I think it’s safe to say that 2020 was a shit show. That said, for me, 2019 was far worse.
The first half of the year centered around rebuilding my life after ending my engagement and walking away from a five-year relationship while I juggled keeping MyUmbrella afloat. By May, I was emotionally tapped out, and yet I bullishly press forwarded in typical Angie fashion.
I suppose that after years of bullishly pressing forward, my body finally had enough. The second half of the year, I found myself couch-ridden – if you will – after I woke up one day in excruciating pain and barely able to walk. That led to months and months of doctors appointments, test after test, and every type of pain medication that didn’t help until they found the culprit: pelvic ligament damage.
Now I wish I had a funny story as to how that happened, but the truth is, I have absolutely no idea. All I knew was that for six months, I was temporarily disabled and a prisoner of my own mind. I spent a lot of those days thinking about my choices, if the sacrifices that I made for MyUmbrella were worth it. But the most critical thought for me was, “what the hell am I going to do now?”
I had fallen out of love with MyUmbrella. At that point, I walked away from the real estate industry and I wasn’t necessarily seen as an asset in the traditional tech community. On top of all that, I had a second medical emergency. So far, I’ve gone through three procedures that have cost me $15,000, I was in a minor car accident and a pipe burst underneath the foundation of my house, which my insurance didn’t cover. For those of you that know foundations, my house doesn’t have a crawlspace, so you already understand the extra pain of that reality.
In 2010, I experienced rock bottom as it relates to my mental health. In 2013, I experienced rock bottom related to my drinking problems. 2019, however, was the rock bottom of my entire life. I’d climbed to the peak of my aspirations. I had the job, I had the girl, I had the house. And everything sucked. Then, I threw it all away.
I decided that I needed a break. I devised a plan to financially unfuck my life and then head to France for three months in the fall of 2020. Of course, the pandemic came along and killed my plans, which in turn exacerbated my desire to leave.
Growing up in the gay haven of San Francisco, I’ve always said that I’d rather live in another country than another American city. Since we’re banned from the world for the foreseeable future, I decided to put the theory to the test.
There’s no job, no degree, no love to speak of that’s calling me to one particular place, so why not try a bunch out. Thus, 12 Cities in 12 Months was born.
Why one month per city? Because you can turn a blind eye to certain things when you are only visiting for a few days or a week. But after a month, you start to get a feel of the city and its character. I have at least one friend in each city, so I will have a home base if I need to see a familiar human once in a while.
I have no idea what things I will see, the people I will meet, or the adventures I may have. I can only hope to live in the moment and I hope you enjoy reading along while I embark on this journey. You can follow my visual diary on Instagram at @angieandthechipmunks
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