I apologize for the long delay in writing back to you. The year has started off good here, but it has been unbelievably busy. Time moves exponentially faster these days. I guess it’s a reminder to slow down at times and enjoy the moment. Yes! I put a tree and kept the holiday spirit. I admit that it felt weird at first because of the warm weather but I’ll get used to it over time. Christmas was good, and New Year’s Eve as well. I did miss everyone back in New York, but I made sure to enjoy bringing in the new year. I had a toast with the neighbors and was fast asleep at 12:01 a.m. I didn’t have any interest in going out, memories of the mayhem that took place every year in New York conditioned me to stay close to home. I could never understand why New Year’s night was so violent every year. It really is a cruel twist of fate to celebrate a new year by dying as soon as it begins. But that is the dark side of human nature which we must always confront. It’s a good thing you didn’t send any money or else that scammer would be $2500 richer!
I agree with your views on strength and would also add that being strong also means doing the things we do not want to do but know that we must. I also think that being strong means knowing when to accept that you need help and/or someone else’s opinion. Great leaders stand out not just for making tough decisions but learning from the advice they receive. But at the same time, women are incredibly strong, giving birth to a child is incredibly hard on the body but women do it and in some cases, repeatedly. Lately, I’ve been making more of an effort to improve my conversation skills. So, I make sure to make eye contact when I speak to someone, keep my phone at bay and listen to their words carefully. Some days it feels as if we have forgotten how to talk to each other. Maybe I’m cynical, but we cannot delegate everything to an app and must keep the things that make us human in constant use. I miss the days when we would all sit outside in the summer for hours just talking and enjoying the weather. Good times.
Well Pop, there is no easy answer to the homeless problem here. But I did learn something that I think is important to point out. There are homeless people who are on the streets not because they do not or cannot work, but because they do not earn enough to afford a place to live. And that is one of the biggest problems on the West Coast. And if New York and other places do not pay close attention, the same problem will increase there too. I saw on the news that there are still buildings in Manhattan with empty floors but converting them to residential spaces will not be easy. San Francisco has the same plan but there are hurdles to overcome here as well. As of December, the city has 90 million square feet of vacant space. I hope it gets better Pop but I’m not holding my breath.
I don’t have any resolutions for the new year. I could make some, but I’d end up breaking them, I’m sure. Well, some would say they’re meant to be broken but I digress. My promise to myself is to stay consistent in life and keep improving the skills I do have. I also have a long list of books to read this year which I’ll get to soon. I paid a visit to the Castro area and saw that the building where Harvey Milk had his camera store is empty. Pop, it’s scary that even in the 1970s, he warned about things that have come to pass. The cost of living was an issue then and he sounded the alarm that we would pay for it if it kept increasing. Well, here we are today. The future remains to be seen.
This letter will be a little short as it’s late here, but I wanted to make sure I wrote to you. There are days when I’m awfully tired, but I remind myself that I’m fortunate to have the job that I do. And that keeps me humble in addition to the lessons you and mom taught us over the years. Now I will pass them on to someone else. Give everyone my love, looking forward to your next letter.