Day 1 - the adventure begins

I'm calling this day one, even though I don't technically embark til tomorrow- but today began in a way that will be typical of my next 30-something days: waking up on a couch where I slept like shit (which is why I'm now awake at 6:45 AM), throwing together some posessions and coffee and bagel into my careworn but trusty LL Bean backpack, and hopping on my motorcycle. I'm now sitting in the sand, writing on my laptop at Ocean Beach, drinking coffee out of a Klean Kanteen which is not insulated at all so I'm holding it with a towel I stole from my kitchen. San Francisco's western-most edge seems like a good place to contemplate the beginning of a cross-country motorcycle trip.

So I'm leaving- it's finally sunk in. The past few months have been charged with ups and downs- I quit my job as a server at a sushi restaurant in a kind of a "fuck it let's see what happens" moment. I think I had read some motivational placard filled with sappy phrases like "life's short - do what you love" and I decided to take this Hallmark advice to heart and make a change. Everything was almost perfect- I had great friends, a great house, and had plenty of free time to make music, which is why I was in San Francisco to begin with. But I had been here almost four years, and I was too comfortable. Being comfortable is dangerous.

So I quit my job, and immediately fell under a crushing depression. Here comes the age-old existential crisis: "what am I doing with my life?" "why am I throwing all this away?" "what if it's a mistake to leave?" I had not been prepared for these feelings of coming undone- feeling the foundations of my stable life quake and crumble. I was floating, and suddenly all these comforts I took for granted - like having coffee in my backyard in the morning, or the particular place that I stored my shampoo bottles - were threating to crash on the craggy rocks of doom. I felt guilty, like I was betraying a good friend.

Fast forward 2 months of indecision and guilt-worry (duly noted: do not expect to be productive while your big decisions are hanging in the air- the quicker your decision the happier you will be). I've decided I'm moving to Brooklyn to chase this music dream, and I'm going to motorcycle there. I book a motorcycle safety course; a week later I'm the proud owner of a used Kawasaki Vulcan 500 with 12,000 miles on it; a week later and after much paranoid riding about, I have my M1 license. I have just packed up my last boxes and bid them adieu. I now have an empty room, a pile of stuff on the couch that I'm somehow all going to strap onto my motorcycle, and I feel as light as a feather. I don't think I've ever been this excited.

Turns out sitting on the beach is rather damp at 7 AM before the sun is out. I'm going to get moving so my ass can dry out.

-H

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