(I wrote this my second day in San Fran and forgot to post!)
Here it is, my first WestÂ trip in 6 years! I can’t believe the last time I smelled the Pacific was after my first year at New College; I spent the summer working in Seattle and then spent two weeks in Los Angeles and Palm Springs before the return to Florida. Before that, I think my last San Francisco trip was with my mom at the beginning of high school…? Could it have been 10 years ago?
Quite a bit has changed for my friend Kevin and his husband Bob since then. Marriage, new home, new child (Niah!). Kevin’s business is now a 38-person force in the real estate, design, consulting, and investment scene of the Bay Area…and Bob is an accomplished CMO at a major publishing company. They live in a wonderful 3-level home at nearly the top of Diamond Heights, with a fantastic, unbeatable view from every room.
My initial, first-18-hours reaction is of excitement and slight intimidation. People here seem to be fully together, professional, and ambitious…not unlike the people I meet in New York or Washington DC. Only here, they’re happier, calmer, and they are willing to mix work and play…knowing the boundaries and how to accomplish both without either suffering. Often I find that in Tampa, no one mixes work and play (work 9-5, play 5-9), and few people consider their job fluid with their social lives or friendships. The attitude here could all be a reflection of the kinds of people Kevin keeps company with, but I have a feeling it is a wider-spread phenomena than just his business.
I came out here looking to meet people, friends, and potential business contacts. That could all happen…but my desire is to first reevaluate my skills and motivations to understand where I might fit in. Being young and professional in this city seems like it would be a lot of fun, but succeeding will require patience, genuine attitude and personality, and skills that are in demand. What are those skills? I will find out while I’m here.