Mariana

On Haight Street
Lower Haight
Friday afternoon

***

My husband wishes I wouldn’t tell people we had an “arranged” marriage. He’d rather say we were “introduced” by family. I suppose he thinks it sounds as though I was forced to marry him. I think “arranged” has a nice ring to it because I know no other way the universe could have connected our paths and then bestowed upon us this alive, eclectic, bursting-at-its-seams city to grow in love and make our first home.

I lived on the East coast, and he called San Francisco home. We met in a splendidly random way after an aunt suggested we might get along. He called. I picked up and was hooked… Fast forward and three months later, he asked me to marry him during my first trip to the city. I gasped a resounding “YES”, got hitched and moved out West for love.

Moving for love, especially to a city as intimidating as it is glorious, isn’t always easy. Change isn’t always easy, and there were plenty of changes.

Big ones: Steep, rich neighborhoods, packed so tightly with incredible, inexplicable poverty. My ten round, knock-down, drag-out, bare-knuckled brawl with unemployment. A teeny 600sq. ft apartment. No friends. MUNI. And totally insane rent prices.

There were plenty of changes all right, but that was one year ago, and things eventually “arranged” themselves.

I now have a job I fought to get. I am lucky to call some of the most fantastic ladies in this city my friends. I love the smell of the Eucalyptus nestled secretly in a sprawling city. I know where to taste the crisp freshness of a cheap Vietnamese Sandwich. I’m beginning to realize MUNI is incredible, and all the craziness on board is part of the fun.

Things aren’t perfect, and there will be big hurdles ahead, but they’ll work themselves out. They have so far.

Call me naïve, but I can think of no logical explanation of how two people so far away could cross paths, fall in love and then learn to grow in love in this beautifully accepting and challenging city. You can call it God, the universe, family, fate, or just sheer luck. I’m content to believe things arranged themselves for us here in San Francisco.

Last month we moved to the Lower Haight. We live in a wonderful, graffiti-colored neighborhood. We live in a gorgeously old apartment. We live in this place we are proud to call our first home together. We live here in SF.

***

Mariana Jacob is a journalist. In October she will run her first half-marathon and is currently raising money to fund cancer research. You can help her in her mission to wipe out blood cancer by donating here:

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