Today was primarily spent in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate bridge. It’s fair to say that it’s an affluent area. And a beautiful one. The houses here are incredible: built up on the hillside, looking down over numerous bays, with double/triple garages and beautifully landscaped gardens. There are lots of little independent stores (translate: shops), selling everything from clothing to housewares. They’re a little health obsessed with a gym, an organic food store, a masseuse/chiropractor, or herbal medicine store on every other corner. Lots of nice cars (every other one is a Prius) and lots of running/cycling/dog walking.
It’s a really lovely place. A place you would want to raise a family. A place you would want to escape to after a hard day’s work in the city. A place to stay when on holiday if you don’t want to be too touristy.
I could stay here forever.
Today we also took a drive past the place where I’m going to be living and working for the next ten weeks. I’m not sure it could possibly be more different.
A place that sets you on edge as people queue around the block to get into the soup kitchen. Here we have liquor stores, “hotels” and “saunas” instead of health stores. The buildings are tired and a little run down looking. There’s not much your average person would want to stop for: you certainly wouldn’t want to raise a family or get away, and the only tourists are the ones who got lost when they stepped off the tram.
I’m going to be perfectly honest with you: right now, I’d much rather cling to my comforts and remain in Mill Valley.
I’m scared about moving into the city. I thought my experience of working with people on the streets of Edinburgh would stand me in good stead but it’s different in a city that you don’t know with far more vulnerable/volatile people out there.
I thought that the biggest risk, the furthest I would have to step out of my comfort zone, here would be meeting new people and working with a different team in a different environment. Turns out I’m probably not as experienced as I think and even that which I know I enjoy back home is going to be a big step here. If I wasn’t so sure that God was in all of this, that it is His will and calling, that He is going before me and walking beside me, I wouldn’t be doing it. But He is, so I will.
And I’ll maybe just come out to the Valley on weekends . . .