adventures of an american housewife in the south of france

Leaving (a piece of) My Heart in San Francisco

a story of true love.

Dear San Francisco,

How did six years go by in the blink of an eye?  It seems like only yesterday I arrived - hardened and slightly bitter from my two years on the east coast.  It was my second time moving to a city sight unseen and, unlike my first attempt, I instantly fell madly, head over heels, hopelessly in love with you.  With your majestic cliff sides, sparkling bay, countless parks…you were like nothing I’d ever seen before.   I loved the urban feel mixed with the smell of the eucalyptus when driving through the panhandle.  I loved feeling the ache in my calves as I trekked up your great hills after a day of shopping.  I loved being able to drive to the ocean after 10 hours of work and listen to the Pacific pound the shoreline.  I was smitten from the start and I’ve stayed that way for six years.

And the best part is, you loved me back.  You showed me that I don’t have to compromise a small town feel for a big city. I could walk to a coffee shop, pick up some sandwiches, and take the train a few stops to a beautiful, sunny park.  I could have a delicious, sophisticated meal while wearing my favorite pair of jeans.  I didn’t have to go on tour – the tour came to me.  How will I ever find anything like you again?  A place where I have access to city, ocean, wine country, skiing, boating, music, fine dining, funky shopping, and inspiring people.  There is no place like you.  You are magic.

I came to you looking for a new start and what I found wildly exceeded my expectations.  I found the man I’d been looking for my whole life.  I found some of the best people I’ve ever known, who I’m certain will always be there.  I found a confidence I’d forgotten.  And I found the opportunity to leave you and fix my life’s only regret.  The last time I had the chance to live abroad I didn’t do it, because I was scared.  But I’m not scared anymore.  I can’t let this pass me by again, even if it means leaving you.

So how do I say good-bye?  How do I thank you?  How can I possibly carry all these millions of memories and this overwhelming happiness in my heart?  It seems an impossible task and that’s why I leave a piece of my heart with you.  Because I just can’t comprehend the idea that I won’t be here anymore.  Because not all of me could ever bear to leave.  I hope I can come back to you someday.

For now, I will carry the memories of sunny beach days in the middle of January.  Of dancing at concerts with my best girlfriends.  Of epic bus parties and drag show baby showers.  Of falling in love and making it forever.  These have been the best times of my life, and I am forever in your debt.

All my love and a little more,




13 Responses to “Leaving (a piece of) My Heart in San Francisco”

  1. chris o'brien says:

    chills down my spine, natalie. the city will miss you too. as will i. best of luck. –OB

  2. Courtney Cantwell says:

    Simply amazing. This is one of the most beautiful love letters I have ever read! San Fran misses you already… but you won’t ever regret taking this leap. Enjoy every step of the adventure!

    The City will still be here when you return (if you still want it).

    Safe travels, love:)

  3. Roger Stewart says:

    Nice to see you chronicle your own growth and development. Too often it slips by without us knowing.

    I’m really proud of you and Mike, and wish you continued success abroad…..


  4. Andy says:

    Very well said and almost exactly how I feel! We’ll miss you two but can’t wait to see you in Montpelier (I really need to make this year’s Paris trip) and where ever else life takes you. Live it up!!

  5. Jillian says:

    Well said natty. I can’t beleive you found the time to blog. You’re a blogstar!

  6. Julia says:

    Brought tears to my eyes! (and PS I feel the excact same way about Boston as you do- grrr The Dark Years) Safe travels!

  7. Brian says:

    A piece of me is still in Bernal Heights…and at the Fillmore…and chilling in Noe Valley…there is something purely amazing and nostalgic about the great city of San Francisco…the city of the Dead yet so much more…and I’ve been unable to visit since I moved almost 10 years ago because I’m afraid I wouldn’t get back on the plane :) Safe travels for you and Michael…France will be it’s own magic and evolution…and you’ll realize in the end that you made the right decision.

  8. Tyler says:

    Let’s not let anyone forget how welcoming you were to the newcomers that came behind you!

    You and Michael both opened the city up to me and made sure I fell just as deeply in love with it.

    • Kaycee says:

      I have done a couple of your bucket list wishes..and not really realized that some people want to do th380#823&;huh&#m2e0;That doesn’t sound quite like I want it to… :P oh well, I love your answers!I want to be kissed in the rain too. haha. x)

  9. Tamar says:

    love you! safe travels xoxox

  10. Diane says:

    chills and tears – what a beautiful expression, Natalie! it truly does some up what we have here….and sometimes it takes leaving to really realize it. keep on keepin’ on girl! xoxo

  11. Dawn says:

    Beautiful love story Natalie. We miss you all ready. xoxo, Dawn

  12. Kate says:

    Great post! Enjoy your next adventure!!

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