home is everywhere

 

The last time I visited Arizona before moving there again, I wrote this on the plane ride home to San Francisco: “I want to startle the mystic of the Arizona desert, and the cozy San Francisco fog.” Growing up in Arizona and Mexico, the Bay Area had been the only other place I’d lived for a long period of time. The first 2 years I lived there, I’d visit the Southwest for the holidays and I’d refer to it as “going home” for the holidays. Around year 3 in SF, I flipped the script and when I was in Arizona for the holidays, it felt like I was away from home - San Francisco was home. That feeling of landing on that runway surrounded by water and entering that magical bubble of glowing fog, that was home. Fast forward to year 6.5 having written this line on that plane ride...when I landed I didn’t feel the same. Had I left home or arrived home? There was no shift, the lines were blurred.

Home is everywhere.

There was no difference in the sense of home, aside from the fact that my apartment, my things, and most importantly, my community were in San Francisco. I spent the rest of the summer doing a deep-dive check-in with myself. What’s most important to me? Is San Francisco still the place for me right now? What’s up in my career sector? Revisit connections, time management, boundaries, behaviors, ALL OF IT. I didn’t come up with any solid answers, but something needed to change, and big transitions are not always a breeze, it’s letting go of a lot of things we love. And it’s trusting.

At the end of the summer, I took a trip to Iceland and spent a week in an Airbnb. I noticed how quickly that geometric loft turned into a home. The minute I stepped in, I scoped out the water coloring station and laid out my art supplies. I placed my clothes in my room and located the French press in the kitchen. I learned the most scenic route to downtown and found sweet parks to enjoy coffee and naps. That place was home immediately. It especially felt like home when I ran 13 miles around Reykjavik, getting intimate with its waterfronts, alleyways, and neighborhoods.

Home is everywhere.

I spent the next 4 days jamming around the island in an SUV, grabbing snacks to keep driving, and finding safe-from-the-roaring-wind spots to park the car and sleep in it. That car became home too. A slightly more compact home with sleeping bags and stinky socks, but home none the less. It even had Wifi! Iceland's got it goin' on.

I made the decision to move from San Francisco to Arizona while I was in Iceland. So when I arrived back to that 3rd floor flat in North Beach, I found myself with a long list of things to let go of. Damn, breakups are hard.

It was time to let go of the things that made my relationship with the city of San Francisco one of my most spiritually deep and heated love affairs. Our sunrise bike rides across the Golden Gate Bridge, our hours of walking together and singing into its jaw-dropping picturesque streets, our coffee dates, our random “work from park” Tuesdays when the sun was out, our jogs along the Embarcadero. It was letting go of the rainy I'm-a-local-so-I-don't-carry-an-umbrella days and of the never-a-dull-moment street vignettes. Our run-ins with friends and neighbors at least once a day. Our head-over-heels romantic solo-dates, to the beach, to hula hoop in parks, to capture sunsets on rooftops. Our heavy HEAVY dose of synchronicity. Leaving San Francisco was letting go of the way we so perfectly met one another needs.

But I was ready to step out of comfort, and into curiosity and trust. I was ready to step into more space and take up even more of it. To expand. I wasn’t, however, ready to leave my communities and my sweet Bay Area connections. I wasn’t ready to break up with walks across town to Yoga To The People on Friday evenings, followed by dinner at Beloved Cafe. I wasn’t ready to stop teaching the sunrise yoga class at the all-girls high school. I was certainly not ready to give up the cycling playground of dreams that happens to be the entirety of the city and beyond. I didn’t want to not pass by those places every day and wave to the same people who worked there - most of us never talked, but through our passer-by non-verbal interactions, we had solid friendships going.

By the time I finished packing up my UHaul, I had let go of a lot of shit. I made a few donation boxes, filed through old paperwork, and changed addresses. I was leaving with a lighter load - a car filled with plants, art supplies, bikes, and a curated version of the things in other rooms of the house. Letting go of things that didn’t matter, allowed me to see the opportunity to keep things that do.

I can’t let go of the things that matter, because things that matter stay with us, they become a part of us. I can let go of an apartment with a monumental view, I can’t however, let go of the growth, deep connection, love, romance, and the sense of “I gotcha. I always will,” that I have with San Francisco. I get to keep connections because those stay with us for as long as they need to, and Southwest Airlines flights are cheapAF.

I get to keep my fairytale walks and chats with the streets of San Francisco, we get to keep our deep and casual passionate connection when I visit. It’s certainly letting go, but it's not breaking up - San Francisco and I get to pour our hearts onto one another when we’re together. I️'m currently on a flight headed to California, and I can’t wait to kiss those streets again (extremely figuratively because germs).

“We’re always together, sometimes we meet.” - Luke Kreinberg

As far as community and connections, there were no breakups there either. In fact, it’s wild how much the magnitude of a connection can be reassured with distance. The cool thing about connections also, is that they multiply.

I was so afraid to leave the community of Badass Women that have helped me grow my career and have referred my photo experiences to their friends and colleagues. I️ was afraid to lose everything I️ had build there. But the love and magic of the women I️ work with, and this movement to help one another level up, spans past any geographic boundaries.

When I shared my December Bay Area photography dates I felt that it might be a shot in the dark because I wasn’t physically in the Bay Area anymore - but NOPE, this community showed up more than ever and spread the word... and BOOM!

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be photographing 6 badass women (and 1 badass man 😉) in the Bay Area. 3 of these women are returning clients - you can view photos from our previous sessions below. I can't wait to capture their radiance again and again and again and again!!! I feel so incredibly grateful for this sense of location independence, strong soul tribe connection, and the opportunity to share Badass Women Photos with the original Badass Women Photos Bay Area community, and also beyond that - in Arizona, in SoCal, in Mexico, in Iceland, anywhere.

In summary:
- community and connection go beyond physical location
- when we let go of shit that doesn't matter, we can keep what does
- we can’t break up with growth, it’s part of us
- Southwest Airlines flights are cheap AF
- look out for more Badass Women photo dates and locations soon
- anddddd.....

HOME IS EVERYWHERE.

Thank you, fam. I love you.

San Francisco, see you soon, you sexy beast!


LIA PINELLI 

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LAUREL WILDE

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JORDAN YOUNIS

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Are you thinking about your own Badass Women Photos? Let's chat about it. I want to celebrate YOU.