Today I bring you a guest post from a lovely blogger I met via the Bloggers In Sin City conference. Her name is Jenna Britton and she’s generally awesome. Enjoy!:
I moved home to Los Angeles from San Francisco in May 2009 and it felt a bit like failure.
I was still smarting from the pain of a nasty and recent breakup just months earlier, and days upon moving home I found out that my former love had already married (yes, MARRIED) someone else.
I didn’t have a job, I was living at home (again) and I was heartbroken. I didn’t have much purpose and it was debilitating. As much as I loved being around my family again, I felt like I had taken a step back, and that was incredibly hard for my Type-A, perfectionist self to accept.
When I first moved to San Francisco in May of 2007, almost exactly two years earlier, I was fresh out of college, starting a full-time job at the PR firm where I had interned for the six months prior. San Francisco is a vibrant, friendly, bustling city that warmly welcomes new occupants. I was no exception. It was the perfect fit for my bright-eyed, twenty-two year-old self.
I quickly made friends and fell in love. I worked hard every day and spent nearly every night out with people I adored. We saw live music at Cafe du Nord, we ate Thai food at Thai Stick and scored the best burgers at Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers. We scoured classic bookstores on Bush Street and brunched with the most handsome of (gay) men at Home Restaurant in the heart of the Castro.
I remember breaking onto the rooftop of the apartment building of the man who would later break my heart, weeks after we first met. We dangled our legs over the ledge of the roof, stared out at the moon and that incredible city and relished in how lucky we were to live there and have each other. It was one of many nights we watched the sun come up and still stumbled into work the next morning.
It was a magical city and a magical time in my life. So coming back home – even to a city and family that I loved dearly – was disappointing. After all of that San Francisco magic, I wasn’t sure what I had left to show for it. There was the crippling insecurity of a broken heart, the dangerous uncertainty of being without a job, the gnawing feeling of failure that comes with relying on your parents once again.
Eventually, though, I managed to get a few freelance jobs, which led me to the full-time job I hold now at an incredible San Francisco-based PR firm which opened an office in my hometown. Eventually, I fell out of the sadness that accompanies the dissolution of any romance. It turned into anger, then indifference, and finally (finally!) a confident feeling of platonic affection for someone who had once been so dear to me. Eventually, I realized that as incredible as San Francisco is, I was the one who had made my life magic – the city just played the perfect backdrop. And eventually, as I spent more and more time back in the city where I was born and raised, I came to find that magic again.
Because it was here that I found love and I found my purpose. I found my home.
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Jenna is a public relations professional living in Los Angeles. She is also an avid writer, particularly of personal essays. Most recently, her work was published on Salon.com, Forbes, and The Daily Muse. She also teaches a class on Building Your Brand Through Social Media at Writing Pad LA. You can follow Jenna on Twitter at @jennanicole or find her occasionally musing at SplendidReally.com.