Benjamin Chait

Six years west

31 December 2019

Every morning I wake up and look outside my bedroom window at a view that still amazes me.

A foggy Golden Gate Bridge from my SF apartment

The days are long. This city is, for lack of a better word, hard. (Maybe all cities are hard? But in different ways.) My days start before dawn, taking Lyra for a walk around the neighborhood before the city is fully awake. We make it back to the apartment as the sun starts to burn off the fog; the pup is fed; and I head off to work. Work is work. Just as soon as I walk back in the front door, I turn around and take Lyra out for another jaunt. It’s dark early, being winter, so I’m usually wrapping up and starting dinner with the glow of the city’s lights outside.

SF dusk

It’s all a lot, but we’re settling in. The first couple of weeks were staying in a temporary spot; and the pup and I moved into our own spot in November. We’re living in (or perhaps it’s on?) Russian Hill. The first week had me sleeping on a couch; then I got a bed, but didn’t have anything for the kitchen. Last week was adding some lamps; next week I want to sort a bookshelf. And I’m grateful that Lyra is adjusting, and seems to be falling into a routine in our new urban spot. It’s a process. But it’s what I wanted.

Lyra on her beach Lyra on the bed

I won’t lie: I’ve wondered more than once, why did I move here? I love the Pacific Northwest, and miss it. The wide open spaces, the pace of life, the lack of sales tax…and yet, SF gives me new opportunities, mostly important the opportunity to start over. And it’s still the west coast.

Sunset over the Pacific

I’m a bit silly, and continuing to work in consumer financial tech - but this time, I’m in at the beginning, building something from nothing. It’s a risk, it’s a startup. If anything, I’m choosing what will give me the best opportunities to learn, and to grow. This is my chance to start from the beginning, in more ways than one.

A goofy Lyra in Russian Hill

I can’t say that SF is forever, but this is perfect for now.

Benjamin and Lyra

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