As I approach another year of birth, I realize how growing old for me means having an old heart with a young mind. We are born into this world as little innocent children who have a beautiful sense of exploration, wonder, and delight but a heart that only knows of our own little bubble of a world we used to live in as 2-year-olds. As we grow older, depending on what route we take, we find ourselves developing an old mind with tainted hearts and corrupt polluted thought processes or we find our way back to this young beautiful mind who only see the good in people, who revel in the smallest delights and who have faith in what is unseen - Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, and God. As we grow older, we either choose the path of a young heart who loves wildly, crazily, and irrationally or the path of an old heart who loves slowly, naturally, and effortlessly. An old heart successfully balances the art of love and reason. An old heart makes choices based on experience and knowledge. Sometimes, the paths we take lead us into deep holes and other times, we find ourselves building staircases back to our young mind with an old heart. It was not until this year that I started building those steps. When I loved and lived with an old mind and young heart, I found myself angry, negative, and hostile at the world. It was feeding at my very core where everything that I experienced was negative, where every thought I created was ugly, and every image that came across my eyes had a flaw. My mind was old and my heart was young. I was only seeing what was in front of me, what was in my bubble that my whole world turned into this ugly place. And then one day, I woke up, found myself fed up with this ugly life I created for myself, and walked into a sacred place that changed my whole world. And slowly the steps started to build where my mind was exposed to the thought processes I’d create when I was a child, where life seemed beautiful and fun naturally, and where having faith in the unknown made sense again. As my mind finds peace and positivity, my heart and soul slowly grows wiser, more rational, and slow to react. And I feel a sense of peace. The key to growing up is knowing what battles to pick, selectively choosing what emotions to react to, and realizing your thoughts create your world and how you see and act towards it. The beauty of growing up is knowing you have that choice to take what you know and absorb the information or react to it and from there, you create your life and your story. What life do you want to build and create for yourself?
It’s the battle of Socal vs Norcal this week and while I have honestly not been on my A-game with sports as of late, I want to ask you this: why is there a rivalry y’all?! And I’m not saying with sports. With sports, yes, it’s hella fun rooting for a team. In my case, I am a confused soul. I am a LA Clippers fan but root for the Warriors, Niners, and Giants. Sue me. GASP, I am a horrible person. The point of the matter I am eventually trying to get to is that we live in the same damn state, can’t we all just get along?! Having been an LA inhabitant for 4 years now, I can say without a doubt, both LA and SF win in their own respects. It’s like when you hang out with one person when you want to dance because he loves music and you hang out with another friend when you want to enjoy nature because he loves hiking. I love LA for the liveliness, ambition, and passion it embodies and not to mention its plethora of food spots, events every night, and its quirky sense of humoring you with loads of traffic at the buttcrack of dawn. I love SF for its uniqueness, chill vibes, and genuinely friendly atmosphere. I love that it has a way of exuding an array of different personas within a 5-mile radius.
As for the people, LA has been surprising me. I am not going to lie, I have been one of those who have said, “You’re so LA” and it’s even been said to me. Whatever it means, it holds a negative connotation but in retrospect, I have recently met a community of people who have shown me otherwise. They are genuinely welcoming people who share a passion for the arts and have not let fame get to their heads. You know the saying, “Until you walk a mile in my shoes, don’t judge me.” It’s so true. The amount of people who visit LA and disregard it as fake, superficial, and plastic can potentially be right, however, LA has more to offer than this small percentage of people that embody such a stereotype. If you open your eyes and your mind, you’ll see a beautiful city like I do.
And with San Francisco, having been born and raised in such a dope ass city, I got nothing but love for the people that live there. Two years ago I went to Outside Lands with a few of my friends and fell asleep waiting for Stevie Wonder. When Stevie Wonder came on and I was sleeping, a CROWD of strangers danced around me and tried to wake me up, saying “You have to be awake for this!” The camaraderie and genuine nature of San Franciscans is like no other. That’s the best way I could describe how I feel about San Franciscans. Stepping out into the crisp air and running into a fellow San Franciscan is the perfect picture of coming home. San Franciscans are the quintessential hippie on the corner of Haight and Ashbury who loves life, frolicks like a free spirit, and welcomes peace, love and happiness.
So, before you get your panties in a bunch of NorCal vs SoCal, remember to try living in both areas for a few years before writing it off. Learning and enjoying a new city may surprise you. Try befriending them before writing them off as “So LA” or “So Bay.”