In August, I moved to San Francisco because I wanted to focus on work, so much so that I moved across the street from my factory on Jessie Street. I can literally use my hand truck to roll over my fabric from the mailroom in my building. My apartment is like an office building with meeting rooms on three of the 20 floors. I remember thinking if I move here it would be like being at work ALL THE TIME. As an ambitious entrepreneur that was fine with me.
I have the sounds of the city day and night. Sirens, honking horns, music playing on the street and beyond, and the sounds of construction crews digging up the streets past midnight. I moved from my family home in the East Bay to San Francisco to work. The period of my life as a wife and mother raising children had passed and I moved seamlessly into the next stage.
February is the season of love. It’s the time of year when we celebrate not just romantic love, but love in general. I doubled down on my LOVE apparel in January and have inventory in all sizes you can order at oceansf.co but as I think back to the decisions I’ve made along the way I realize I did everything for love or because of love. It has always been my driving force and for better or worse my number one motivation.
From my San Francisco perch on the 16th floor I can see the full cycle of my choices and those of my friends. We had one career, then another career, started businesses, changed jobs, been married, been divorced, or not gotten married at all. We’ve had children, or did not had children. Some of my friends raised other people’s children as step parents and some adopted children. We were stay at home moms or working mothers, or single working mothers. I’ve been advising my daughters and their friends and even my own younger friends. I often see where the fork in the road leads to either chasing love or chasing prosperity. These are choices we make.
I’ve made some very bad career choices in the name of love. When I was in my twenties I quit my job in San Fransico as a rising Product Manager. I had an apartment with an unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge. I was thriving. However, my mother was not. My mother was dying in a hospital in Oregon and as she did not have a partner or close friends I moved home to take care of her. We had 18 months together before she died. It was a wrenching time. We did everything to save her, but could not and she died young.
This was a turning point in my life. My boss at the time told me not to go because I had a very bright future where I was, but I felt I had no choice but I did, we always do. I took the leap of faith that it would all work out, however, it took me a very, very long time to get my career back on track. When I finally did joining a music technology start-up as their seventh employee as Director of Marketing I quit because I had my second baby and could not work 90 hours a week with two small children. I tried, but I could not leave my infant with a nanny for 9 hours per day. Said infant, my younger daughter Siena, was a jewel, the sweetest, happiest most beautiful baby, and has turned into the sweetest most beautiful woman. I cherished each day I spent with her.
Again, when my daughters were 12 and 14 I was working as a Business Analyst, and my husband was running a company in the South Bay. We were successful, but our kids were running wild. It was summer time and we had two sets of nannies and drivers morning and afternoon. One day I got 190 text messages between my two nannies, my kids, my carpools and my husband. I had a very important job and I was literally having a nervous breakdown managing it all. I have to add my daughters were swimming competitively, playing traveling club soccer, and sand volleyball. Plus, they had dozens of friends each, and we had a 80 lb Doodle dog, two cats and two rabbits. I was going crazy working in San Francisco 10 plus hour days on top of my responsibilities as a wife and mother.
The last straw was an Instagram post of my kids and their friends walking the roof line of our two-story house while our nanny watched TV downstairs in my family room. I quit that job and went home to man the fort and ensure my daughters survived middle school. Looking back, again was not the best career decision, but I did it out of love for my children and family.
These were the choices I made. Over and over again in small ways and large I chose love over career. And, I’m glad I did. Now, I am back in the city and this time I can pursue my career and build my business Ocean SF which is more of a movement for environmental and social impact causes than anything else.
Saving the ocean and ensuring factory workers in the garnet industry are protected are my number one priorities.
Now, the choices I make will have a different spin. I can do things that I personally love and dedicate myself to them. This also includes the San Francisco Museum of Fine Arts — more on this later.
San Francisco is full of interesting things to do and discover. I am making new friends and doing new things that I personally love. So far, this is the best February ever. Happy Valentines Day!
Love and Blessings to all.