Hi, babes. I’ve missed you! Ugh.
I have had a very challenging past few months and I feel like I’m finally ready to share them with you.
Firstly, I’m no longer living in San Francisco. It feels good to type that, I’ve kind of been avoiding the reality of it. I could type for hours, the love I have for that city and how heartbroken I am that I left it behind. Instead, I want to take a more positive approach and recognize I am not the type to stay in one place too long, and it was only an amount of time until I would find myself leaving that colorful city. And I plan to harness the memories and friendships I made there forever. (And also plan to come back and visit, a lot.)
Now, you might be asking yourself – “Cody, if you love San Francisco so much, why didn’t you just stay?” and the answer isn’t so simple. The months leading up to my departure, I was really unhappy in some areas of my life. I wasn’t feeling valued at work, a couple of my friendships had crumbled, cost of living was insane. And I had spoken about moving back to Southern California really soon after my move there. It wasn’t til my lease was creeping up on me that I realized… fuck, I love this place! And in hindsight I wasn’t very prepared to make any alternate decisions. (But this taught me a few lessons which I am grateful for.)
On June 30th, my lease ended. 13 hours worth of driving later, I made it to my AIRBNB Phoenix, AZ – where I would be living for the next couple months (tentatively) til I found a place. Why Arizona, you ask? I wish I had a good answer for you. (Lol.) Some personal reasons contributed to it, and I believe the decision was impacted by my mental state at the time. It’s been a really tough transition and has left strain on my self confidence and overall self. I identify so much with California and it’s culture, it feels so weird that 12 years later, I no longer live there. However I have always seen myself out of California, for some amount of time, until I ultimately ended up back there. I gain so so so much from moving around, indulging in new communities, discovering new cultures. Well, would you look at me making this all positive. *Wink*
As far as constants go, the only thing I was sure about with the move was the job I’d secured in the area. The day before I left SF, at a goodbye breakfast with my friends, I received an email saying the position I had lined up was no longer available. AKA, I’m unemployed. What? I’ve had a job since I was 17 and have been financially independent since the day I got my first paycheck. So needless to say, I was stressed the fuck out. I got bills to pay, sweetheart. I’m not playing around.
I did something crazy the night following my long drive. My dear friend and I decided at 2 AM on FaceTime, that I’d get on a plane to NYC at 9 AM that same morning, just 7 hours later. That’s a story for another time (post coming soon bb’s, stay tuned). So this is one of the silver linings, I can’t remember the last time I’d been able to travel without work looming over my head – I took a few days away from work hunting to clear my mind and experience the city fully.
The week and a half following the NYC trip was when things got a bit darker. I was on a desperate search for jobs, couldn’t find one that fit well for me, only got a couple interviews. My depression had started creeping back and my anxiety had peaked. (I realize this is the first time I’ve spoken about my relationship with mental health on my blog, and I plan to dive deeper into this in the future as I believe it is so important to bring exposure and clarity to an otherwise taboo topic.) I was ashamed, embarrassed, discouraged. I stopped feeling motivated to look for work, though my anxiety wouldn’t let me take my mind off of it. I didn’t feel like I had anyone to talk to and began isolating myself. Why had I worked so hard, only to end up back here? I thought I grew past this? What’s wrong with me? Will I ever be happy? These were the questions I was asking myself amidst the other insults I was internalizing.
It was not until I finally reached out to a friend about how I was feeling that I remembered I was not alone. You’ve gotta do it, kids! Lean on your friends when you need them, and offer the same in return. Cry with them, laugh with them, check in on them. Everyone is going through something and it’s our responsibility, especially in a time now with social media and the facade it establishes, to be real and vulnerable – with the people we love, the people we just met, and even strangers.
Gosh. So, now present day. Still don’t have a job, but have two pretty solid leads. Slowly getting used to the heat, getting back in the gym, trying to live more in the moment and try to enjoy my time without working. Still trying to get rid of my awful tan lines from Dolores Park.
It feels silly for me to type the challenges I am facing because I tend to try and be very positive online because I know it helps people, and it helps me stay more positive. But what I’m doing now can help people as well, and that’s my motivation to continue to shine a light on mental health and my experience with anxiety and depression.
So. I’m living in Arizona now. We will see how long this lasts, and if your boy can handle the heat. I’m honestly a bit scared to post this because this is the most ‘real’ I have ever gotten on this blog. I wish I could hug all you that are reading. You are never alone. Ever. If you ever need someone to talk to, you’ve got a friend in me. Slide in my DM’s and let’s chat.
All the love, Cody.