Living in Seattle(ish), Day three(ish): 10 things I’ve learned
Living in Seattle(ish), Day eight(ish): regret in a screenshot
Living in Seattle(ish), Day 18(ish): Time for the mortuary, and I’m a bad driver
Living in Seattle(ish), Day 193(ish): where do I begin?
Living in Seattle(ish), Day 270(ish): boba blues
Life is an amazing journey. My “living in Seattle(ish)” posts are probably already a bit off topic for a travel blog, and this post will be somewhat off topic for this series. You’ve been warned.
Today marks my one-year anniversary in Seattle, and as I plot my next “move” in life I can’t help but reflect a bit.
I graduated college just over two years ago, and remember how frustrated I was my senior year of college. Actually, I had exactly the same feeling my senior year of high school. I’ve never had ambitions of some lofty corporate job, but rather I always just kind of wanted to do something I was passionate about and stick to “my own thing.” So in high school I was probably a complete idiot when I only applied to two colleges, and as luck would have it I got accepted to one, because I don’t know what would’ve happened otherwise.
My senior year of college was no different as I started looking for a job. While I’d like to think I’m fairly entrepreneurial, I’ve never actually had what others might consider a “real” job. I’ve been able to support myself doing my “own thing,” but my senior year of college I guess I expected that would come to an end, because that’s what society kind of dictates – when you graduate from college you go and work for someone else. There’s of course nothing wrong with that, but I just couldn’t imagine doing it every day of my life.
And in what was both a blessing and a curse I wouldn’t actually find a job after college. Admittedly I didn’t apply to even a dozen places, but I’m just not very good at putting on a fake smile and pretending that I love working on teams or that my biggest flaw is that I’m too detail oriented or work too hard, as you’re told to say in interviews.
Not finding a job was probably the best thing that has ever happened to me. Because one morning I woke up and it clicked — I didn’t have to work for someone else.
It has worked out amazingly well, and I owe it all to you guys. Seriously, what I do isn’t all showers and double beds in the sky, but at the end of the day there’s nothing greater than being able to wake up and do what you love every day. Some days I wake up and tell myself I’m going to take a day off and not do anything work related, but then I realize that what I would do in my free time is the same thing I’d do while “working.”
So seriously, all I can say is thank you a million times over to all of you for making it possible. Not just for reading, but for the amazing interactions I’ve had with many of you over the years.
The reason I bring this all up in the context of a post about living in Seattle is that a bit over a year ago I decided I wanted to move somewhere else. I went to school in Florida and had stayed in Tampa because that’s where my parents are and I loved being close to them and being able to spend time with them, though I also realized that long term Tampa wasn’t for me.
I looked at places to move, you guys provided some incredible feedback, and ultimately I decided to move to Seattle. Or more accurately, as all the “actual” Seattleites point out, “you don’t live in Seattle, you live in Bellevue.” It’s amazing what a couple of miles of water between two pieces of land can do.
I’ve chronicled my life in Seattle through several posts linked above, just sharing observations from a transplant that went from the far end of one coast to the far end of the other.
So now a year is up. When I moved here I decided I’d stay for a year and reexamine at that point. So what did I end up deciding? I’m potentially ready to move to another city, though not quite yet (and no, it has nothing to do with Lufthansa first class service being pulled from Seattle next year. When my apartment was up for renewal I was only given the option to renew for six months, and that actually seemed like a blessing in disguise. I can stay here a bit longer and figure out what I want to do without committing for an entire year. So I did that, and will stay in Bellevue till at least next April.
Truth be told I don’t really have much keeping me in Seattle anymore. I had a few reasons for wanting to move to Seattle, and at this point the only reason to stay is that I actually really like the city. Despite the non-ideal weather for three quarters of the year, the Pacific Northwest is absolutely stunning, Seattle is a gem of a city, and the summers are just more beautiful than anywhere else in the world I’ve ever been.
So what’s going through my mind?
I don’t like being so far from my parents
My parents have always been my biggest supporters, and always encouraged me to do whatever the hell I wanted. Not because they don’t care, but because they want me to be happy. And the least I can do is try to return the favor as much as possible. After having recently traveled with my mom to Bali and dad to Germany, I remembered how much fun it can be to spend time with the people you care most about. I’m almost tempted to move back to Tampa to be near them, but I also know that Tampa won’t make me happy long term. Therefore I’m committed to traveling with them as much as possible or at least visiting more often. But being so far from them is something that frustrates me about living in Seattle.
I like life on the west coast
When I first moved to Seattle one of my biggest frustrations was the time zone. I’m not really an early riser, so if I start my day at 9AM that’s really noon on the east coast, and I’m spending the first half of the day just playing “catch up.” That can be a bit frustrating at times. I’ve tried getting the whole “get up at 5AM” thing, but it just doesn’t work. Especially when the weather isn’t nice and all you want to do is stay in bed.
I’ve also realized, though, that life on the west coast is different in other ways too. While it has kind of become the norm for me, when you go back to the east coast you realize just how different it is. Even though I live in a ridiculously corporate city, I don’t remember the last time I saw someone in a suit. People are friendly — “Seattle freeze” friendly — but still friendly. There’s just something less hectic about life over here, and it’s kind of nice.
Bellevue vs. Seattle
So people make fun of me for living in Bellevue, and that’s totally fair in every way. Seattle is a really amazing city, and Bellevue is kind of the corporate sister city and is quite possibly even more sterile than Singapore.
Without traffic Bellevue is only a 15 minute drive from Seattle, yet I often don’t cross the “bridge” for months at a time. I’ve been doing it a lot more lately, but the more I go over there, the more I realize I often take for granted how easy life in Bellevue is.
I’ve been in Seattle a lot lately and the number of drunk homeless people and dead rats on the street can be unpleasant at times. I mean, for that matter even parking in Seattle is a challenge. In Bellevue I can park anywhere without worrying about whether my car will get stolen or hit.
The other day I did paid parking in Seattle, and this young guy with a pouch of Capri Sun hanging out of his mouth backed up in a parking lot at what must have been 25 miles an hour, and would’ve hit me if I hadn’t literally jumped away from behind my car. Then he proceeded to park right next to my car, make an “herbal transaction” with someone that was standing there wearing a hoodie, and kept going.
As much as I like going to Seattle, I actually kind of like places like Bellevue, where life is pretty worry free. It’s kind of how I love to visit New York City, but I don’t think I’d ever want to live there.
I really want a dog…
While I’ll save this for another post, I’ve realized what I really need is a fluffy companion. Unfortunately what I do is probably worst suited for having a dog, which is the issue. But I still really, really want one.
So where’s next after Seattle? I dunno. The big challenge I have with moving anywhere is that I’m
on the road in the sky more than half the time, so wherever I live is really only a part time residence. It doesn’t make all that much sense to live somewhere crazy expensive, as much as I like Los Angeles and San Diego, for example.
I guess I’ll see where my life is in a few months. Circumstances are constantly changing, so sometimes it makes sense to live one day at a time… and this was day 365.