Should I move to San Francisco? Every reason in the world to move, and one reason not to.
I’ve been living for about two and a half years in Los Angeles. I’m a Seattle native, and moved to LA for a job after a 3 year stint overseas. I’ve made some close, hard-won friends, but I still don’t feel very at home in the city. Part of me feels that it’s such a vast place that I just haven’t found my “niche”—another part feels like I’ve given it a fair shot.
Recently, I went through a breakup, detailed here
Before I decided to start the relationship, I was looking for jobs in San Francisco, as I had friends in the city and the majority of my extended family in San Jose. I was flying up to visit every few months and taking job interviews as well. On one of these trips, I was staying with a friend, and I met my friend’s new roommate. We started dating, and he broke up with me at the end of July. It was difficult for me, and we’re no contact now. An additional factor is that my friend is no longer speaking to me because I began dating his roommate—we have not spoken for ten months.
Several months ago, I spoke to my boss about the possibility of transferring to the SF branch of my company, and recently I received permission to move whenever I am able to make this more of a reality. The company is located near Union Square. I don’t have a great sense of San Francisco’s neighborhoods, but friends have recommended Nob Hill, Russian Hill, Pac Heights, and the Mission. I’ve stayed with friends in the Mission before and loved it, but don’t have any experience with the other neighborhoods. A complicating factor is that the friend who no longer speaks to me lives in the Mission.
I have several thousand saved up, and am looking for a roommate situation for as high as 1200USD. I understand housing in SF is insane, and am preparing to show up with checkbook and credit report in hand when apartment hunting. It’s a bit early to look (but not too early to plan), as I’m vaguely aiming on moving after the new year because my lease goes month to month after the end of December.
I have a convenient setup in Los Angeles—a studio walking distance to work, gym, groceries, and doctor, for just under 900USD. Creating a walkable, convenient everyday life was a major priority for me, and is one of the reasons I’d rather not move, but I recognize that it’s a relatively small concern in the grand scheme of things.
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM:
If the ex wasn’t a factor, I would have moved up to San Francisco yesterday. As it was, when we were dating I was almost resistant about moving to San Francisco (since I didn’t have permission to move at the time or other job prospects) for fear of moving just for him.
Now, I’m doing all the right things to get over it—hitting the gym, seeing a therapist, taking language classes. I’m not over it, but it’s getting better. Hopefully I’ll be feeling much better by December—it’ll have been 5 months by then, and we had only dated 7 months, long distance. But if I don’t feel better, or feel skittish about the move, then it’s not a big deal to wait a few more months. The last thing I want is to screw myself by moving there too soon and then feel pain at possibly running into him with a girlfriend.
I loved SF every time I visited, but that was because I always stayed with friends—and the one I stayed with most frequently is no longer talking to me. I fear that the reason why I always had such a good time in SF was because he was always a good host, introducing me to friends and taking us out to bars and restaurants. I have other friends and acquaintances in the city, but this is still a fear.
San Francisco is a large city, and I feel like I shouldn’t let this bar me from moving there. At the same time, I fear that the startup world (I’m in online advertising) is pretty insular and my ex would run into each other. And yet—so what if we run into each other? People move on. And finally, there isn’t anything wrong with just staying in Los Angeles for a while. I feel like I’ve waited it out, and given in a fair chance, and want to be in a city that I feel connected to, sooner rather than later.
SUMMARY: Reasons to move to San Francisco: family, friends, career, city life, public transit. Reasons not to move to San Francisco: my recent ex and a former friend live there.
I appreciate any and all feedback—thank you!