Friday, July 19, 2013

Seattle So Far

As of 3:30 today, I will have officially been a Seattle resident for 2 weeks. I haven't documented the journey nearly the way I wanted to even though I specifically created a tumblr account so I could write about it in bite-sized chunks. Maybe I just suck at bite-sized chunks (and all of my editors, book and magazine, will be nodding along here). Maybe moving is just insanely exhausting and even someone who WANTS to reflect and document as much as I want to reflect and document can't find the time/energy to do it while it is all happening. Especially if that someone has trouble sleeping and is kind of ADD. (That someone is me... Um did I make this too confusing yet? See what the exhaustion has done!) Anyway, it is probably a little of column A and a whole hell of a lot of column B. I'm hoping that now that most of the unpacking is done and the only Herculean task left is Finding A Job (which is still pretty frickin' Herculean), that maybe I'll have time to reflect and recap and write all the helpful posts that I was seeking while planning this move like: picking a moving company, managing 2 cats on a cross-country job, finding a job when you are writer who has been freelancing and bartending for the past 5 years... though I still don't really have much to say about that other than:


For now, gifs, photos and lists are the main things I'm capable of (hey, maybe that's good for learning to write in bite-sized chunks!). If you haven't seen them, I documented my first 2 weeks in Seattle in photos on tumblr, as well as Day 1, 2, and 3 of the drive. I also wrote a piece for Rookie about my hoarding packrat problem and how I had to overcome it (as best as possible) for the move and I have a series upcoming for Ms.Fit about the emotional aspects of the moving process.

Here are my somewhat random thoughts about the move so far:

  • At 3:30 in the afternoon of July 5th as we came into the city on I-90 over the bridge across Lake Washington, we had my 250 song "Hello Seattle" playlist on shuffle and "You Know You're Right" by Nirvana came on. Yes, the lyrics of that song are pained and resigned, but the title, the title seemed to speak to all of my doubts. Deep down, scary as this all was, I was meant to do this, to move here. There are no actual pictures of us entering the city because I was too busy taking a mental picture of EVERYTHING I was seeing, hearing, thinking and feeling. At one point I managed to tweet this, which pretty much sums it all up:

    It was one of the most emotionally charged moments of my life. Up there with my wedding vows and like when I said those, I did know 100% that this was right.

  • Unpacking is WAY more fun than packing. Except for dealing with all the bubble wrap and newspaper you used to protect your most precious things. Cats like that part though:
  • The thing I hate the most about moving is figuring out your routine all over again. Where the various grocery stores are. The nearest bank. All that crap. And I still haven't figured out where the hell one buys decently priced toilet paper in this town. We've been to QFC and Red Apple and both seemed overpriced. Safeway, maybe? Or Grocery Outlet (Gross Out as my dear friend affectionately calls it)? While the produce is way way way better here, as is the selection of vegan and natural foods (we already have a co-op membership and mad love for our local fruit stand), groceries as a whole seem more expensive here than Chicago, though that could have been because we lived in a suburb.
  • Despite the hassle of figuring out how to meet those everyday needs, exploring your neighborhood and being a tourist in your new city is kind of fun. Now I get to do all of the things I didn't have time for when I was just visiting. Go on all 50 of the walks from my 50 Seattle Walks card deck I bought years ago. One of the biggest incentives to move here for us was more outdoor time. We dove straight into that by going on a hike with one of my best friends from high school, her partner and their kids the day after we arrived. Then a few days after that we visited Kubota Gardens and when my friend was in town for my birthday we did the marsh island walk near the Washington Arboretum, which I'd tried to go on while visiting once in April, but it was too wet. It was still *almost* too wet:
  • I've been eating great (sooooo many vegan options) and in full-on music geek mode since we got here. We got a membership for the EMP and saw their Women Who Rock and Fantasy exhibits. And we went to the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee which happened ON MY BIRTHDAY and was admittedly one of the main reasons I wanted to make sure to be here by my birthday. 
  • It is a little bit weird being at a festival like that, where I would have either gone with or run into a bunch of people in Chicago, and knowing absolutely no one. I do have a couple of friends here including the aforementioned close friend that I've known forever and I do sometimes like feeling like my husband and I are on our own private adventure (that was by far the best part of the drive out here), this is a teeny bit both scary and depressing. Making new friends and becoming a new member of established groups of friends is an intimidating thing as a grown-up, at least to me. And while I still have no nostalgia for Chicago yet (it's like a bazillion degrees there right now, I hear and I'm already a Seattleite who bitches about how hot it is when it's 80 and sunny. I mean it was really freakin' hot and sunny at the Jubilee. Scott had to buy a hat!), I definitely miss my friends and family like crazy. My mom and niece especially. Shit. 
  • I'm tired and sad and freaked about finding a job a lot. I expected that though. I knew that living in my heart city wouldn't make my life 100% perfect. Mostly I still feel kind of like I'm in a daze. Kind of like a year from now I'll look back on this and barely remember but also laugh at all the hard feelings. At least I hope so.
  • This is the view out of my window, so basically whenever I'm tired/sad/freaked, I can instantly feel better by looking outside and basking in the shock and awe that I'm actually here and this is mine.
  • And to end on a totally strange note, I love that composting is a city-wide thing here! I am so freaking excited that basically NOTHING goes into the trash. Except packaging. This is making me think a lot (and be quite annoyed about) packaging. Oh and also that shit-ton of bubble wrap we used. Sigh and with that, I go back to unpacking.