Raw Thought

by Aaron Swartz

Last Goodbyes

It’s minutes to midnight and I’m hurriedly packing. Early tomorrow morning I catch a flight to Boston and start my new life. I haven’t really gotten much of a chance to pack until now, because I’ve spent the past few days in a rush of meetings, getting in my last goodbyes for everyone I know in San Francisco.

It’s been great seeing everyone, but like most locals, they’re all puzzled as to why I’m leaving. I’ve been struggling to explain why. When I say the weather, everyone just laughs. When I say San Francisco is too loud, they start arguing. When I say it’s the people, they tell me to find a better group of friends.

And the thing is, they’re right. It’s none of these. I’ve been spectacularly unable to articulate it, but the real answer is simpler and more prosaic. And now, after great thought and struggle, I realize the answer is simply this: Cambridge is the only place that’s ever felt like home. It’s that simple. And when you put it that way, it’s clear why I have to go.

So goodbye Stanford, goodbye Palo Alto; goodbye south bay, goodbye peninsula; goodbye Change Congress, goodbye Creative Commons; goodbye Mission, goodbye SOMA; goodbye friends, goodbye loved ones; goodbye San Francisco, home to everyone I’ve ever loved. You’ll always have my heart.

You should follow me on twitter here.

June 19, 2008


Bye, Aaron. I feel the same way about New Mexico, sigh.

posted by joe on June 19, 2008 #

That, my friend, is an un-arguable point. Home is home. And whatever and wherever you feel it, enjoy it. We’ll miss you…but undoubtedly throw an internet tether around you now and again.

Cheers and safe travels!

posted by Japhet on June 19, 2008 #

While one can’t argue with your feelings, I still think moving from sunny San Francisco to miserable-weather Cambridge, is crazy. You can’t go home again, as home is a moment in time.

posted by Seth Finkelstein on June 20, 2008 #

it’s understandable. for all the back and forth on the merits of this place and that, it was when you told me that it felt like home i stopped arguing. well, about what you should do, anyway.

posted by q on June 22, 2008 #

Welcome back. I’m glad to hear you had such a positive experience here. Hope you you keep that warm fuzzy feeling as you settle down, reconnect with the scene, develop a strong local network, and realize what a bunch of a-holes we are. (BTW, my one-word response to complaints about New England weather: Iowa.)

posted by sierra on July 3, 2008 #

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