Yeah, so, I think Julie Michelle is the Kevin Bacon of San Francisco.
We are all connected through her. Everyone I meet in San Francisco either knows Julie Michelle or knows someone who knows Julie Michelle. And it was this time last year that I was first contacted by Julie.
I was recovering from my mastectomy when I got the most touching email from a stranger who would later turn into a friend. She somehow stumbled across my blog, and she was moved enough to send me an email sending me her best wishes. We exchanged a few emails and, eventually, she asked if, when I was feeling better, if I would participate in her project, I Live Here:SF. The project is basically this: Julie takes your picture in your favorite hood in San Francisco and then you write a story about San Francisco. Sounds pretty simple, but the results are amazing. Everyone in this town is similar and different. I am always moved by the stories I read on I Live Here:SF.
Honestly, the thought of doing I Live Here: SF was very scary to me. Obviously, I’m not a private person, but I’m not a photogenic person. It made me nervous, but after looking at her photos, I had no doubt that I was in good hands. Also, I thought my story about finding love and fighting breast cancer was a story that should be out there. Maybe someone would read it, and she would get a mammogram or do a self exam. I’m all about saving the boobies.
So, yeah, I did it, and my story ran in December.
Three big things happened to me when I moved to San Francisco: I found myself; I met the love of my life; and I got breast cancer.
I wrote about moving to San Francisco from Concord, and my last first date with David, and, of course, the breast cancer. And it all ties into San Francisco.
A week before my mastectomy, David took me out to dinner for my birthday at Waterbar. After dinner, we walked along the Embarcadero, and eventually, we sat down, taking in the view of the Bay Bridge. It’s my favorite bridge. You can have the Golden Gate Bridge, folks; I love the Bay Bridge. It’s the bridge that brought me to San Francisco. And it was there, in front of my favorite bridge, that David pulled out a ring and asked me to be his wife. This man; this wonderful man. We had no idea what was going to happen a week later. Maybe the cancer had spread? Maybe I was in for a long fight; a long, ugly fight that a lot of women don’t win. He didn’t care. He wanted to marry me. He knew my answer before I said it. The tears were a giveaway.
I was moved to tears all day long by the outpouring of love, support and kind words from people I have never met in the comments section on the story and on Twitter and Facebook. And, not surprisingly, Julie took lovely photos. In fact, the shot below of David, Homer and myself was used as our save-the-date cards for our wedding.
So, the reason I’m bringing this up is tonight is the opening night reception for the I Live Here: SF Retrospective at SOMArts from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. My photo along with more than 100 others will be on display as part of the show, which is destined to be awesome. Of course, I will be there tonight, and I encourage you to check it out, too.
I have met so many super talented, smart, funny people through Julie this past year. I hardly ever see them in person, but I always see them on Facebook and Twitter. I’m really excited to see them in person tonight, and big congrats and hugs to Julie on her show!