I Left My Heart in…

April 6, 2009

…San Francisco.

Have you been there?  If so, don’t you want to move there?  As much as I love Seattle, I think I’m ready to find a new home in San Francisco.  I need to be careful what I say, because Randy has a tendency to make things happen if I casually mention them.  In early 2003, I told him I thought it would be cool to live in London if we had the chance.  By July of that year we were there.

Now, perhaps this enthusiasm is stemming from the fact that I just had a truly lovely weekend alone with my husband staying in a gorgeous hotel, eating in delicious restaurants, walking in the sunlight (that vitamin D thing is real!), and just generally enjoying paying attention to one another instead of two young boys.  I get it that it was not real life, but it sure was nice to pretend that it was.

In addition to enjoying every moment together, I was hit by a serious case of memories.  Randy had a meeting right after we arrived, so I just walked out the door of our hotel to explore a bit.  Immediately I realized that I was in the exact same neighborhood where I did a yoga training in late summer of 2001.  As I walked toward the Yerba Buena gardens, where I had eaten lunch in the sunshine each day back then, I was almost choked by feelings of nostalgia and by how much my life has changed in eight years.

Back then, I had been recently laid off from a sales job that didn’t suit me and had decided it was time to reinvent myself.  I was intensely studying yoga at the time and harbored a desire to start teaching.  Randy, who was then my boyfriend , had just moved in with me.  He very kindly suggested I go and do a teacher training and he would take over the mortgage temporarily.  I had a teacher I adored and she steered me in the direction of It’s Yoga, a studio that had a month long intensive training program.  A friend offered me to let me stay with him free of charge, and all the pieces fell into place.

That month was one of my favorites in my life.  It was very intense.  The curriculum was six days a week and each day we practiced for four hours, then learned how to teach for four hours.  It was physically demanding, but it was also mentally and emotionally draining.  I loved it all though and sensed early on that I would make a good teacher – a much better teacher than I had been sales person.  I felt passionate and excited about what I was doing, something I had never felt in all the jobs I had leading up to that point.  I loved living with my generous friend Stephan and I loved being in San Francisco.  If I hadn’t had a house and a person living in the house who I loved back in Seattle, there is no question that I would have stayed.

The day of our final exam was September 11th.  Randy was in New York on a business trip and my mom called me at 6:30am to tell me to turn on the television.  I watched what we all watched with the incredible horror that we all felt.  I desperately tried to remember whether Randy had said he was going downtown that day.  I tried in vain to get him on the telephone.  Because I didn’t know what else to do, I got on BART (the subway system there) and went to the studio.  Needless to say, the exam was canceled and we all passed.  Our teacher was at the studio and took the three of us who didn’t live in SF home with her to watch the news.  There we stayed watching the same footage over and over while I called Randy’s cell phone every 15 minutes and tried not to panic.

Around 4pm, a friend of his called me and told me that he had spoken to Randy and that he was fine – for some reason he was not able to call my phone.  The relief I felt is indescribable.  We were supposed to be reunited the next day, but I got stuck in San Fran and he got stuck in New York.  He actually got home before I did, spending an additional four days away to my five.

Those five days are a bit of a blur.  My wonderful host was in Italy with his partner so I was alone in his apartment.  Without the daily trip to the studio, I was unmoored.  I don’t recall if the studio was open during that time, I had injured myself and couldn’t practice what I had studied so hard.  I was terrified for my future as a teacher and for our future as a country.  I spent hours on the phone with the airline trying to get home.  I wandered San Francisco in a daze, reading in the sunshine and seeing a lot of movies.  This past Friday, I walked in to the Metreon – where I had seen all of those movies – and nearly burst into tears.  How different my life was then.  I knew I was going to marry Randy, I knew I would have children with him.  I knew that food and cooking was really important to me.  I just didn’t know how it would all turn out.  I loved my life then and I love my life now.  I felt and feel very lucky.

Once I finally did get home, I slowly healed from my injury.  I started calling yoga studios and slowly but surely started teaching.  I loved it and was good at it.  I got a lot of positive feedback from my students and even had several go on to be teachers themselves.  It was my first job where I wanted to be the best that I could.  Being a chef has been the second.  I feel lucky that I have had two careers in my life that I have loved.  My yoga practice is on the back burner for now, but being so near to where I did my training made me realize how much I miss it.


  1. Welcome home!!! Please don’t move…loved your story. I can’t wait to hear more!

    Comment by Deb — April 6, 2009 @ 8:38 am

  2. You are very adventurous, wanting to get up and move.
    I hate moving, it’s such a hassle, though, I would love to have a second home in Paris!!!! As long as I can keep my things in one spot without having to hire a moving company!

    Comment by Stacey Snacks — April 6, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

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