Adjusting to San Francisco hasn’t been the easiest for me in some ways. The following post is how I made this transition even harder on myself. As a result, I present to you guidelines for how to make yourself miserable.

Unrealistic expectations 

Don’t eat sweets! Don’t drink caffeine! Try new recipes everyday! Code everyday! Workout everyday! Don’t make a plan about how to do this but just set unrealistic expectations and make sure to set them all at the same time so there’s no way to 1) come up with a plan and 2) truly succeed.

Take on too much at work

To offset feeling awkward in a city, take on too much at work! This will temporarily make you feel better but when there’s actually something you want to have time for in the city it’ll end up hanging over your head preventing you from enjoying the event more.

Waste energy on events you don’t want to go to

This is the worst and most frequent action I took that led to me being miserable. I would waste energy on events I really didn’t want to go to in order to try to get out of the house and meet people. Events that I knew I wouldn’t enjoy like going to a bar to watch a basketball game when I don’t like bars and don’t watch basketball. Now there’s nothing wrong with switching things up and getting outside of your comfort zone but don’t do that when you don’t even want to leave your apartment to begin with. The result for me was feeling less inclined to go do things and me acting like a grumpy hermit. No one likes a grumpy hermit.

Criticize rather than question. 

I became very hypercritical of San Francisco after hearing the words data, startup, analytics, crowd source, blah blah too many times. To top it off I then began reading books on the downsides and implications of technology. These no doubt made me think but also made me very impatient when it came to engaging with topics surrounding technology. This doesn’t work out well when you’re living in tech mecca. Rather than just simply seeking to understand, I jumped to criticize which made for good debates but poor conversations.

All of these together basically made me miserable and still have the ability to do so. Thankfully, after about two months of traveling I was reminded of what makes me me. The space apart from San Francisco also gave me the ability to see it from afar and reconsider the opinions I had developed. Hopefully this is a lesson I’ve now learned so that the next place I move is a bit easier to adjust to 🙂

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