If you look at my Instagram feed from the time I spent in San Jose, it looks pretty sweet. However, I allowed my view of the place to be colored by a description of it given to me by someone I had just met, and ended up feeling pretty miserable most of the time. Mostly, it was that I arrived there for a 2-week house sit when what I really wanted was to leave California. By that time, I'd been in the Bay Area for a few weeks and I was itching to be on the move again.
Instead, I was watching over a sweet, old dog and a handful of feral, semi-feral, and tame cats in a cozy little neighborhood. In hindsight, I made a lot of errors at the beginning of my stay there (mostly just not being myself, following my heart, and remaining committed to adventuring, you know, minor stuff), which ultimately led to a lot of feeling and acting whiny about being there, feeling stuck, and a crushing inability to get my head out of my backside and really find things to enjoy. This is part of being human, and specifically, me, which I battle less and less these days, thankfully. A lot of these two weeks were a flop, but I did rally, making the effort to get out and see some of things Silicon Valley has to offer.
With a terrible internet connection that made online work unreliable and frustrating, I was unable to catch up with this space unless I spent a lot of time babysitting uploads, hoping that the connection wouldn't drop, which it did frequently.
Every day began with feeding all of the animals in various places throughout the house and garden, opening the garden gate and the tiny greenhouse, and then making drip coffee before settling into some reading.
I walked Jazzy twice a day, following roughly the same route, which over time showed me little secrets, like a budding flower leaning over a wall, a tiny fountain in someone's yard, and lemons getting closer to ripe every day. Once I started listening to podcasts on our walks, my mood improved significantly and our walks felt more like a meander than a checklist item.
On the days I got out for an adventure I had a great time. The natural areas around San Jose are gorgeous and easy to access if you don't mind a little driving. One day I even made it to the Google campus to participate in a volunteer event for Feeding Children Everywhere, which really got me out of my head and thinking about the rest of the world, a very rewarding afternoon.
I visited Alviso Marina County Park one day and had a long, blustery walk while watching dozens of different kinds of birds.
I messed around in my sketchbook more than I have in several weeks and ended up putting together some chopped poetry from old letters that I wrote in my early 20s (oh, the never-ending DRAMA!), which were sent to my friend Amanda and returned to me in Atlanta, like a delayed diary. Messing around with paint and words felt good and definitely channeled some of the angst into good outcomes.
One of the most exciting little things was the beautiful personalized scratch map that I ordered from Kristin Douglas Art. As soon as it arrived I sat down and scratched off all of the states I've been through, which was deeply satisfying!
On my last day I got to meet back up with Miss Lady Luna, the dog from my very first house sit in Florida. Her family relocated to San Jose at the beginning of the year, so I spent an afternoon catching up. It was so good to see them all!