On Ten Years

Ten years ago I landed in San Francisco. I was 25. After living in the UK for seven years, one day I woke up and figured out that I needed something else. A new adventure, a fresh start. For all that I loved about being in London, and my experience working at Framestore on films like Harry Potter 3 and Troy, I knew that it was time to take one of the biggest risks you can take in your life. Quit. Move. And start again.

I was born in the Bay Area, but I had never really lived here. I was still really young when I moved to Portugal, so I didn't really remember anything about the US apart from the few visits I did with my family while still a kid. But part of me always wanted to try coming back to the place where it all had started.

So after seven great years in the UK, I quit my job, sold everything I had in London, packed a couple of bags, and flew to San Francisco. I had no guarantees that anything would work out. No prospective jobs, no objectives, no friends. I literally was throwing myself into a completely new uncomfortable situation, leaving my friends behind in London, and everything that you would think would keep me there.

San Francisco. I had a wonderful start thanks to some great roommates that made me feel immediately at home. And before I knew it, just a few months after landing in SF I managed to get a job at Pixar Animation Studios. I guess taking big risks and following my intuition tends to work out in the long run.

I never forgot that, and that's why even now I feel confident in taking risks. Quitting other jobs, trying other adventures, going full on with whatever I do that makes me happy. Maybe it's because I live for the present, but definitely also because I love the feeling of being completely vulnerable. Of allowing myself to be true to who I am, and embrace things that scare me, or challenge me.

The past ten years of San Francisco, have been worthy of a full lifetime already. In fact, maybe even several lifetimes. I've had many groups of friends, and a very select few that have been there ever since the beginning. I've fallen in and out of love, I've laughed – and cried – like never before in my life, I've experienced moments that seem so unreal that made me understand the expression "only in SF". Sometimes I love this city, sometimes I hate it, but I always come back.

Ten years is a long time for me to be in the same place, but thanks to the close proximity to nature, incredible friends, unforgettable adventures, it is tough to leave. I don't know where the next ten years will take me. I don't know how my career will progress. But I am certain that they will be some of the most unforgettable ten years of my life, and I can't wait to experience all the laughs, tears, and memories that will come my way.

One year ago, I had a rug pulled out of me in an unexpected way. All of a sudden, I felt like I was floating around not knowing how I would land. While staying at a friend's house for a while to get my feet back on the ground, I started taking a photo a day of something that symbolized something to me, and just to me, about that specific day. I called it #life365, and I promised myself I would do that for a whole year.

Not knowing why, or what it would become in the end, but it was a personal and creative meditation exercise on my own life, thoughts, and observations. 365 days later, and on my 10 year anniversary, this project is now complete.

I created this little video, that won't mean much to anyone watching it. But I know, that in 40 years time, if I'm still alive, I will look back at this and smile, thinking about my first ten years in San Francisco, thinking about all the adventures I've had in this particular year, and knowing that at the very least... I'm one lucky bastard.

And that makes me happy.

Thanks SF. I <3 you.