by wynlim

A good story, whether in a book or in a movie, has lots of peaks and lows.

How many times have you read a book, watched a movie, or hear someone recount his/her experience, and you have felt your heart come alive?

I believe somewhat in Ayn Rand’s theory – that the greatest gift one can ever give to the human race, is to live life to the maximum and live to tell that story.

Imagine someone like Steve Jobs. Can you imagine him telling his story? How he would just take typography classes and that became the foundation of Apple’s core UI philosophy? How his upbringing was actually rather fragmented? How he survived pancreatic cancer?

If one day someone’s gonna make a movie, that would be a really good movie.

And for me, I realised despite my constant whining throughout my life, I have tons of interesting stories to tell. And I really enjoy recounting them, or recounting people’s stories to some other people, and see something in their eyes change.

San Francisco/California is a place full of stories. This is the city where gay people come together and fight for their rights. It is the place where there were literal gold-diggers. This was home to the hippies. Now, it is HQ for the major tech companies in the world.

How can I not love a city like that? A place where people come to fight for their dreams. I came to fight for mine, and I feel like I’ve woken up from a 30yr-old slumber.

It occurred to me that perhaps plenty of people may not like it here. They may not like the very colourful culture, the ever-evolving landscape, that everyone seems to be moving constantly. There is no sense of stability here. Still, there is tons of space, lots of room to grow, a sense of community even though nobody seems to be permanent here. 

That is the thing you see. I tend to appreciate things that people typically don’t, and that is why I am feeling so alive now. I can finally be my self. You know how liberating that feels? I don’t think you would unless you’ve been stuck in a 30-yr slumber before, thinking that the identity you’ve fostered back then was you.

It is like having a Husky bred in Singapore and that poor dog is like wondering why is he feeling perpetually hot all his life? That dog would have thought something must be wrong with him, because other dogs seem to be so happy. He would have thought he is dysfunctional and damaged, not knowing that he was meant to be a magnificient animal among ice and snow.

This is how I feel right now. I don’t mean to insinuate that I am magnificient lol but I definitely feel a lot more human here. That there are tons of perceived-dysfunctional people like me here. Though over here, they’re not dysfunctional. They’re celebrated. Respected. Appreciated. Given there own space to be individuals. And I am not only talking about the tech scene. You see this everywhere. Even the BART drivers I encounter make quirky-sounding train announcements. You see young people trying to be farmers. People in wheelchairs zipping around. Then, there are the truly crazy people. But  they are given their space to be crazy too. It is almost like you’re expected to be somewhat off-the-balance around here. 

I don’t want to be back home. For now. I want to make this place my home. It doesn’t seem possible at this point, but back a few months ago, even being a tourist here didn’t seem possible.

I am really not kidding when I tell you – in my entire 30 years ++ of my life, I have never, ever felt this alive. Like I am finally living and breathing, back in the place I was meant to be.