I’ve moved around a lot in my life that it’s easy to lose track. And by a lot, I mean moved pretty much every three years since I was born. Born in Clark AFB, Philippines, then exactly three years later, around the time your Uncle Paulo was born, we left the islands and moved to Texas. Since then, like clock work, Dad would get the orders from the Air Force to move to a new place every three to four years… and so my adventure begins.
I’ve lived in Okinawa, the Philippines, East Bumble F&ck Louisiana, New Jersey, and Shitballs Texas just to name a few places. I remember we almost moved to Minot, North Dakota at one point. If you don’t understand the significance of that, imagine moving to Siberia. I can still remember the looks on our faces when Dad made the announcement. Luckily Dad had an option to choose a much lesser pathetic place to move too.
Ok so I didn’t always live in ideal places, but there were places that I feel very fortunate to have experienced. There’s a certain awareness or insight you gain living outside of the US. And because of that I look at life differently, which allows me to live my life differently… in comparison to those that have lived in only one place all their lives. Not necessarily saying it’s a bad thing, but your paradigm shifts when you realize that where you are at this very moment, is not the center of the universe. I encourage you to move around if you ever get the opportunity.
I’ve moved around to a number of other places after high school. I can still remember the grief . Let’s see, I attended 4 high schools… almost every transfer would happen right in the middle of the school year. One of the transfers was from a military school overseas to a US Stateside public school. I wasn’t cool and my school clothes proved it. So do the math. When you complain about how much you hate high school, imagine what I had to go through.
The nomadic lifestyle is a big part of who I am. I continued the tradition of moving around every three years after I graduated high school. Moving was second nature for me. I never hesitated to just pick up my things and go. I didn’t really have a lot of money back then, so I really don’t know how I managed to survive. I look back now and reflect on some of the choices I made and I honestly don’t understand how I’m sitting in front of this computer writing you a letter.
It wasn’t until I met your mom that I appreciated the importance of establishing roots. I moved to San Francisco around 2000 to be with your Mom after meeting her in New York City earlier that summer.
So the third year comes around and sure enough, that familiar angst returns. That natural clock inside me goes off and the urge to start over (again) lingers in the back of mind.
I love your Mom and I knew I had to stay. But aside from all that, San Francisco made it really easy for me to want to stay. For once in my life I felt at home… a feeling that I’ve never felt in my entire life, and I loved it. It’s that feeling of driving into the city and seeing the skyline for the first time after being away for so long and feeling at peace.
I’m very proud that I was able to overcome a lot of obstacles to establish roots here in the Bay Area. But I’m even more proud that I was able to give you a beautiful city you can call home. I hope you discover the same energy I came to know of San Francisco, and inspire you in some way to start your own adventure, just don’t ever forget about home.