The 17th Street Dance and Building a Life

January 27, 2011 by Jared Goralnick

Dancing in the streetIt’s 12:30am on a Wednesday.  I just biked 17th street for the first time.  All tonight was the product of deliberate things that came together.

Pick your thing.  Show up.  Stick with it.

Book club was the company of friends.  Dancing was the company of friends.  Riding up 17th street for the first time just wasn’t that bad.  Putting that together, even the casual lunch at Yerba Buena and reading on the Embarcadero at Red’s…  It all felt good.  It felt almost…like home.

There was a book we discussed a lot about on a group trip to Israel in 1997.  It was called Alex Building a Life.  The story is a potent and tragic one of an American who died fighting for the IDF, told through his letters, describing how he made a big change and did in fact build a new life.  That image of constructing oneself has always stuck with me.

What strikes me is that today was the result of deliberate choices and time.  It’s taken a LONG time for me to really enjoy dance here, for instance.  But those are both necessary ingredients—pick a hobby, give it time.  Join a group, give it time.  Exercise, give it time.  Soon enough, the rewards will vastly outweigh the time required for maintenance.

It’s 27 days into the new year, which is just enough time for a resolution to start sticking.  I’ve been in San Francisco just shy of five months, and things now feel pretty good.  Five months is time enough for an ambition to be a reality.

Show up.  Stick with it.  Things will come together.  This time it won’t be luck.

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