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October 1st marked the 2 year anniversary of my move to San Francisco, and let me tell you this:  It just keeps getting better.

Don’t get me wrong, the first year was a blast.  I met what would become some of my closest friends, I started my own company, I started Digitally Chic with my girls, and I had a great relationship with a boy that taught me just about everything there is to know about love & truly living life.  And let’s not forget the view from my bedroom window:

The downside?  I was just starting out in my career in one of the most expensive cities in the country.   I had just about zero disposable income, which meant that my life of traveling was no longer possible, and going out to dinner mostly consisted of $5 happy hour specials, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, and spaghetti.  I was working all the time, but I rarely could afford to travel home to visit my parents or siblings.  I couldn’t afford to fix the broken tile in my bathroom, or the cracked linoleum all over my bedroom.  At times, we had up to 4 roommates living in a 3 bedroom, 1 bath walk-up, all with very different ideas of “clean” and “noise.”  But I wouldn’t trade that first year for anything.

After completing my 2nd year in San Francisco, I finally feel like I’m experiencing the life I wanted to live in SF in the first place.  My small startup has really taken off, and soon I’ll be moving into a new office space and (fingers crossed) hiring a couple full-time employees, instead of my contracted staff.  The clients that I’ve gained the past year have really been a blessing.  I’m lucky to be working with many other female entrepreneurs like Jane Antonacci and Joan McLoughlin, and they have truly become my mentors in navigating this metropolis. Both Jane and Joan have taken time from their busy schedules to show me first-hand how to traverse contracts, negotiate pricing, present myself, and more generally, they have led by example.

Having a little bit more of a disposable income definitely doesn’t mean happiness in itself, but it does alleviate some of the stress, and allows me to focus on activities that make me happy, instead of focusing on work all the time.  As a small business owner, there will always be those days that I’ll work until the wee hours of the morning to finish a project, but at least now I can spend my free time doing other things like visiting my parents that live a few hours away, or going to Southern California to visit my sister, niece & nephew, which truly does bring happiness.  I’ve been able to go to Europe twice this past year, and even lived bi-coastal for about 6 months.

So far this month, I’ve seen so many people posting on Facebook and Twitter the things that they are thankful for.  Well, today I’m thankful for San Francisco, and all the ways she’s changed me into a better and stronger person.

Next week, I’ll show some photos from especially lovely moments from my second year in SF, including 2 close friends weddings, my trip to the WORLD SERIES (go Giants!), and some other pretty cool stuff. Stay tuned!

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