Alright, guys, I need to let it out today. I just need to.
Last week, my car was broken into for the 6th effing time since I’ve been living in San Francisco. My personal space was violated, yet again.
What is it about my older, not so shiny car here that makes it such a target?
I’m a bit shaken up over it. It seems really petty to even write about it this way when there’s so much worse shit going on these days. No one got hurt. Nothing taken was valuable, some of it quite sentimental, but mostly old worn and torn stuff that was destined for Goodwill sooner than later anyway. So why the fuss?
Well, it’s not about the stuff…
Sure, my favorite hat is gone (which traveled with me throughout South America), and so is my super useful trail chair. They even took my musty old picnic blanket. Along with my 12 year old tent that has seen many a backcountry trail and has kept me sheltered in more than 15 National Parks. The “newest” items stolen were my trekking poles bought a few months ago, only used on 3 trips, but only cost me $30. Nothing taken was worth more than $50.
One of the last pictures of my beloved REI Half Dome, bought in 2002. We had a great run together!
This hat survived South America, but not San Francisco! (pic taken in Torres del Paine, Chile, 2011)
They actually saved me a trip to Goodwill by cleaning out some of those items! Okay, small silver lining. What I’m hoping is that some homeless guy out on the cold foggy San Francisco streets is now a bit warmer thanks to my musty old blanket. That’s the vision I’ll keep in my head anyway.
But what has me a bit freaked out about this ordeal is that I didn’t leave anything visibly showing in my car. After 6 years of city life, I know better.
The most that anyone could see from the outside was a half empty container of motor oil in the backseat, my clip-on sunglasses (I mean really, who wears clip-on’s besides me?!), and my sweat-stained hat in the front. Along with an empty eye drop bottle right below the cup holder. All stolen. My car was stripped clean. The glove compartment (with my car registration paperwork), the front compartments, the backseat area, and the trunk. Everything gone. Oh wait, that’s right, the jerks did leave me with my Nalgene water bottle of all things, a half canister of stove fuel, and one cough drop.
Which all leads me to believe that someone had been “working” the area, watching me the day before, opening my trunk, taking out my valuable items (laptop, work bag) and then closing the trunk, not giving the other items much thought. Someone knew I had a ton of crap in my car. They didn’t guess this, right?
Now I’m a bit more fearful than I was before, my car was parked around the corner from where I live, in what is the relatively “safe” neighborhood of Bernal Heights. Did someone watch me today as I went to and from my house and car?
I’ve always been slightly paranoid about this kind of stuff, now even more so. Have I been watching too much TV or does this kind of spying/breaking in shit get real? For now, I keep looking over my shoulder, and double and triple checking that I’ve locked my car, my house, my work office. Not that having the car locked means anything, they smashed the window. Jerks.
The even bigger picture here is that my personal space has now been violated 6 times while living in the City. And I’m fucking done with it. Absolutely done with city life. It’s not just the break-in, it’s nearly everything these days. The traffic congestion, the looking for parking, the sirens, the people density, the homeless urinating right in front of me, the tech buses, the getting stuck behind the transit buses, the $7 smoothies, my small living space with loud upstairs neighbors… every city annoyance has my blood boiling in seconds.
I’ve mentioned this before; it’s no secret that I want to move out of the City and into the woods. For a while there, I was waiting for the ideal non-SF job to align, but now that I’m getting the bookkeeping experience that I was hoping for at my current job, I’m sticking around to take full advantage of this opportunity.
I am now the “Accounts Administrator” and spend a good chunk of my work day on Quickbooks, entering in nearly every financial transaction that my company makes. I’m loving it. This is the right move for me and I’m feeling that forward momentum towards eventually making a location-independent income work out. I want that ability to work from anywhere in the world (which does not mean jumping into consistent travel, just means I’d have more options at my disposal). Remote bookkeeping, that exists, right?
Now I have to ask myself whether a commute into the City would be worth it in the meantime? That’s a tough question to answer…
But to end on a positive note: the other silver lining to the break-in: a perfectly valid reason to buy myself a new and lighter weight tent!
My new Kelty Grand Mesa 2 tent arrived today and I’m super excited to try it out! Two week countdown til its first use in the John Muir Wilderness!
San Francisco is a beautiful and fascinating city, but I’m really just a small town mountain girl at heart.