I have spent most of the year settling into San Francisco. I am still not sure this is where I want to be but it’s not a bad place to stay while I figure it out. I love the culture of San Francisco and could be here a while longer.
This year, I attempted in every capacity to live indoors and be domestic. I took sewing, crocheting and canning/food in jars classes. I tried to identify my vegetables and cook them weekly from my CSA.
I have worked in many freelance/contract positions ranging from working at a start-up, non-profit charity, with food trucks, the Department of Public Health – HIV/AIDS division, a volleyball referee, a bicycle messenger… to babysitting someone’s cat, helping someone pack for a move, or helping another clean out storage and my all time favorite of this year, helping someone with a marriage proposal.
In November, I accepted a 40-hour week position at a bike shop until the New Year. Previously, I had not been on a company payroll since 900 days ago. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been bad, working in the same place every day. I enjoy the company of my peers. I am engaged in learning how to fix bikes. I’ve learned to change flats/tires, install a kickstand using a saw and grinder, install a new saddle, change pedals with a pedal wrench and learn how to use tools, generally. I like fighting the gender dynamics and feel empowered to work at a bike shop. It would be even better if I could learn to be a bike mechanic.
In January, once a month, I will start to guide professionally with them, taking clients outdoors cycling or backpacking. It is not sustainable to work solely there since I get paid in peanuts and all my paychecks practically go back to the store for gear I want/need. My only solace is I am using the gear, having lead strangers hiking and camping on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I use most of my bike gear every day, as I bike commute to work, approximately 4-5 miles each way, 10 miles round trip. I am buying new gear for my next mountaineering trip. I haven’t decided which mountain to climb yet, but I am excited to think about it and train for something. I am considering a big mountain… maybe it’ll be the year to visit Denali in Alaska, or Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. If I visit those mountains… I would be on my way to visiting the 7 summits.
I am still not sure about nursing school, but I still feel strongly about wanting to live in Vancouver, Canada. It might be a goal for 2015.