Tonight, I flew into San Francisco for a Creating Balance in an Unjust World math conference. I am very excited to be here, but also feeling very strange about it.
On the plane, after a very short nap, I woke up to tiny city lights below. I was very excited to see all those little lights. I looked to the right side of the plane and saw two people holding hands and staring out the window in silence. Both had smiles on their faces. I felt happy for them and envious. I wanted someone to share my excitement with, but the person sitting next to me was passed out and never even said hello to me when I got to my seat.
When I was 3 or 4, my mom used to take me on Dream Flight in Tomorrowland, Disney World. Our favorite part of that ride was when we saw the tiny city of lights, as if we were flying over it. I remember looking to my mom with great excitement, and she’d smile back at me. We’d point out buildings and carnival rides to each other. I wish I could have shared that with someone special tonight.
When I arrived, I caught a shuttle to the hotel. Nobody on the shuttle was talking, but it was a full shuttle van. I spent the ride texting with James and looking out the window at all the old buildings and people wandering the city streets. I saw this sign that said hybrid vehicles pay 25% less for parking. That made me happy. I do love this city, always have.
When I am not in an Atheist state of mind, I think about what my heart believes… in reincarnation. I think that I was once a hippy in the love-in days of San Francisco’s past. I think that was my last life before this one. My first time in San Francisco was 1998, but I had wanted to move here since I was 11 years old. I arrived here for a two week vacation with my dad, and I had an uncanny ability to get around. I had tons of dejavu and knew my way around so well, without ever having been here. There were places in the city that I felt turned around, but for the most part, I was able to get around without a map and even give directions to others.
I knew that I wanted to move here, but it never happened. My dad was going to try to help me afford the move, but finances fell apart and I ended up staying in South Florida for a few more years. Once I was ready to move, San Fran wasn’t even a possibility. Bobby & I chose LA because my dad & sister lived here. It made it easier for us to find work and settle in. I had an idea that we’d eventually move up to San Fran, but our lives took other turns, and we both fell in love with LA (separately).
Now, when I visit, I am happy to see the city I love and connect deeply with, but I am also happy to call LA my home. LA is where I truly belong, and I know I ended up there for a reason. I’ll blog more about that some other time.
For now, I am here in San Fran for a conference, but I am also excited to see a Crumb family member, David, on Friday, see Joe on Saturday night and see Janis on Sunday & Monday. I am hopefully going to be able to go see the Sea Lions, buy some sourdough bread at Pier 39, and take some photos of the city. On Sunday, I hope to go to Q for dinner. I want some macaroni with cheese & tater tots!
I am here for 4+ days, but I am not going to enjoy being the tourist I love being. It’s bittersweet. I am excited to learn about math and social justice, and I want to meet other math teachers and social justice educators. I think this is going to be a great learning experience. But, I also want to roam around San Fran and enjoy the shops, restaurants, cafes, lights, people, murals, sculptures, trollies, and architecture.
I am so fortunate I was raised to enjoy traveling and seeing culture and beauty in every place I visit. I have friends who dislike certain cities and put down those cities as if everything about them was awful. It makes me sad. There is so much beauty and culture in every place on earth. Yes, even in Jacksonville, FL… a city I am guilty of making fun of from time to time. Yet, a few cherished memories take place there. 1. Val True & I had a beautiful dinner at a fancy restaurant in a fancy neighborhood before heading to see Dissolved Like Shadows play at the goth club nearby. It was a great dinner, great fun with Val, and a wonderful show! 2. Weird Al put me on the guest list to see him live downtown. I knew him through my mom, but it was very cool of him to do this for me!
Anyhow, I love traveling. I love parts of all cities, and can find something beautiful and historical and magical everywhere I go. I wish all my friends could do this. I think they’d be a lot happier if they could see all the beauty I get to see. No, I am not saying that I am happy all the time. I just see beauty in everything, and it is very fulfilling and inspiring. That is something I am very proud of myself for… holding true to those great qualities my mom instilled in me at a young age. 🙂
Well it’s 11:41pm. I need to get up at 6 and head to trolly by 7:30am. I better finish my tea and head to bed. Good night world!