Six Months in Seattle
Today marks six months since Melissa and I stepped on a plane with one way tickets to Seattle in our hands. I’d love to say it’s been a walk in the park; one that’s been full of rainbows and unicorns. Truth be told, it’s been very difficult. Make no mistake, I am so glad we made the move and I really and truly love this city in so many ways that I could not begin to explain them. It just feels so… comfortable… compared to other places I’ve lived. The hard part comes in moving to a place where you know no one and nothing.
There are really two main things worth noting.
You live really, really far away from everything you’ve ever known. The internet, especially Facebook, makes your family and friends seem closer than they really are. This is good in that you can feel like you’re still a part of everyone’s lives but it’s also bad because you can be lulled into a false sense of connectivity. When you realize that by the time you get up in the morning most people are at lunch and by the time you get into the swing of things in evening most people are thinking about bed, it reinforces that you’re on your own. Sitting on your couch reading status updates, a life does not make. That’s actually kinda ironic, since that’s what we used to do before we moved. Hmm.
You have to make a concerted effort to form a new life. I spent years being comfortable in the connections I had. You have your friends/family, you get together with your friends/family on occasion and you fill in the gaps with work and relaxing at home. When you move to somewhere completely foreign, you cannot rely on “the way you used to do things” as a future predictor of success. Regardless of how tired, uninterested or uncomfortable you are, you have to step outside your box and talk to strangers under the assumption that you’re working on making friends. Attending meetup.com events and joining bocce ball leagues with complete strangers? That was so not me five years ago.
Reading the above, I can’t help but think of a friend who… I guess I can’t call a friend any more… moved to an entirely different country when young. I always had respect for the courage that took, but I have a new found respect given how trying our move has been… and we “only” moved to the other side of the country! Want to turn your entire life upside-down? Move somewhere completely foreign to you. (Or have kids?)
As long as you remember that lives are built over the course of years and that you’re doing so in a place that makes you happier, it’ll be worth it in the end. Now we’re off to celebrate by taking the bus to the Freemont Fair and Summer Solstice Parade! I hear they have naked people riding bikes there. Yay Seattle!