome Hawaiian-inspired blend of rockin’ cuisine and thriving community. I have watched it grow from the beginning in 2000 and now it’s my turn to help it continue to sustain the fresh food, fun atmosphere and family of staff/locals. And then of course, there’s the upsides of living in Tahoe — a.k.a. NATURE!!

Before the new adventure begins, parting from my job and the city is glaring me in the face. This is definitely the most difficult aspect of the upcoming change. At work, I am sure to miss my tight-knit team, my fabulous intern, the finger-rocket wars, yelling across the office, teaching yoga during lunch, programmatic planning, seeing the youth, never-ending discussions of food , my secret santa and handstands in the middle of the office. The closer I get to leaving, the more profound happiness I feel towards what I do, who I do it with, and the meaningful impact the programs I work for have on youth in San Francisco. For all of this, I am b.L.e.S.s.E.d!!!

On a bike ride early Wednesday morning over the Golden Gate Bridge, as the sun was rising over the SF skyline, it hit me: this is the beginning of the end of my time in the city (for this chapter of my life at least). I find myself starting to say, “I will definitely miss this” more and more often. Although every person I tell about my new adventure is ecstatic –and wants to come visit! — I can’t help but reflect on both the positive opportunities ahead AND the nostalgic memories of what my time in SF has been for me. Lately, I find myself resisting celebrating it and falling into a hole of sadness for what I’m about to lose. But thank goodness for yoga!

This has been over a year and a half of moving, learning, adventure, defeat, victory, love, growing up, betrayal, trust, compassion, honesty — literally the ‘little girl in a big city’ stereotype. Now, moving back to a small town feels awkward because I am so accustomed to city livin’. But I will always look back and acknowledge this part of my life as the fusing link between my childhood and becoming the woman I envision. Thankfully, I have been so lucky to be surrounded by supportive communities at The Mindful Body, JCYC, the various yoga communities, GirlVentures, The Body Positive, etc. that have made my personal transformation possible, inspiring me beyond previous limitations (I’m saving the tears for later).

The bright side is that I’m walking into a community of love and support that has been long established since grade school. I’m returning to where I learned to snowboard at 6, wakeboard at 12, mountain bike, gamble (thanks Erik!), and dress REALLY warm in the winter (minus this one). Coping with leaving behind such a positive environment is comforted by knowing that I will be warmly embraced, challenged and placed in a leadership position where I can fulfill roles I have been building over the past year and a half.

At the same time as starting to say goodbye, I also find myself in the midst of the end of the beginning, where all the planning and dreaming of what is to come will soon become my daily reality. The discussions of my job, the goals for the future, the responsibilities I’m about to take on, all will become fullproof sooner than later. And then, I will thank god for y.O.g.A once again 🙂

It is always the unknown that scares us. We want to have it all figured out and be reassured that we’re “gonna be OK!” That we haven’t gone and f*ed it all up. And as I step into the unknown, diverging from my planned “I am totally in control” path, I will continue to balance the fear with excitement. I will celebrate the city for its diverse plethora of food, happenings, people, non-profits, overall access to fun. Then, I will (hopefully with grace) move forward and embrace the only constant: change. Thanks Gandhi! Whether I’m at the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning, I’m still me. At least that much I can rely on. The beautiful thing is that, as humans, we adapt. So although I can only imagine how I will live my life there and run a restaurant, I can trust that I will adapt. Again, how gracefully is TBD but as Bob Dylan says:

“As the present now will later be past, the order is rapidly fadin’, and the first one now will later be last, for the times they are a-changin’!”

 

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