photographer | director | artists' artist


Guilt and San Diego Not Required

Guilt… What an interesting emotion. Definitely a debilitating emotion to OD on. Small quantities allowed only, and best used on resuscitating criminals, but not for the everyday usage.


  • When spending large amounts of time around parents
  • Surrounded by haters
  • Visiting a city where last call is at 1:45AM
  • Surrounded by tract homes
  • Mobility dependent on automobile
  • Embracing Catholicism 
  • Isolation from interesting people
  • Cable TV

A few days before Christmas, I could feel the draft of depression starting to creep through the cracks. I frantically started searching high and low for all the cracks. First place I usually check are my fat cells then I usually go to my career and bank account. But after closing the gap with a stringent diet, calling myself a loser for not photographing better and fretting about my student loans and binging on ice cream and cheap Mexican food, I started questioning why the hell I should keep trying. Serious amber alert. That’s when I knew there was some serious nasty shit going on in my head.

But once I hit the road for San Francisco, things shifted almost immediately. Dr. Brown and I had an appointment the next day, and the suicidal thoughts that I had had the few days before suddenly seemed so far away and from an altogether different person. He pointed out that the last time I was in San Diego, the very same thing happened. I used to feel guilty that I did not like San Diego, or that I was being a snob. I used to feel guilty about how much I disliked being in San Diego, and I would constantly look for the goodness in the town so I could justify staying in the town to be loyal to my parents and take care of them in their old age. But this trip back home is making me realize just how much I can’t stand San Diego. My parents, though wonderful people, require a lot of patience and understanding on my part because they are quite different from me. It takes a lot to bite my tongue and not be hurt by their opinions. They’re my parents after all. Then there are the other voices in my family that seem to have an endless array of differing opinions that do not respect mine or judge mine. And that’s quite draining.

The thing that kills me the most is how tacky San Diego is. The tract homes made from plaster are characterless. The strip malls that house mediocre donut and coffee shops kill my productivity. In fact, the plaster that does cover the exterior of homes looks so disingenuous, like the rest of the city. It’s like Sweet & Low or Equal. What the fuck, there’s no substance. If you’re going to be sweet, do it right with white sugar or raw cane sugar. None of this fake shit.

Wait, I lied. Being forced to get around a city solely by car is the most infuriating thing in the world. Getting in the car to go anywhere is the worst thing you can do to man. Demobilization is the equivalent of disenfranchisement in my opinion. It frustrates the hell out of me that I cannot just step outside and walk to my destination, or that I cannot get on a subway and experience mobility without being boxed in a singular car. I think about all the people that I met in NY and in my travels because I walked outside and met people.

Another travesty is the fact that you can’t get a good drink in San Diego because you have to have it either next to the surfer yoga chic or the biotech engineer at a bar that closes at 2AM. Not a hater of surfers or techies—it just gets old without the other interesting people that are out there.

So, I’m done with feeling guilty about not wanting to be in San Diego and not staying in California to be closer to my family. Just not the place for me right now. And that is a-okay by me.


Genevieve KimComment