We know that everything in life changes. Even big landmarks built of stone can crumble. But some things do last longer than others, and when you travel through the world's great cities or go to far flung foreign places, there are things that grab you with their age, their beauty or their grandeur.

Spending time in San Francisco has brought me back in time. Tuesday night as we sped through the city late at night in a taxi I saw the Fairmont hotel sitting atop Nob Hill and it reminded me of my first trips to San Francisco early in my career, when I was just a newbie making my way in the post-college real world.

My first trip to SF was in 1999 where I covered a conference held at that very Fairmont Hotel. And, during the height of the Internet boom (about a year later) I landed a job as at the ripe old age of 23 as the editor of a technology financing newsletter. I had two journalists working for me in SF and did quite a few business trips out here. That was back when I loved business travel and thought it was really exciting, especially learning how to eat alone in restaurants (how fun!). Plus there was a group of my friends from college who ended up in SF and I got to see them on my trips.

It has been 10 years since I've spent a lot of time in SF. Much has changed in what is a relatively short time. There are certainly things I miss from my younger more carefree early 20s life, but actually I would never want to go back – that time in life is really difficult. You are trying to figure out who you are and what makes you tick. Work and career are never easy, but at that stage in life, navigating the working world is tough – it's not like the plot of working girl (unfortunately).

Plus, I was still uncomfortable with who I was, looking for others to define me. It surprises me to think about how much I've changed in only 10 years – but also how much more I want to learn and experience in what's left of this relatively short life.

When you live your everyday life day to day it's often difficult to see the forest for the trees. Small happenings are magnified, what you're having for lunch seems to take on more significance than examining the path of your life.

I don't think viewing your life from a thousand feet is always necessary. In fact, it is often terrifying. But it's important to realize just how short and how precious life is. And seeing a landmark that you once viewed with younger more inexperienced eyes is a moment to ponder also how changeable life really is. Both the good and the bad – things that you thought might never ever happen for you and things that you thought you would never be able to weather.

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