my fave Oakland street sign.
I’m moving in TWO days (!). As a result I wanted to share the Top Five Reasons I Love Oakland, California.
These are quintessential Old School Blogging posts. Filled with minutia of my life as I ready to depart.
I almost closed comments as all I ask is you spend time—no matter how long—sharing & carrying these feelings alongside me.
Here is where I am compelled to acknowledge two things.
First, I rolled my eyes when people told me as we readied to move:
You will love the diversity and people in Oakland!
I love Austin! I longed to shout at them.
I’m not an idiot–I’d continue in my head–I know what diversity is. Austin is diverse.
the child & an Oakland friend.
The thing is, I may have thought I knew diversity and “keeping it weird,” but these people were correct.
I did not.
I had no idea.
Oakland offers a diversity of people and a true, authentic quirk and weird this misfit never could have imagined.
The #1 reason I love love love Oakland, California is its people.
Oh, and here’s where I do need to pause and address that second pesky thing.
There’s a good chance, a huge chance, my love affair is completely one sided.
walking my ‘hood enabled me to form myriad kinds of friendships.
There is a really, really good chance I will miss Oakland more than she will miss me.
There’s a really really good chance she wont even notice I’m gone.
And that’s OK.
Because the people to whom I refer are not my (finger quote) friends (unF.Q.) in the traditional definition of the word.
The traditional friendship bonds Ive created while here I’m confident can be maintained no matter where I reside.
It’s the people of Oakland (some might say humans. someone needs to get on the HUMANS of this city) who come together to create the fabric of the city I’ll miss seeing on a daily basis.
my “friend” who lost use of his legs yet and is more driven than anyone I know.
my “friend” who paints murals and decorated our tennis courts.
my “friend” whose front yard contains a stuffed animal tree.
my dapper teacher “friend” whose commitment to being a role model amazes me.
my QuIrKy magnifying glass toting “friend” whose entire story I never learned.
my tenacious friend Ken (AKA Bubba) whose optimism touches me each time I see him.
my fast-knitter “friend” whom I only chatted with once a week.
my FRIEND Melvin whose story I know well yet the ending I’ll never learn.
For me the people of Oakland are its greatest gift and my biggest sad about heading back to Austin.
My time here has been a gift & 18 months of learning lessons I didn’t want to be taught.
It was these people—ones whom I’m confident wont register my departure—who were my teachers.
Each in his or her own unique way.
I ripped this sit com quote out of a magazine close to a year ago and it still sum up Oakland for me in a twisted not what they meant at all sort of way:
None of us are what we seem on the surface.
No “bad areas” are all “bad areas.”
When we make the conscious choice to slow down, talk, experience, listen and pay attention the greatest gifts we never wanted to receive may appear before us.
Runner Girl saysDecember 17, 2014 at 4:05 am
I love this.
Coco (@Got2Run4Me) saysDecember 17, 2014 at 4:06 am
Thank you for sharing the lessons you didn’t want to learn. They have been so meaningful, eye-opening and heart-opening for me.
MCM Mama saysDecember 17, 2014 at 4:09 am
I love this. Too many people don’t take the time to ever make eye contact with people outside their norm. I love that you’ve embraced the Humans of Oakland. And thank you for sharing them with us.
Vonnie saysDecember 17, 2014 at 5:08 am
I tended to rush past the homeless in my town and definitely hurry past the “characters.”
You’ve changed how I live in my city.
Susan saysDecember 17, 2014 at 4:10 am
I love this!
Rita saysDecember 17, 2014 at 4:30 am
You should have done the humans of Oakland!
misszippy saysDecember 17, 2014 at 5:42 am
I knew this would be your number one and again, I absolutely loved this post (and series!)
s saysDecember 17, 2014 at 6:27 am
i love this post 🙂
Jody - Fit at 57 saysDecember 17, 2014 at 6:35 am
LOVE! I see why this is #1!!! Such a great one.. YES, none of us are what we seem on the surface for sure! I wish more people would get this vs. assuming otherwise… great post!
Lisa @ RunWiki saysDecember 17, 2014 at 6:56 am
You have met some wonderful and colorful people. It makes me want to move to Oakland! I love that you take the time to slow down and meet the interesting people of Oakland. I am sending love and good vibes as you travel back to Austin. xoxo
Jill saysDecember 17, 2014 at 7:29 am
I feel like you need a hug today, so here: (((((HUG))))))
I give excellent fat-grandma bear hug type hugs. My hugs are medicinal.
Your writing has a depth to it now that I don’t think was there before. I can tell you have had some big experiences in these last 18 months.
Tamara saysDecember 17, 2014 at 7:51 am
Can I tell you how much I’ve loved this 5-part series? Thoughtful musings, beautiful writing and hopefully, a helpful exercise for you as you complete this challenging move! xo
Esther saysDecember 17, 2014 at 8:08 am
Oakland will miss you!
Lola saysDecember 17, 2014 at 9:05 am
This is one of your greatest strengths…to be willing to learn a lesson in every experience. You are always open. Its a gift. 🙂
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West saysDecember 17, 2014 at 10:13 am
Hi Carla! Greetings from San Francisco. Great post. There are definitely some “harder” areas and sides when living in SF as well, but you learn to love some of that. I just came across your blog and look forward to learning more about you!
Heather Montgomery saysDecember 17, 2014 at 10:25 am
Can’t believe you are moving again! Ia m tired just thinking about it haha
mimi saysDecember 17, 2014 at 10:29 am
The people make the place.
Kim saysDecember 17, 2014 at 10:46 am
Love this – I think the people are truly what make any place great! I love that you learned the stories of the people around you. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own little worlds but our worlds can be made 100x better by including all the people around us and learning their stories.
Kristina saysDecember 17, 2014 at 10:55 am
the lessons you ‘don’t want to learn’ or didn’t know you NEEDED are by far the most powerful.
thank you for sharing your realness with us, and thank you for sharing these people.
Sagan saysDecember 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm
LOVE how much we can learn from the people around us.
Happy moving, Carla!
lindsay Cotter saysDecember 17, 2014 at 6:25 pm
that’s it. stay there! i want to come visit first. and meet ALL these people!
GiGi Eats saysDecember 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm
YAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAYA WELCOME TO CALI! 😀 😀 😀 😀
Brittany @ Barr & Table saysDecember 17, 2014 at 8:58 pm
This friend will miss you!
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysDecember 18, 2014 at 6:18 am
Carla I have truly loved this series of posts! Thank you for sharing your reflections with us. I wish you a smooth and as-stress-free-as-possible move 🙂
Dr. J saysDecember 18, 2014 at 11:17 am
My best memories of the northeast city I loved to hate during med school are the people too.
Why are you going back to Austin?
Rue saysDecember 18, 2014 at 12:21 pm
Great going. Love this blog.
Michelle saysDecember 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm
Right in the feels….
It’s hard to change.
Mario Gonzalez saysDecember 23, 2014 at 5:11 am
you all seem really nice people thats why i enjoy personal fitness!!! i can find people of all ages to relate to and i work on myself as well its a win-win every time….and most of all with personal fitness comes the challege