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SF, I love you
One-page essay series
“SF makes it easy to surround yourself with people with higher moral orders and imagination so that you can feel more comfortable breaking the constraints you’ve set up for yourself” my friend Yueh Han said about why he loves SF after a few years of hopping between cities all over the world.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that. Lately, it’s been easy for people who’ve been in coastal elite cities their whole lives to dismiss SF... saying things like it can’t compare to the status chasing of New York or social vibrancy of Miami, but I see it differently.
I grew up in Orlando, which made me feel like an outsider for being Asian, intellectually curious, and not from generational wealth. It made me ambitious to escape… When I left for college, I saw bits and pieces of those things that made me feel different in each of the cities and places I lived in. In New York, I felt a steep societal hierarchy that even new money couldn’t break. In Stanford, despite being surrounded by brilliance, I felt a rigid mold at times.
SF has its problems, and maybe I’m attributing my general feeling of freeness to being in my early 20s, but it’s the one place that I haven’t felt constrained or judged for anything besides my thoughts. I’ve been lucky that in my close circle of friends, we’ve been chasing opportunities to explore intellectually and emotionally, not necessarily opportunities to be promoted, to make fast money, or to settle down. I haven’t found anywhere else like that yet, so in short, SF, I love you.
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