California Dreamin’

Wow, have I been procrastinating on writing this post! ?

“But Brad, why?” might you ask?

Well, it’s true that I have been pretty damn busy for the last few months, after uprooting my entire life and moving to the Bay Area to start a new job.

If you didn’t already know that happened, well, sorry that you’re late to the party. But more on that later. Getting my life together here isn’t exactly why it’s taken me so long to muster up some personal thoughts made public once again…

Honestly, I’ve been afraid. Yes, afraid.

Afraid of judgement.
Afraid of writing a post that people don’t like.
Afraid of not summarising my last few months appropriately and entertainingly enough.

But once again, I realized that I’ve got to come to terms with the fact that I can’t please everyone. And ultimately, this blog wasn’t even supposed to be about that. It’s an outlet for me to share my life and thoughts with the friends and family who care!

I stumbled upon this short article on Medium the other day, and it was the catalyst for me to get back into writing again. It’s called “Write What Wants to Be Written,” and if you’re curious, you can check it out here.

Basically, it says to allow yourself to write what *you* want to write, being as free as you can with your creative expression. Here’s a fitting quote from it:

Writing what wants to be written is easier said than done, especially if you have a deep need to do it “right” or to say something important, witty, desirable, and profound before you even start. Not to mention the desire to be liked, admired, or simply acknowledged by other people for your deft placement of words.

And that pretty much sums up how I’ve felt.

As the last four months went by, I kept having the desire to make a new post, but I felt paralyzed more and more as each day passed, widening the gap of time, increasing the supposed length of the post that I’d need to write in order to feel satisfied enough that I covered every little detail worth sharing with you all… which sounds quite silly when I write it out, but my mind certainly doesn’t always think rationally. ?

So all that being said, this post isn’t going to be a perfect summary of the previous months that occurred after my last somewhat desperate (but effective!) blog post. Starting with this entry, I’m just going to do my best to write what I want, and not worry about any kind of constraints or requirements.

Speaking of constraints and requirements… hey, that sounds a lot like the realm of software development to me! And guess what?! I’m happily employed again now!! ?

I hope you’ll allow me this one .gif of cockiness. ??

Boy, does it feel good to be making that moola again. ?

Although I’m not allowed to get into specifics about where I’m working (I literally and legally can’t), I’ve been a full-time employee since the very end of May, and after three months, I can safely say that it’s my favorite job that I’ve ever had. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I mostly enjoyed my last job, but this one is truly on a whole new level for me. I get to work with an extremely intelligent and thoughtful group of people, my work environment is incredible, and the perks (free delicious snacks, free lunch, free gym to burn off the food) are amazing too. I’d love to go more in-depth into it all, but I don’t want to reveal too much! ?

Seriously though? Moving to the Bay Area quite possibly could be one of the best major decisions of my life. Sure, it’s expensive here, but since I was blessed with a salary to match the high cost of living, I’m really not any financially worse for wear. For a fortuitous young software developer like me, the pros outweigh the cons by leaps and bounds.

For one, the natural geography here is breathtaking and seemingly never-ending. I now live an hour away from the beach, less than an hour away from the mountains, and even less than that for a plethora of national parks and forests. ??

This is the beautiful town that I get to live in… it’s still so surreal to me!

On Cam and I’s first day in our apartment, we had the good fortune of seeing a deer and her baby fawn bounding through the nearby underbrush. Maybe that’s not too exciting to some of you, but for me, it felt magical. Here, flora and fauna just flourish. ?

The weather is truly amazing. I’d always heard it was, but until I came here, I didn’t grasp just how wonderful it is. It’s almost never too hot or too cold (with the exception of San Francisco, but luckily I’m not living there!) and my allergies have become nearly non-existent. I have to admit, it’s nice feeling like I’m more alive. ?

Devin, Cam and I’s first time on the Golden Gate Bridge, and we were lucky enough to witness a rare sighting of a pod of whales! ?? ?

And being a gay person here? God, it’s great!! No one so much as bats an eye. No one CARES. You’re just simply another real, living and loving human being. Love is love, y’all! ❤????

A couple weeks after we moved here, Cam and I got the chance to attend 2017 San Francisco Pride, which featured an incredible display of equality, diversity, acceptance and love. Here are just a few photos that I took from the parade:

I enjoyed seeing a plethora of positive and uplifting phrases and banners promoting progress and equality. ?
It was invigorating to see city officials like the police force, firefighters, and government leaders all showing their support in the parade!
Here, it honestly seemed that most big businesses would be in the wrong if they didn’t show up. I loved spotting big household names like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Lyft, Chase, Apple, etc all marching with joyful exuberance.

I can’t entirely convey how refreshing and relieving it is to finally have the opportunity to fully let my guard down and try to allow my true self to shine through. Although I came out when I was 15, and had support of many loving friends, I never truly felt like a “normal” part of Texan society. How could I, when the state government and so many adult “role models” that surrounded me considered homosexuals as second-class citizens? Although I’ve tolerated misguided hatred all my life, it’s definitely not something that I seek to surround myself with. ?

I could go on and on about how much I love it here and why, but there’s no need for it. I just know that, for me, this was the right decision, and I feel incredibly grateful that I was able to have the means to do it. Most people wouldn’t be comfortable with taking all of their belongings and moving to an entirely new place, but I managed to do it. And I’m SO glad that I did.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I’ve felt a calling to leave my home state for many years now. When you know, you just know.

And at this point in time, I can’t imagine anywhere else that I’d rather be.


Signing off for now,

– Brad


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Devin Halpinereply
August 27, 2017 at 5:38 pm

I’m so happy that you are happy. Diversity is the essence of the Bay Area. That quality is what makes it such a welcoming and special place. No wonder you have found your “happy place”. In my eyes, you and Cam are truly living the dream.

I feel so fortunate that I was able to spend time with y’all in your new Cali home. You are one of my favorite people (as well as Cam) and I refuse to let 1,700 miles stop me from seeing y’all. Plus, I already knew that I loved SF, but staying with y’all expanded my love to Oakland and your lovely town Walnut Creek.

You already know that I want to move to the Bay Area, and maybe I’ll figure out a path that leads me there. Regardless, I’m sending my love to you and Cam from TX. ?

September 4, 2017 at 7:50 pm
– In reply to: Devin Halpine

Hey Devin! Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment! ?

I’m so glad that you made the time to come visit us here!! It was great getting to hang out with you and explore the city together. You are an amazing and beautiful human being ?

It would be so cool if you had the opportunity to move here one day! Here’s to hoping that it eventually happens ?

Sending my love back,
Brad ?

Express yourself. What's on your mind, friend?

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