I’m moving in ten days (!).
As a result, I wanted to spend time sharing the Top 5 Reasons I’ve grown to love Oakland, California.
For that reason, I almost closed comments as all I really ask is you spend time—no matter how brief—sharing & carrying these feelings alongside me.
#5 reason I love Oakland, California is because of how much I hated it initially.
first time seeing OAKTOWN. smile = fake.
I made no bones about the fact initially I held no love for you at all.
We met during an atmospheric river and lets just say that is not your best look.
I was surprised—as I’d thought Id prepared—by your grime and grit.
I was frustrated by the fact I was compelled to play The Zax to merely *exit* my neighborhood.
I was angry how your residents attempted to break into my car three times in my first weeks here.
what the heck?!
I complained heavily to friends & family that first month or three.
I hated Oakland.
I didn’t know why I was dragged here.
I wanted to go home.
I never ever thought I’d do anything else while living here other than count the days until I was set free.
…and wear this shirt.
The thing is, as I discovered one day curled up on my kitchen floor crying over a broken freezer, it wasn’t you, Oakland.
It was me.
I judged you by your surface.
I decided I knew all about you without bothering to get out there, explore, talk to you and really uncover who & what you were.
Even though my rear-view mirror was tiny and windshield huge I spent my first months here looking behind me.
I wish I could pinpoint precisely when it happened—but all I know is I fell in love.
All I know is one day I stopped, looked back and all I saw was YOU.
Vanished was the lamenting of your smushed streets, assertive homeless and dilapidated playgrounds.
In its place was nothing but love.
The past 18 months coupled with the lessons my loathing you so passionately (or so I thought) taught me so much about myself is one of the things I most appreciate about you, Oakland.
Having the opportunity to shatter your veneer of ick, smush, & grime and emerge the other side seeing this city for what it really is has been life changing for me.
I pushed through.
I fell in love.
About Oakland and yet, so much more than that, I was afforded the opportunity to learn a great deal more about about myself.