We’re Moving…back to San Francisco!

Two years of life thoughts, crammed into one post.

san francisco bay bridge - photo by victoria mcginley

This post. Oh, this post. How long I have waited to write it. And now the time is here, and I’ve been struggling with how best to explain where we’ve been, and where we’re headed, without totally overwhelming you. Hmm, let’s see.

The Cliff’s Notes version is that we’re moving back to San Francisco at the end of this month! This is a very exciting, long awaited development. We move out of our place on the 27th, and fly back to the Bay Area on the 28th. We’ve already signed a lease on an apartment there, hired movers, and are working on getting our New York apartment rented right now. We’ll move into our new apartment sometime during the first week of April. The move is compelled primarily by the fact that we have been incredibly unhappy in New York, and we are very ready to go home.

The long version is a little more complicated. It’s emotionally and logistically complex, and definitely one of those experiences that’s rife with lots of invaluable life lessons. Yes, it’ll be that kind of post…I leave the Cliff’s Notes version for you above as your easy out. ;)

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There is a moment when both New Yorkers and New York visitors alike, upon finding out that you have moved here somewhat recently, will smile and say to you knowingly, “So, are you loving it?” The expected answer is yes. Always yes.

There was no moment in the nearly two years I have lived here where I could provide those inquirers with the enthusiastic, positive reply they were expecting. The truth is, I never fell in love with New York the way other people do, or at least, talk about doing. It became pretty apparent to me that the love affair would probably never happen — maybe as soon as a couple months after moving here. But here I will defend myself and say that I feel like I gave it as much of a go as I could. I spent hours upon hours in the city jewel that is Central Park; I explored neighborhoods all over the city; got involved with various hobbies that would keep me busy and would introduce me to new people; and built a network of friends who I could spend time with and provide a great sense of community. All of it was good and reasonably fun, but it just never gelled for me. I could never see myself living here long term, for a lot of different reasons, and the anxiety that created felt confining and frustrating. Here I was, 30 years old and with a crystal clear picture of how I wanted my life to look. The reality had the Kelvin filter on it.

Another funny thing about New York: I sometimes get nervous about bashing it. Maybe because there is this weird culture here, where if you don’t enjoy this city, you’re weak, or not ambitious enough, or provincial, or you just “don’t get it.” I hate this part about New York culture. Living here, I would often feel like I was the crazy one, not seeing what everyone else was seeing. This dynamic was also odd because, when pushed, I have found that 99% of people I know who live here will admit that they don’t have plans to stay here long term either. It is an exhausting place, and the quality of life is poor. I grew up in Austin, and have spent years living in both Los Angeles and San Francisco. City life and all its inconveniences are not a novel thing to me. But New York is on a whole different level. I just don’t have the patience for the particular quality/way of life here. Some people don’t mind it, or they even love it, but for me, it didn’t feel like living. It felt suffocating and annoying.

So I’ll end my mini-rant against New York there, lest it spiral out of control, and discuss more about what the journey has been like behind the scenes — because as rough of a time as we’ve had in New York, there were other factors that have contributed to us wanting to move back west.

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san francisco claes oldenberg - photo by victoria mcginley

We arrived in May of 2013. If you’ve been reading the blog since then, you may remember the whole apartment lease debacle. Suffices to say, our transition into life here could not have been anymore chaotic and jarring. But when it was all said and done, we were happy to finally move into our current apartment, settle in, and see how things would go.

A year goes by. I’m still unsure about living here, Joe is still unsure about living here, and there have been extraordinary disappointments and frustrations with his job, which is why we moved out east in the first place. We discussed our options: find a job in (and move to) Connecticut? Look for a job back in San Francisco? Try and stick it out in New York for a bit more and see how it goes? Work in New York, but live in the suburbs? We didn’t really know, and we would vacillate back and forth on what the right decision was for our family, even daily. THAT was exhausting too. It is safe to say we drove ourselves crazy wondering about what we should do.

Things were rough last summer, when we weren’t sure the path Joe’s work would take and where we might end up. He worried; I worried. Into the autumn we went, and it felt like we were just waiting, always waiting, for something to happen. And then something did. Lucy’s paralysis.

I can easily pinpoint that night as the night I was done with New York. We walked home from the animal hospital close to midnight, it was cold, and the streets were deserted. I was walking with my arms crossed, and sobbing uncontrollably — to the few passersby we saw, it probably looked like Joe and I were breaking up. I remember I kept insisting to him over and over, through sobbing hiccups, “If she dies, we can’t leave her here. We have to take her ashes back home to SF.” This whole event with her just triggered something within me. The thought of leaving her here or letting her die here completely tore me up. Suddenly, in crisis, it was clear: both of us absolutely didn’t want to stay in New York anymore.

view of san francisco - photo by victoria mcginley

We started to talk seriously about leaving the city and paying for a move back to SF on our own. Thanksgiving turned to Christmas, which turned to the New Year. I felt like I was losing myself. I would look at old photos from back in San Francisco, and almost didn’t recognize, the happy, smiling person, or the life we led. I had become miserable here, and I wasn’t sure what to do about it. Here’s where my thoughts would circle back to our first year in New York — I felt like I had done the work, all the things one is supposed to do to integrate, and it still hadn’t come together. I beat myself up about feeling the way I did. Was I being negative? Should I just try to be more positive? Did I do enough? Did I give life here a chance? What was wrong? Let’s pause here to add that the second ridiculously cold winter did not make matters any more cheery. I know, this whole paragraph is probably bumming you out. It bums me out too.

Fast forward a little bit — to just a couple weeks ago, in fact. On the last Monday in February, as a family, we decided to pull the plug and initiate a move back to San Francisco on our own. What’s funny is that everything about our move back west has gone so seamlessly, especially when compared to our move out east. It has felt like nothing in our lives has gone right here, so not to sound all new age-y, but I have often wondered aloud to Joe if our energy and New York energy just doesn’t jive, like some weird karmic signal that it’s not meant to be. Conversely, we decide kind of spur of the moment to move back to SF, this one place where historically life always seemed to make sense, and all the pieces just fall back into place with a snap of the fingers. Funny how that works.

So that’s a small snippet of what’s been going on for us over the last year and some change.

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san francisco golden gate bridge - photo by victoria mcginley

Here’s something crazy: I am glad we moved to New York and had this experience. In fact, I’d do it all again, if it meant I’d come out the other side carrying the same life lessons. They’re that important to me. Here are four big ones:

On Support.

In the late winter of 2014, I realized something pretty big: I had not been honest with myself about how much I did not want to leave San Francisco. Hindsight is always 20/20, and when I look back, I guess I wasn’t willing to entertain those thoughts at the time. The fear and uneasiness I had about uprooting our lives seemed natural, like a normal emotion to have when one is moving 3000 miles away. But I made the (huge) mistake of not expressing that uneasiness to my husband, because in my head, that didn’t feel supportive. Joe has been supportive of me chasing after my career goals and dreams, even when they made him nervous and he didn’t really understand them; it felt like it was my turn to support something he had always wanted to do, which was live and work on the east coast.

But one of the biggest lessons I have learned through our time here is that support doesn’t always mean automatically saying yes. Realizing this was a huge lightbulb moment for me. By not sharing with my husband how I was really feeling, he didn’t have the information he needed to also make a decision based on what his priorities were. Maybe we still would’ve come to New York. Maybe we wouldn’t have. But the point is, I think we both would have felt better with saying our piece and knowing where we each stood going into such a big change. I thought I was protecting him from something by not expressing my doubts, but I wasn’t. Too often, I think we convince ourselves that support means saying yes to things, even when they don’t feel good or we don’t want to, because we fear someone’s disappointment in us. In truth, there are plenty of other ways to show support, and also take care of yourself, too. And further, shying away from disappointing someone usually means we take on that burden ourselves, pushing down our own feelings and needs, which only leads to bad things down the road. This is something I continue to think about and explore.

 

Vulnerability is key.

Similarly, making myself vulnerable has been one of the hard earned skills I’ve developed from living in New York. Luckily, it’s also the kind of thing where the more you do it, the easier it becomes. For me, vulnerability has meant asking for help when it’s needed, expressing my needs and true emotions to friends, and putting myself out there in situations — social or otherwise — that might make me uncomfortable, in the name of giving my all to the experience. Being vulnerable in these ways also allowed me to see ways I wasn’t vulnerable before moving here; the result is that I look at my west coast friendships differently, and appreciate things about them I didn’t before I left. I think becoming more vulnerable has made me increasingly grateful for the strongest relationships in my life, and that I return to SF able to be an even better friend. All I can really say here is that putting yourself out there in ways that feel scary will always reap the biggest rewards.

 

Sometimes, you’re just unhappy.

This lesson is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, outside of what has been going on in New York, and have been wanting to write a post about anyway. We live in this culture that’s always encouraging people to be really positive and happy. And that’s a good thing — up to a point. But I think all the inspirational Pinterest quotes — even ones I’ve shared — about your happiness being 100% tied to your own mindset are kind of naive. Sometimes, you’re just unhappy. I think it’s foolish to try to convince yourself otherwise and always go around chastising yourself if you’re in a rut. There’s nothing wrong with you! It’s okay to feel emotions other than happy ones! Shit happens in life, you know? The key thing I have learned is that even when I was worried, or anxious, or just plain bumming, if I could at least hold on to hope for the future, that was all that mattered, and that’s what kept me going. I didn’t need to delude myself into thinking that I could change my perception of New York — I knew how I felt and why it wasn’t a fit for me.

So yeah, I’m here to take a stance against the idea that if you’re not happy, YOU’RE the problem. Sure, sometimes maybe that’s true. But in reality, I think life is a whole hell of a lot more complicated than that. I truly believe that recognizing your unhappiness or dissatisfaction with something is the first key to changing the situation, whatever the outcomes are. Pretending you’re not feeling the way you feel for the sake of putting on a happy face is not a solution. All of this leads to my last big lesson:

 

“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.”

Remember this Sex and the City quote? It’s incredibly true. The minute Joe and I put the wheels in motion to move back, everything about life felt completely right and natural, like I was no longer trying to force in some piece that didn’t fit. It is on the opposite end of the spectrum of how I felt about moving to New York. Which just goes to show: you should always, always listen to your intuition. But in order to do that, you have to spend time getting to know yourself. Knowing yourself is the greatest gift — and one of the hardest journeys — you can have in life. I feel very fortunate to have walked down much of that path while living here, and doubly grateful that these days, I know myself myself well enough to stop apologizing for what works for me. It’s one of the most freeing feelings.

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view from california coastal trail - photo by victoria mcginley

So, yes, that’s where we are for now! Or at least, those are the major bullet points, with some extra life perspective thrown in. We’re doing this thing, we’re stoked, Lucy is confused as to what all the excitement has been about. I have to confide in you that I’m also excited to sort of start our newlywed time over. Pretty soon after our wedding, we were thrust into this whole cross country move thing and everything that happened thereafter, so both of us are feeling so eager and relieved to hopefully find a bit of peace for the second half of this year, so that we can settle in to our marriage more, minus so much continued life stress.

I’m sure I’ll be updating you guys as we decorate our new place and get back to some of our favorite SF things (like spending time outdoors and up in wine country), but for now, it feels very good to share a bit about what has been happening.  Back to regularly sporadically scheduled programming later this week; in the meantime, if you made it this far, thanks for reading and following along on the adventure. Onward and upward, always.

 

In this post:

All images by Victoria McGinley

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125 Comments

  1. Allie wrote:

    I love this post so much. I just keep thinking “yes! yes! yes!” as I was reading. Having moved to NYC right after college, I quickly learned it was not a fit for me and left after ~2 years to move to Austin for graduate school. I fell in complete and total love with Austin and have since made it my permanent home. Whenever I tell people about living in NYC, I always get those inevitable “Did you love it?!” or “Do you miss it?!” inquiries you mentioned, and my answer is always HELL. NO. And I do feel guilty saying it! But the reality is, it just wasn’t for me. So many people love it, and I was just not one of them. I think there is power in owning that and knowing that you at least tried. I’m so happy for y’all that you get to go back home, and can’t wait to keep following your adventure! Best of luck.

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thanks for this, Allie! Funnily enough, I get that question about Austin a lot too, since I grew up there! ;) I’m glad you can relate to the feeling of finding your home.

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  2. What a wonderfully honest and heartfelt post, Victoria! I think realizing what’s right for you and what isn’t—even if it seems a little strange or painful to admit—is a pivotal moment because it means you just know who you are in a more clear way. I thought my everything was New York City—I’m also from the East Coast—but four years in, I felt a similar emptiness. I didn’t enjoy it was much, and like you, I was wondering if I was missing something because clearly everyone else was *loving* it. But I recognized there was a problem and needed to shake it up by doing something different. So here I am, 2+ years in San Diego, and realizing that *this* is where I’m supposed to be (at least for now, though I could see myself here long-term!). I totally believe in energies, and maybe at this particular juncture, your energy with NYC just didn’t match. And that’s OK! It’s all about finding the right fit. Congrats on making a tough decision that I’m sure will pay off in a big way!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Yes, completely agree re: owning feelings = knowing yourself!

      I’ll let you in on a sneaking suspicion I have. I think all the people talking about how much they “love” New York don’t actually love it as much as they say. There are some definite exceptions to this which I could write an entirely separate post about, and which I’ll tell you if I ever see you in person (in case it’s not awkwardly obvious, I have a lot of working theories about the psyche of New York and New Yorkers… I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it! :) )

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  3. Ali wrote:

    So happy for you! I totally understand the cult of NYC. I love it for a few days, then I get overwhelmed in the worst way and feel the need to rush home. I like New York, but I have never loved it. There were times when I thought I was missing out because many friends moved there, but me and NYC just never clicked. Now SF, that’s a place I could easily fall in love with. Best wishes for the move!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thank you for your comment, Ali! Yeah, that’s typically how I always felt about New York when I visited here before moving. Clearly, it was a sign!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  4. Alexandra wrote:

    Love love loved this. I think it takes a lot of courage to pick up and move cross country to a new city you’ve never lived in, but even more courage to admit that you’re unhappy and it wasn’t the best decision and that you.just.want to.go.home. I’ve never even lived in NY, and even I’m over the “nyc is the best city in the world” attitude. Ugh. Anyway, heartfelt congratulations on your move and one of the most refreshing blogs posts I’ve read, anywhere, in a long time.

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • It’s funny, I’ve been hearing/reading a lot of similar sentiments in re: to people feeling inundated with this whole “NYC is the best” sentiment. I wonder if it coincides with the rise of the Pinterest/Instagram culture, where everything has this veneer on it and is sold to us as “perfect.” I think people are getting sick of that too, or at least get weary of it. Maybe it’s the same with NY. Or maybe this is all Taylor Swift’s fault!

      Thanks for the kind words too. I fretted over this post for several days, so I’m glad you enjoyed it. :)

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  5. Jessie wrote:

    You are such a nice person and San Francisco is lucky to get you back. Here is a list of the best new restaurants in the city: http://sf.eater.com/maps/the-bay-area-heatmap-where-to-eat-now-march-2015 I hope you have fun checking them out.

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thank you, Jessie! And thanks for this list, too. Month one will undoubtedly be spent hitting up our old faves, but I’m really excited to see what’s opened up since we’ve moved. We will DEFINITELY have fun checking these out.

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  6. I am so sad to see you go but glad I know you’ll be in SF for times when I visit. I absolutely loved reading this open, honest & transparent post and I can’t wait to see what life on the West Coast brings for you and Joe. Props to you guys for giving NYC a chance and having the courage to make changes when needed. XO

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • I shall lure you back with promises of Blue Barn. Please hit me up next time you are SF bound!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  7. christina wrote:

    did you ever visit NYC before moving? did you love it as a tourist?

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
  8. christina wrote:

    submitted comment 2 soon. i wanted to add, thanks for sharing. this is a very brave post!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thanks, Christina! I had visited NY before, many times in fact (both for work related things and just for fun). I think I enjoyed it, but like Ali said above, I was always exhausted by it after a few days. I think I thought living here, I’d figure out how to mitigate that feeling. Clearly, that never happened! It’s kind of hard to tell what it’s like to live in a place on the daily versus just visiting it, you know? But I should’ve picked up on the fact that I definitely felt different about visiting New York than say, how I feel when I’m in Paris as a visitor. Totally different energy and vibe, not just in the cities themselves, but how I feel when I’m in them.

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
      • christina wrote:

        totally understand. 2 years is not insignificant. i think that’s actually the perfect amount of time to live in NYC as a transplant. my husband and i moved here 4 months ago for the experience & work. i think we will only stay 2-3 yrs. its crazy how much ‘life’ you can pack into 4 months here. i feel like we’re basically new yorkers now even though we are in reality far from it!

        11 Mar 2015 · Reply
        • I completely agree on how much life gets packed into one’s time here! I think because of that, time also seems to go faster here!!

          11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  9. Rachel wrote:

    In 2013, after three years in New York City, I felt the same way and headed back west to Portland. Best decision I ever made. New York was hard! I’ll never regret the experience but I will always be glad I listened to my gut! Good luck!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
  10. Kathleen wrote:

    Beautiful piece. I’m so happy that you’re moving back to the place you belong!
    <3
    katsfashionfix.blogspot.com

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
  11. Jaclyn wrote:

    Beautiful post, thanks for sharing!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
  12. I can relate to this on so many levels.

    Last January, my husband and I moved away from our life in Charleston and back to our hometown—where both sets of our parents were and we both grew up. He had a wonderful job opportunity there and we thought it would be wonderful to have the chance to be near family.

    Six months later… we were making plans to move back to Charleston. It just didn’t feel right. We trusted our gut decision, realized life is too short, and just moved right back. Sometimes where life puts you just doesn’t feel right, but these moments are normally always just temporary and can be changed. But if you don’t TRY, you’ll never know! I completely agree with you that experiences that aren’t always so pleasant—like living somewhere you don’t love—makes you appreciate the places you DO love even more. Things like this allow us to grow in ways that weren’t possible before.

    I’m so happy for you both… moving back to your happy place! Thanks for sharing your journey along the way! xo

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • It’s funny how sometimes opportunities check off all these boxes and seem like they make perfect and total sense on paper, but in practice, they’re just all types of wrong. But like me, it sounds like your experience to move away from Charleston gave you guys so much perspective…which makes it worth it once it is all said and done! Thanks for your nice comment :)

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  13. Abby wrote:

    YES! This just happened to me as well! I moved to NYC for a job right after college and it never felt right. Looking back I was pretty unhappy for the whole 3 years. And when my fiancee got a job in Chicago I didn’t think twice about jumping and following. I needed that push! I would probably still be miserable and in NYC if it wasn’t for him. I liked my job and I lived in literally 4 different neighborhoods on opposite sides of the city and couldn’t find the right fit. I don’t think Chicago is perfect for us either but it is so much better already even in the winter! I think we will move to a city in the South and we are dedicating this year of traveling to visiting places we may want to live. Lexington, KY where I’m from is on the list, Charlotte, NC, Charlottesville, VA, Atlanta, Charleston, Dallas, Nashville- we have a lot to cover but I feel so much better now that I know we are going the right direction. So happy for you that you feel happier already. I don’t feel like I failed by not liking or staying in NYC- I feel more like I conquered it and not I’m ready for a new challenge that actually makes me happy. Good luck!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Love this! I think it’s great you guys are exploring — as a team — what will be the best fit for you. That’s the way to do it!

      ZERO pressure (and I’ve never even been there), but I feel like lately everyone is really talking Charleston up. From photos, it looks so beautiful! You should talk to Megan in the comment above yours!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  14. Sonya wrote:

    Victoria,

    I am so glad that you and your husband will be able to move “home” to the city you love and where you will be most happy. <3 <3 <3 I hope everything goes smoothly and I am sure Lucy will enjoy being in a warmer climate as well! Cheers to your move, for sticking it out as long as you did, and for know what the right thing is for your family.

    I can't wait to read more about SF, as that is a city I love!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • First stop once we get out of the airport: Lucy’s favorite beach. We can’t wait to feel the sand between our toes, and she will be SO excited. Thank you for your comment, Sonya! :)

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  15. Stacy wrote:

    I really enjoyed reading this Victoria. I had a similar situation in the past year, and I totally understand how you feel. Shortly after college (in Washington State, I’m from the Seattle area, my boyfriend from the Tahoe area), my boyfriend got a job in (of all places) Stockton, CA and, desperate for sun and somewhere that was not-home, we moved to a small town outside of Stockton. Suffice it to say, it was not ideal. I tried so hard to love it — I’m a fan of small towns, lots of warm weather and sunshine, wineries nearby, Tahoe and SF a short drive away. But, none of my friends were there, and it really just wasn’t clicking. I didn’t love my job and just could not see a future…I was constantly thinking about what comes next. My boyfriend didn’t love his job so he decided to follow his passions and landed a job outside of Portland, OR. I cried I was so happy to move back to the northwest, to a city, out of the Central Valley. We’ve been up in Portland for 9 months now and I can’t imagine any better place for us.

    Some places just don’t. click. You can’t force it. Being somewhere that makes you happy is so, so important for your soul. I’m happy to hear you decided to follow your heart out of NYC. It really isn’t for everyone.

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Oh, I know Stockton! I can imagine that was such a big change from Seattle. Your experience sounds a lot like ours in terms of how I was always wondering about (and waiting for) what was next. It’s exhausting! I’m glad to hear you found your happy place up in Portland (Oregon really is so beautiful). Said it before, will say it again: #westcoastbestcoast.

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  16. Stephanie wrote:

    I’m glad you were able to make the best of the situation and see it as a learning opportunity. I’ve always loved NYC and, for a long time, thought I wanted to live there. Each time I visit, I feel enchanted and enamored with the city. But over the last few years and visits, I’ve often wondered if I would have the same response as you to actually living there. As much as I love it, I don’t know if my energy and NYC’s energy would mesh well together so I’ve happily decided to settle for SF as my life partner and NYC as my paramour instead. :)

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Haha, I love that approach! I will say that if you want to move here and your gut is telling you it’s right and when you’re here visiting, you REALLY do love everything about it, then it could probably work out. For me, even as a visitor, I never loved NY the way it sounds like you do, which was a clear red flag. If you ever decide to make the move, let me know! I’d be happy to give you any advice, if you needed it.

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  17. I am so happy for you! Cheers to you for stepping out there despite your feelings and circumstances. What you have learned will probably be even more evident once you are settled back home. I wish you, Joe, and Lucy (of course!) a safe move! I owe you an e-mail as well, so I will send you one soon!

    P.S. Please write a book one day! Your writing is amazing!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thanks, T! Can’t wait to hear from you soon — really, no rush.

      Re: the book. Maybe some day! I’ve always said the memoir would be a page turner.

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  18. Ginet wrote:

    It was always one of my dreams to live in NYC but as I got older, my dream shifted to living there for like a year… then 6 months. I love NYC but as a visitor. I’ll always be a California girl! And I think it takes a lot of courage and self-awareness to know when it’s over. The way you described living in NYC is like a relationship. You tried to make it work but in the end, you weren’t happy. Much snaps to you for not only coming to the realization, but taking action to put yourselves in a better place!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Great comment, Ginet. I never thought about myself as in bad relationship with NY, but you’re totally right. High fives for California girls!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  19. Christine wrote:

    Totally respect this. I’ve been in NYC for about three years now and in a lot of ways, it has totally clicked for me–I’m also very lucky in that my SO was born and raised in Manhattan, so we have a strong network of friends and family here. But. BUT. There are times when I hate it and I do wonder about the quality of life and sustainability–and the weather! Enjoy sunny, carefree California :)

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Christine, thanks so much for this comment. Even though I feel comfortable with my decision, in the back of my mind, I always worry about other New Yorkers thinking I’m totally nuts (did you see that NY Mag article last year that this girl wrote about leaving NY? The comments were BRUTAL.).

      Where are you from originally/where did you leave before NY?

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  20. Ame wrote:

    What a great post. Brave! I hope everything falls into place with work and you guys are back to loving life in what you consider to be HOME.

    I envy the adventure you had, despite the downs and few ups you had living it. I have always wanted to live in NYC or San Fran or really any major city that is NOT HERE. When I lived away for grad school with my ex I never felt like that was home. I never called it home. It was not home. This has always been home. Even my house with my husband is for some reason NOT HOME, because for some reason it’s not the house I grew up in, or maybe it’s bec I just hate this house… I keep hoping that if we ever move elsewhere, THAT will be home. I never can tell.

    I look forward to hearing the news when you’re back HOME and in your new place, and hopefully seeing pics of your new place.

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • I really relate to that feeling of searching and waiting for that place that feels like home. We’ve been in so many apartments over the years, and it’s a superfluous thing, but I always say I can’t wait for the day we purchase a place that really becomes our home — where we can tear down walls, decorate in any way we want, etc. I think really, it comes down to this idea of permanence. I love the idea of putting down roots somewhere and building lots of lasting memories in this one place. Maybe that’s romantic, but what can I say??

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  21. I love this post. You are definitely making the right decision. It’s funny how much our intuition knows when it comes to these things. Thank you so much for sharing this, it’s so nice to see such lovely honesty and kindness, I think it encourages us all to be honest with ourselves about what we want, even if that doesn’t look like the life we think we should want or the one other people are living. Good luck with the move! Can’t wait to see all the San Fran Photos once you are home. :)

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thank you for this comment, Lucie! I’m glad you took something away from it — I didn’t want it to just be a sob story or rant about NY, so I’m thankful that for you at least, it wasn’t :) Can’t wait to share more SF photos soon.

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  22. That’s so exciting! Congratulations! That must be such a relief. I can’t believe that you just wrote this because I’m honestly going through something similar. Your takeaways are really going to be helpful for me. It’s kind of funny because I’m moving to the San Francisco area in June to be with my boyfriend who works there. I honestly don’t really want to go because I love my life and my family and friends in Minneapolis. I’m trying to stay positive, but I just have this foreboding feeling about it. I love that you said it’s possible to support someone without just saying yes to what they want. That’s really insightful! Sorry for the ramble, just wanted to let you know this post resonated with me!

    xx
    Catherine

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Oh Catherine, I can totally appreciate what a tough situation you must be in. All I can say is, communication is everything! Keeping honest, open lines of communication with your BF is key. If you can do that, you’ll always at least know how the other person feels, which is super important. Wishing you the best of luck as you guys figure it all out!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  23. I love so much about this post and thanks for sharing all of this! It’s funny what you said about feeling like everyone loves New York or says they do, and feeling like people were judging you for not. I feel the opposite – I feel like most people I talk to HATE the city and have a litany of complaints against it, and I always feel like I’m the one in the convo pointing out the good aspects! (Maybe because I work in a hospital where most people commute in, or are residents and don’t plan to stay when their schooling is over). So I definitely don’t think you’re alone in your feelings. I like what you said too about being unhappy and not listening to Pinterest quotes – some of those really make me kind of roll my eyes. You can’t always change your situation to make yourself happy, you can’t always “do what you love!” Doing what you love, being where you’re happy…it’s a privilege, and not always within your control. Anyway congratulations and thanks for the great post!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • You’ve told me that before (about you running in to more people who hate NY) and I always think that is so funny! Probably because of the social media/blog bubble, I get more of the opposite.

      Love what you said about Pinterest quotes too. I was scrolling through the other day, saw one, and literally said out loud to an empty room, “Um, NO.”

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  24. alyson wrote:

    so, so incredibly happy for you, V! I know this is a long time coming and am thrilled it’s coming together so seamlessly. xoxo

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thank you, love. I’ll miss our semi-annual rendezvous, but you will just to come out to SF now! :)

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  25. Caroline wrote:

    I have been following your blog for a long time now and have to say this sounds like the old you! SO happy for you guys! As a native New Yorker (grew up in the suburbs) its the norm to move into the city after graduating. I’ve been commuting the last two years since graduating from college (in the south no less) and have realized just because everyone else moved doesn’t mean I want to! I’ve felt like such a weirdo/failure because everyone else seems to love it and I just don’t. Thank you for putting this out there! I’m saving up to move to Boston and this is a huge motivator. Hope Lucy is recovering well and best of luck with the move! Really looking forward to reading all about it!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Oh Caroline, I can’t tell you how much this comment meant to me. To tell you the truth, I haven’t felt like me (the OLD me that is) in so, so long. These last few weeks, I have felt like I’ve gotten my life back — and part of that has made me begin to FEEL like my old self again. It was cool to know that it came through to you in a post as well. So thanks for that. FWIW, I’m curious to see if the “old me” finds more inspiration in SF to blog even better. We’ll see.

      Wishing you all the best with your move to Boston. That sounds like it’ll be an adventure!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  26. Maria Fernanda wrote:

    Absolutely loved this post. It is extremely refreshing to hear a different point of view of what living in NYC can really be like, instead of the romanticized version of it. I’m glad that you listened to your gut and are moving towards a place where you and your family are happy, wherever that may be. Best of luck on your future endeavors.

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thanks, Maria! Trust me when I say, I restrained myself in terms of talking about what living in NYC is really like ;) This post would’ve just spiraled out of control if I had!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  27. This post made me cry and I’m not sure if telling you that is weird or not. There is so much happiness here and your honesty is something that keeps me coming back for more. I can’t wait to see what you do next in SF! I’ll be anxiously awaiting an apt tour, but I’ll let a girl get settled first ;)

    Good luck on your big move!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Not weird at all. This post made me cry a little too (I still tear up when I think about that night with Lucy). There IS so much happiness right now and I can’t wait to keep sharing the journey. Thanks so much for the comment, Jess!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  28. Nnenna wrote:

    Is it strange that I’m really excited for you guys? Ever since I saw your post on Instagram, I was like, “Yes!” Just from reading your blog over the years, this decision to move back to SF makes perfect sense to me. Thanks so much for sharing your journey and the lessons you learned with us. I hope everything continues to go well with the move!

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Nope, I get it! I feel like I’ve been so numb since being in NY and like I’m coming back to life — so I’m happy that you feel excited too, it means that my energy is coming through! :) I know what you mean about SF making perfect sense. I feel like it was and is such a huge part of our lives, how did we ever leave it behind? Thanks for the comment, Nnenna!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  29. Kat Smith wrote:

    Beautiful sentiment. Thank you for posting! I can completely relate to all of this. The Bay welcomes you back with open arms!

    http://www.itgirlnextdoor.com

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
  30. Shaina wrote:

    You are such an inspiration to me, Victoria. I have been a reader for several years now and it is always a pleasure because you are so honest and real. It is a comfort to sign on and read your blog every day//week//whenever I can. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Good luck with your move! I cannot wait to read along the way :)

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Shaina, thank you. This comment was so touching and meant a lot to me, especially since I often find myself fretting about putting up good content here. I’m glad to have you along for all the adventures! Thank you thank you!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  31. Kierra wrote:

    this post is not dismal at all! It’s so honest and real! For once someone admits that NY isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The city isn’t for everybody. I literally felt the exact same way about LA. I’m initially from SF and when I moved to LA me and the city just didn’t jive. People were so annoyed with me that I didn’t love it and even now that I’m back in SF( thank God) people still ask me if I miss it and when I say no thier faces are pure shock. So needless to say I am totally understand you. As your loyal reader I welcome you back to the bay! Glad to have you!
    XO
    http://www.hercharisma.com

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thanks, Kierra! And I get what you mean about LA. We both went to college there, and it was fun for those four years, but I can’t imagine living there again! My LA friends who love it, REALLY love it. I can’t say that I get it — but I do enjoy visiting them for weekends only ;)

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  32. Great post Victoria! I had to move all around the country when I was younger and can definitely relate to just not feeling “me” in certain cities. I’m currently trying my hardest to make Chicago work. I liked it a lot when we first moved here in the fall…but the weather seriously takes a toll on you. I can’t wait to hear about your move back!

    xo, Jen
    http://www.comfortably-chic.com

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thank you, Jennifer. It’s funny how that happens, isn’t it? On paper all these cities can look like a good fit, and then you get there, and something just feels off. I feel like Chicago winters are even more brutal than NY ones (hello, lake effect weather). Hang in there!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  33. Megan wrote:

    I have been followed along for a while now and the moment I saw your Instagram post I was so excited that you get to return home. This post really resinated with me as I am currently living and working in New York. Many New Yorkers are so afraid to ever speak about New York in a negative light and it was refreshing to hear someone truly speak out. I have lived in the city for about 7 months now and I often wonder how long I need to “stick it out” until I decide that New York is not for me. I truly love the city and what it has to offer but I just don’t feel that I really jell with the city. I continue to struggle with what to when I come up on my one year anniversary and the question of whether to renew my lease comes up. Thank you so much for your post. I am excited to follow along as you transition back into your happiest self.

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thanks, Megan. I feel you — I’ve been there, and I know it’s a tough struggle. All I can say is trusting your gut is usually the right thing to do! Hope everything works out for you. xx

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  34. Virginia wrote:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I haven’t personally gone through a situation like yours but your honesty and vulnerability is inspiring and so appreciated! We all have to be honest with ourselves and decide when it’s time to make a change. We only have one life and should live it in a way that fulfills us and those closest to us. I hope your move goes well and look forward to more posts about San Francisco! I had the pleasure of visiting SF this summer and it is an amazing city.

    10 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Agreed! Life is too short to spend it knowing what you want and trying to wait out a bad situation! Thanks, Virginia. :) I can’t wait to share more of the adventure back home!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  35. Melissa wrote:

    Thank you for posting this and for being so courageous with your honesty and truth. One of the most difficult things to admit is that your are unhappy or that something just isn’t working. I am happy to hear that you guys have decided to move back to San Fran, where things just feel right for you. I commend you guys for giving NY a try and really trying to love it like everybody else, but ultimately this life is yours, not everybody else’s. It takes great courage to admit that NY just isn’t for you- because really, who has ever admitted that?! (I am sure many have thought and felt the way you do but nobody has really stepped up and said it).

    Also, I can totally relate to the thing about support not always meaning saying yes. In marriage it is tough to realize something like that because you don’t want to say no, for fear of preventing something from happening that your spouse is truly excited about. But it is more supportive to be honest and explore your feelings of doubt together and to try to come up with a decision that makes you both happy. Relocating is tough and it doesn’t always work out. I am happy you guys were able to make the decision to move back to San Fran together. It sounds like that is the right place for you. Best of luck! :)
    -Melissa

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thank you, Melissa! The support thing can be so tough sometimes, but it’s been a HUGE learning experience for us and one that I’m glad we can take to heart through the rest of our marriage.

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  36. Ella wrote:

    Just want to say how happy I am for you. This obviously wasn’t an easy decision, but I think it was the right one. xoxo

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  37. Ashley wrote:

    Congratulations on the big news!! I am happy to hear you are making a move that will provide you, Joe, and Lucy with more happiness and positive energy. I remember reading your posts about your move to New York. It feels like it was just yesterday! The best of luck and safe travels back home.

    xx
    Ashley

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • I know, time has really flown. Sometimes I see people in NY I haven’t seen in a while, and they’re like, “How long have you been here now? 9 months?” Nooooo. I sometimes think life just goes faster in NY! Thanks for your comment!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  38. I love this post! I can identify with it in a different way. We lived in San Diego for years and moved to San Francisco 9 months ago. People always ask if we miss it and the truth is, we miss our friends and I do get wistful at a few of their beach photos, but San Francisco is much more our speed and we are loving it.

    Excited to finally meet in person when you’re back!!

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  39. emily wrote:

    Wonderful post. And many congrats on your move and your courage to make improve your quality of life. It’s truly so much easier said than done! Not sure how it started, but in the past few years I’ve found myself escaping into the fabulous lives of others via blogs and instagram. I’m originally from the suburbs of LA and wanted nothing more than to move to NYC, which I did the first chance I got in 2003 to attend NYU. I never went home for summers, thrived on the chaos and constant energy of the city, worked a million different jobs, saw all the broadway shows, ate all the trendy baked goods, walked every nook and cranny of the city and its boroughs… In the nearly 12 years that I’ve lived here, I’ve experienced and learned and LOVED so much of it, but at some point everything started to bother me. I no longer felt like myself or the person I wanted to be. I could write a list reasons why I want to leave that would take us into next week, but suffices to say I feel you. Really, truly. I met my Connecticut-born husband sophomore year of college, we got married in LA this past July, and now all we can think about it leaving. (He’s a public school teacher here, so that comes with its own stress.) We live in a great little apartment in downtown Brooklyn and have access to so many wonderful things, but we’re sad, frustrated, exhausted, and disheartened by how much it takes to to achieve an acceptable quality of life here. Instead of taking advantage of everything we have at our fingertips, we feel a bit paralyzed, spending most of our free hours in our tiny home watching Netflix. Anyway, I’m sorry to complain… everything devolves into that these days. The constant discontent has transformed a once easygoing, sweet, patient California girl into a jaded, hardened, short-fused New Yorker. I wouldn’t trade my experience here for anything and I’m beyond grateful for everything that I have in my life, but it’s difficult to stay positive once you’re so deep into the hole of urban despair.

    What you’re doing is so incredibly brave. All of it. I hope my husband and I can channel a modicum of your strength to make our own move in the future. Thank you for sharing your story so candidly. (I found myself crying in the middle of the street recently thanks to a public transportation debacle…) Wishing you and your family an easy move and wonderful next chapter in the Golden State! And enjoy the rest of your time in NYC!! I’m over living here, but there IS a lot of beauty and good in the city. :)

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Oh, Emily, I’m with you. Really, truly! What you described has been Joe and me so. many. times. I don’t think it’s strange you find yourself in this position. I really believe NY is an exhausting place unless you are a multi-bagillionaire, and even then, it’s still highly inconvenient. I totally relate to your feelings of paralysis, so know you’re not alone (I would wager a lot of money that many people in the city feel that way).

      Sending good thoughts your way that you guys might find a better fit for your family soon. Feel free to email me any time you want to NY vent! :)

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
      • emily wrote:

        Thank you so much, Victoria. You’re good people. :)

        15 Mar 2015 · Reply
  40. Michelle Dann wrote:

    What a heartfelt and wonderful post. Yes, I love NYC, to visit! There is nothing wrong with you not loving New York, only with you Not admitting about how you felt, but I understand. We all make decisions sometimes that we think we are suppose to make

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  41. Heidi wrote:

    Really brave and well-written post. I think your readers could tell that you haven’t been as happy since your move to NYC. The energy in your posts since moving has just been … off. Not less quality by any means (I love this blog!), but you could kind of read between the lines, and if you look back at the “SF-era” posts they have such a different vibe than the NYC ones.

    I can relate because I’ve had these “aha” moments in life, when you wake up and realize exactly what you need to do (whether it’s moving, leaving a job, ending a bad relationship…) It’s almost euphoric when this clarity happens. Really happy for you in this big life change, and for your ability to eloquently write about your experience. Looking forward to reading along your journey!

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • Thank you, Heidi. I totally get what you mean about the energy and the blog, because I feel the exact same way (even on places like Instagram…I just feel like my life was more interesting and fun in SF, for sure, and I was definitely happier!). I’m looking forward to getting back to that happy place. Thanks for sticking along for the ride, and for your nice comment!

      11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  42. Renée wrote:

    congratulations on turning a BIG corner, and please know how much this resonated with so many people – me included. i have never lived in manhattan, but i have been commuting to the city and now the bronx for years and, like you, i have never fallen in love with the place. my husband and i are actively looking for ways to get ourselves out of the area, but it’s a slow process with two jobs to consider (do i look? does he look?)

    the lightbulb moment when you know what’s wrong is so liberating and i wish you both all the happiness in the world as you return to a place that fits :)

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  43. All the best to you in your move! I mean I loved SF so I can only imagine how you feel:)

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  44. Jess wrote:

    I love this post.

    I moved from NYC to San Francisco just over a year ago and haven’t looked back, and now that I’m here anytime I hear about someone moving away from the Bay Area to NYC, I secretly thank the Lord it isn’t me who’s moving!

    It’s true – so much of moving is uprooting your life is going with your gut, and though I did love NYC in the first couple years I lived there, the last year I was there was also one of the toughest ever in my life, partially due to (lack of employment) issues, but I was just so done with the city.

    I really hope nothing will take me away from my beloved Bay Area again (I’ve lived in 6 different cities in my lifetime around the world and am so done with moving)!

    Anyway, if I ever bump into you when you’re back in SF, I hope you don’t mind if I stop you to say hello!

    Welcome back to the Best Coast. :)

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  45. cat wrote:

    I loved the lessons learned. I can relate so much to them!!
    I live in Montreal and still haven’t gotten to that point where I can say this is it.
    All the best with your move and can’t wait to read about your adventures in your new-old city. :)

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  46. Katie wrote:

    aw, love this post! I live in NYC and have for 3 years, but as a Coloradan that spent childhood summers in California, I totally get it. I love New York and it “clicked” right away for me, but I’ve also moved to a quieter corner of Brooklyn and it does sometimes wear on me. Whenever I visit family in LA/SF, I wonder why the hell I don’t live there. The answer is probably, 1) my wonderful job here in ny, 2) I’m now a public transportation snob, and 3) I love winter, which is weird, but snow and dreary days actually do make me feel cozy and happy.

    I was reading back in the days of the move, and wondered how it would work out for you. SF and NY are two wonderful big cities, but yes, the feel is totally different. No shame in choosing the bay area and doing what makes you happy!

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  47. I’ve so enjoyed following your journey as I too lived in Austin and San Francisco. I can completely understand your process and it touched me deeply, having lived (literally) there and done that. Ironically, I found San Francisco wasn’t for me – nor was Austin – but I seriously love Tulsa. And people ask me all the time “are you crazy? you left SF AND Austin to live here???”. But I think you and I share a journey. And it is totally all about the SATC quote (never thought I’d type that) – honor your relationship with yourself first. Kudos! And hope to finally meet when I am back in SF/Napa to see friends. xo

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  48. Di wrote:

    Thank you for this- my husband and I moved from CA to the east coast for his masters program, and I am not gelling. It’s been a long two years and will be a longer two more, but reading this made me feel less alone, and made me feel like being unhappy here was less of my fault. Thank you for writing this, and best of luck (and congratulations!) on heading back to the Best Coast.

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  49. Andrea wrote:

    Victoria, so excited you’re moving back to SF! When I was prepping to move to the bay area years ago, you were one of the kind bloggers who reached out to me. You probably don’t remember that, but I’ve always associated you with CA in that way :) Welcome back to the West Coast!

    11 Mar 2015 · Reply
  50. Kaitlyn wrote:

    Good for you!! Sometimes you can’t explain it – but you get this feeling in your stomach that this doesn’t feel like you – it doesn’t feel right – it doesn’t feel like where you’re supposed to be. And a million and one “fun” city things can’t change that! I totally get you.

    I have never lived in NYC but I live in Chicago and LOVE my life here – I honestly cannot deal with more than a weekend visit to my friends places in Manhattan because I feel so claustrophobic! I get that NYC can be awesome but for someone who likes to decorate, buy nice things for their home, have an outdoor space, and not wait behind 100 people in a grocery store line, I could never do it.

    I would love to visit the SF bay and i’ve heard many Chicagoans / SF say its a similar city vibe, or rather quality of life.

    best of luck!

    12 Mar 2015 · Reply
  51. Erin wrote:

    Yay for moving back to the Bay Area! I also lived in NYC for just about two years, so I can completely understand where you are coming from with this post. It was super exciting when I first got there, but into my second year I realized that it wasn’t where I wanted to be long term. And I also think that a lot of people stay there way longer than they are happy because of this general, ridiculous, overall feeling that you’ve “failed” or you “can’t hack it” if you leave. That attitude is complete BS as far as I’m concerned! Good for you for rising above it and doing what you need to do to be happy. :)

    Anywho, I work at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa, so please feel free to reach out when you get here – I’d love to set you and your hubby up with a free tasting to welcome you back to the Bay Area!

    12 Mar 2015 · Reply
  52. Katherine wrote:

    I love you and I will miss you and I am SO happy for you :) What a brilliant post – you’re a strong and fab woman!! xxx

    12 Mar 2015 · Reply
  53. V wrote:

    Thank you for posting this, I really enjoyed hearing about your thoughts and following your gut instinct. I went to college in Boston and moved to NYC a few months after I graduated with a job in hand and I have to say my first 9 months there I was miserable. Always working and never really enjoying the city, I always told people that its not what they see in the movies after that. I also think that my job was putting a lot of pressure on me and not allowing me to experience what NYC was really all about, which made me dislike it more. I had travelled to and from LA very frequently for work and pleasure while I was in New York, and while I did enjoy it, mostly the amazing weather, I also always asked myself if I could really live there. I’m originally from the east coast, so I just assumed that it wasn’t really for me. I ended up getting a terrific job offer in LA, but things were not falling in place in other parts of my life and I ended up turning it down for personal reasons and mainly, I just didn’t want to be that far from my family. They of course wanted me to take it and never wanted me to look back on that experience as ‘what could have been’, which there are times I do tend to think like that, but am quickly reminded that when I visited LA, I liked it, but being there long term would be completely different.
    I always try to listen to my gut instinct, but I guess sometimes we are overshadowed by our thoughts of what we are ‘supposed’ to like, etc. I’m not at the point where I’m unsure of where to go and people have reminded me to let my career decide that for me. NYC is a hard city to be in and sometimes I miss that relaxed feel of Boston, but think ‘maybe its too small there’. I guess I will have to see where life takes me. Anyway, sorry for the long comment, but I wanted to let you know, I’m so happy for you and excited to follow along on your journey back to SF. Wishing you all the best on this new journey ahead!

    12 Mar 2015 · Reply
  54. Lynn-Holly Fisher Wielenga wrote:

    Ahhh thank you so much for this post. I would guess, that as a blogger there is often the thought of- how much do I share in order to share the story, and let the readers in, but at the same time not over-sharing? And in this case, as you were sharing about a difficult circumstance, the post was probably even harder to write. So thank you.

    The whole idea of “fitting” in a city totally makes sense to me. Currently my husband and I live in Waco, TXfor him to go to grad school, and while I am really enjoying this city and this time, it doesn’t seem like the permanent place for either of us. That said- neither of us have any idea what city would be a good, permanent(ish) fit! Luckily, we have three more years to figure it out. Sometimes it feels silly to me though, my idea that we need to fit in the city we live in, or will in the future, so it’s nice to hear that someone else feels the same way! :)

    Best of luck in SF!

    13 Mar 2015 · Reply
  55. kim wrote:

    victoria, i loved everything about this post, your honesty and vulnerability about your time in new york and what you learned from it. it is so hard to take a chance like you both did—moving to new york—and sometimes you need to take those chances to learn more about yourself and your comfort level and your happiness. as someone who has loved and followed your blog for years, on both coasts, i’m excited for your move back and to (hopefully!) finally getting to meet you in person. thank you for this post and wishing you the best on the move!

    13 Mar 2015 · Reply
  56. Glad to hear you are following your heart to the place you want to be. Still, do you think there were other factors in your image of NY that impacted your opinion? I’m a lifelong New Yorker so I always knew the “griminess” behind the Pinterest/blog/movie/television/music depictions.

    13 Mar 2015 · Reply
    • No, I can honestly say that those things were not a factor for me — I can see through the Hollywood version too, and have been to NY many times before I ever lived here. It’s really just not a lifestyle/cultural fit for us.

      13 Mar 2015 · Reply
  57. KJ wrote:

    Ironically, my husband and I are experiencing the exact same situation, on nearly the same timeline, but in reverse. We came out to the Bay Area for my job and it’s been clear to me for the past 18 months the NYC area is where we need to be. I will say I feel the EXACT same judgment if I dare to express that I’m not enamored with the Bay Area. I’ve never had so many people say “are you crazy?” or “I can’t understand that — don’t you like to hike?” As if hiking and good weather are the only things anyone should prioritize in life!!!! btw, they don’t dare talk to folks like this in NY, cuz they know it will go down ;) It’s really hard not to know whether it’s you not trying hard enough or what…and to wonder if you’re just looking for comfort — case in point, I’ll agree, life in the NY area is anything but easy, but we just know we need to go back. Then again, housing prices, commutes, etc., are far from a cake walk in the Bay Area — both, I’d argue, require huge sacrifices for the lifestyle they each offer. It all boils down to what makes you feel like *you* and for anyone who has experienced this, it’s really hard not feeling like yourself day in and day out. Good luck to you!

    14 Mar 2015 · Reply
  58. Tristan B. wrote:

    I wish I could give you a huge hug for both comfort and congrats! I wish upon all my wishes that we had moved to Northern California when we decided our big move from Los Angeles! We moved to North Carolina and I HATED it, from week one, we only stayed a year, but it was the toughest, most lonely year of my life. We then decided to not move back to California but Washington because we were expecting and we thought it would be more affordable than the Bay area only to find it was comparable (there was a boom RIGHT before we moved so all the real estate we were watching had quadrupled). I am SO homesick it hurts and all I can think about every day is how much I need to make to get back to California, I empathize so with your story and am so very happy for you! Kisses to Lucy!

    P.S. I lived in NYC in my 20’s and it was rough, I can wax nostalgic now but I would never want to to live there again unless I was a multi-millionairess;)

    16 Mar 2015 · Reply
  59. Cait wrote:

    Sometimes it just doesn’t click and that’s totally okay! Welcome back to SF – I just recently moved here from Chicago and I’d love to grab coffee or brunch once you’re settled in a bit.

    16 Mar 2015 · Reply
  60. Nicole V wrote:

    I’ll be facing a big move soon and can definitely relate to this post. After living in Atlanta for nearly 15 years, it has never felt like home, and I will be relocating soon. I really appreciated your honesty about how life isn’t always perfect and how important it is to listen to your gut. Good luck to you guys, and I hope the move goes smoothly.

    18 Mar 2015 · Reply
  61. Stephanie wrote:

    Congrats on your decision and following your heart! I totally get where you’re coming from and feeling like people are judging for leaving. I work in a field where jobs are PLENTIFUL in NYC as opposed to other areas of the country (I’m also alittle closer to home on the east coast), but mention you’re sick of the city and natives assume it must be because you’re trying to live this lush lifestyle and have run your course. It’s really disheartening really.

    I appreciated the honesty of this post.Good luck with your move – I’m sure it’ll go smoothly.!

    18 Mar 2015 · Reply
  62. Liz wrote:

    It’s like you’re writing my blog post. If I had a blog. And I was moving back to San Francisco.

    I moved to New York in Dec 2013 after 12 years in San Francisco and this is just not the place for me. I totally relate to the idea of being reluctant to admit it – as though you’re not tough enough or ambitious enough or “hard” enough. The reality is if San Francisco is the type of place you love to live, I think it’s almost impossible to have the same kind of happiness in New York. And vice versa. Different strokes and all – thank goodness. Enjoy the sunsets at Crissy Field for me. And trips to wine country. And Pizzeria Delfina. And… Congratulations!

    19 Mar 2015 · Reply
  63. Robyn wrote:

    This sounds like a great and exciting move back home. Sometimes these experiences are meant to validate what we know in our hearts. You and your husband shared a great experience and one that you will reflect back on in years to come. I hope the move goes well!

    22 Mar 2015 · Reply
  64. L.O.V.E. this post. Appreciate your openness. Sounds like you left your heart in San Francisco. Ha Ha :) Glad you’re following it. Excited for you and the hubby in this next chapter.

    Welcome back SF – you’ve been missed!! You’re just in time for Spring!

    22 Mar 2015 · Reply
  65. Rebecca wrote:

    When i read this post, I nearly cried because you soooo get it! Though I’ve never lived in New York, about 6 years ago I made a hasty decision to move to Dallas from my hometown of Atlanta. For whatever reason, I never jived with Dallas. Loved Austin, and wished I’d lived there, but not so much with Dallas. It felt soooo different; and like you mentioned in your post about people asking you if you were loving New York, the same happened for me in Dallas. I never mustered the courage to tell Dallasites the truth; that I hated it.
    I finally conceded that I just needed to follow my heart and move back home and then eventually move to my favorite city every… San Francisco. So on January first, I arrived here in Atlanta and things have just started to fall back into place. I’m smiling, I’m happy…. my outlook is so different.
    I just wanted to let you know how much your post resonated with me and how awesome it is to know that people sometimes just feel this way and that we aren’t crazy for not loving a place when everyone else seems to.

    25 Mar 2015 · Reply
  66. Wesley Pomatto wrote:

    I am from Monterey but for the past 6 years I’ve lived in NYC. I really love it here and met my husband, for which I will forever be grateful to this city. Now that I am pregnant I want to move home to the bay area so badly. I have never had that urge before. I just can’t believe that my son won’t be born there. My husband just got a new job so we won’t be moving anytime soon. Hopefully I’ll make it home. All I know is that I won’t settle in the east coast suburbs. I am either Manhattan or west coast!

    26 Mar 2015 · Reply
  67. It is so lovely that you are going back! San Francisco is awesome! I love it! I would love to move there! Good luck and all the best! Greets, Man With Van Brompton Ltd.

    31 Mar 2015 · Reply
  68. Patricia wrote:

    Amazing post! I love it! So inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

    6 Apr 2015 · Reply
  69. Leah Woods wrote:

    Moving back to San Francisco sounds really nice to me! I used to live in New York and I got pretty tired from all the noise and crowds! San Francisco is way different! Wish you luck!

    27 Apr 2015 · Reply
  70. Camille Simmons wrote:

    This was so helpful to read from start to finish. I found myself in a very similar situation a move my husband and I made right after we married almost three years ago. I felt (well feel) absolutely crazy for being unhappy. Reading this helps me understand how to work through those feelings and that maybe it is time for a change. We’re actually considering the opposite move, Oakland to New York because I just don’t seem to fit in with Bay Area culture even though we’re native Californians. So thank you for writing this, I plan to read this post to my husband Joe to help us figure our lives out too.

    17 May 2015 · Reply
  71. This post is so amazing and inspiring! I am really happy for you and i know how stressful a moving can be, trust me. I wish you good luck with everything you do in future!

    20 Jul 2016 · Reply
  72. Patricia Melton wrote:

    Aloha! Your Post was just what I needed. I would like to get your perspective on what I am going through. I am a 52 year old woman who was born in Berkeley and raised in Alameda. Upon graduating High School I spent 7 years at the beaches in Orange County. When I moved back to the Bay, I moved to Mill Valley then the city. I lived in the Marina on Cervantes and Fillmore then Pacific Heights Pacific and Franklin. Then I had a son. He is now 23. When he was 7 we moved to Kauai because I thought it would be a great place to grow up. WRONG! Well about a year later my parents from Alameda, CA followed suit and bought a house here.
    Fast forward. My 92 year old dad has died. My mom is now 78 and not in the best health with her walking. My 23 year old angry son lives with her. I did pretty well selling Timeshares, but I have been unhappy, severely depressed and unable to find a guy to date in six years. I’ve wanted to move back to San Francisco so badly for years. But I was stuck. Now I’m going to visit from Feb. 20-27. This is for my birthday to celebrate in North Beach! Apartment hunt. Get a feel what’s it like 8 years later when I visited. The job offers are incredible with salaries from $75k-$100k just for me. I’m going on two dates in one week and I love Glide Methodist Church with Reverend Cecil Williams! So……here’s the part my brain is not cognitively making sense out of. I’m super sad where it hurts in your heart to leave my mother at this age. I don’t speak too often with my abusive son. And do I scrabble to get a job or an apartment first? I found one furnished I love that looks out at the Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and the Berkeley Hills where my Grandparents owned a home for 50 years there. We as children would look out of the floor to ceiling windows on Christmas Eve to look for Rudolph’s red nose! Is that amazing. Also they want all the deposit, rent everything the 21st when I meet them. I don’t have it all together except deposit. I’m going to ask my past landlord, current one and vet to write how exceptional my dog behaves and the Project Manager said they will take him if he’s a comfort dog so my Doctor wrote a letter. He really is one! I guess I’m asking you as I did my Doctor will I feel super guilty when I leave my mom and how to I adjust emotionally all alone after 52 years. I know I’m ready to date! Ha ha! I’m scared, anxious, worried I won’t get the apartment I love after looking at 1000 so far. Where will I land in the Business World. Well, you know what I mean. Thanks for taking the time to help me decipher what’s going on!

    4 Feb 2017 · Reply
    • Hi Patricia. Thanks so much for your comment. It sounds like you are going through a lot and have so much on your plate, and I can relate! To be totally honest, I don’t feel at all equipped to give you the advice and support you need with such big things happening in your life. Have you thought about working with a therapist? I promise I don’t mean that in a rude or dismissive way. I’ve worked with therapists at multiple points in my life, and it’s such a godsend to have a sounding board and someone to unload on and help you sort things out in life. If you do end up in SF, feel free to email me and I’d be happy to refer you to the person I’ve worked with for over 4.5 years. Wishing you all the best!

      6 Feb 2017 · Reply
  73. Marie wrote:

    Hi,Victoria! I know this was posted 2 years ago but I wanna thank you! I needed to hear/read this. I’m in my early 20s, moved to NYC September of 2015 from the bay and it’s been a constant love and hate relationship since then. I love the vibe of the city, and how free and independent I’ve become but recently I’m having thoughts about moving back to the bay. I’ve just become so exhausted with my lifestyle, and I miss being with family and friends. I’m writing this on a plane back to Manhattan from a week long vacation to the bay to visit my dad, trying to hold back tears. I’m still unsure if it’s going to be a good idea to come back. All I know is I miss home…

    15 Nov 2017 · Reply
    • Victoria wrote:

      Hi Marie,

      The day I flew away from the bay to move to New York I cried on the plane as we ascended away from SFO. It felt like I had left some piece of me there and I knew right then something didn’t feel right. To this day, every time I fly back into the bay from trips short or long and see my first glimpse of the water and city below, I feel the most immense sense of relief that I am home. So trust me when I say, whenever and if ever you decide to come back, that piece of you that feels at home here will immediately click back into place, if this is where you are supposed to be. Trust your intuition — you will know when the time is right to make your move.

      16 Nov 2017 · Reply
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