Last Saturday I walked to my beloved yoga studio for the last time. My five classes in 30 days pass expired this week and besides, Saturday I used the fifth class.
This yoga studio is a fairly new addition to my life in this neighborhood. I never set foot in that place, or any yoga studio in the city, until I was 16 weeks pregnant with my daughter. Those prenatal yoga classes were my absolute favorite part of being pregnant. I adored that studio, its teachers and the way both helped me connect with, and delight in, my pregnancy. During a time riddled with intense anxiety, that yoga studio was where I went to really appreciate the amazing thing happening inside me.
I went back almost a year after I had my daughter and while it was bittersweet to sit in the studio rooms feeling so empty, already wondering if or when I might have another child, I also realized that there was more of me there than just my pregnancy and within weeks the sweet far outweighed the bitter.
For the past 14 months I’ve taken A LOT of yoga classes at that studio. Countless times I’ve walked the .5 miles through the park and down some of my favorite, quiet blocks with the gorgeous flowers coloring the yards of the vibrant old victorians. This yoga studio has been my sanctuary, while I was pregnant and again afterward, when I was trying desperately to rediscover and then redefine myself as a woman and a mother.
It was in that yoga studio that I became reacquainted with my strength, both physical and emotional. It was there that I learned how much my body and mind were capable of. In the last year of walking to classes, sitting, breathing, stretching, moving, chanting and meditating, and walking back home, I tapped into a peace I never expected to find in my life. That yoga studio changed me–always and forever–for the better.
I’m sure I will find another yoga studio near our new house, hopefully one with prenatal classes so I can continue to go if I get pregnant again. Some day, years from now, I might feel the connection with this new place that I felt with the one I just left. Who knows, maybe the new place will feel even more like home.
We hope to be handed the keys to our new house tomorrow. We’re getting down to the wire on this whole moving thing. It’s a strange thing, walking around a beloved neighborhood, realizing that every time you do something might be the last time. Leaving the yoga studio last Saturday I knew for certain it was the last time I’d be there, at least for a long while. Walking down my favorite street, I knew it would be the last time I’d stand in front of my beloved fantasy house, the one that was a run down mess for years, prompting me to daydream about buying it and restoring it to its former glory so I could build my own family there (someone else did that by the way, and the
house mansion recently sold for $3.5 million).
These past weeks Mi.Vida and I have been eating at our favorite restaurants, trying to enjoy all the scrumptious cuisine that won’t be so readily available by our new place. Every time we walk out of a favorite haunt we think, this is probably the last time we’ll eat here, at least for a long time.
And the truth is, even if we do visit these places again, in the future, it will be a different thing, going to them from our new house, driving to the neighborhood or negotiating myriad transfers on MUNI to get there. I wonder what it will be like, in five or ten years, to amble around this area with my daughter, telling her about what used to be where and how much fun we had at so-and-so place. For her it will just be stories, this place we’re saying goodbye to won’t feel like home.
And I wonder if it will for me, when I return, because I will, frequently. San Francisco is a small city, all things considered, and when you inhabit a square that’s 7 by 7 miles, you’re bound to end up back in the places you left behind. Especially when those areas have so many great restaurants and stores and parks and playgrounds. Will walking this streets feel the same after we’ve been away for a year or five or fifteen? I don’t know.
We are so thankful for our new place, so grateful to be leaving this apartment, but we feel truly saddened that we must also say goodbye to an incredible neighborhood and all the good times it afforded us. Our new location is great in so many ways, but the spot we’re leaving now is without equal.
This Saturday, at 8am, movers come to transfer our lives from our old apartment to our new house. Of Friday, Isa will be at her Nana’s house so we can go out for one final night on the town in our old ‘hood.
There is a bar not far from us, next to an amazing sausage place. You can order the sausages “for here, to go or next store” and if you choose the latter you can take them into the neighboring bar and enjoy those tasty links with one of dozens of on-tap beers. It’s the bar Mi.Vida took me to on our very first date and it’s one of our favorite places to hang out. And the night before we move away from this place, from these memories, from this time in our lives, will go there again to laugh and drink and eat too many sausages and remember where we came from and where we’ve been.
And, of course, to dream about where we’re going.