Never, ever underestimate the power of making changes in your life, especially once things have gone so stagnant, you feel like they’ll never freshen up. For a few years there, I could feel things going downhill, and a place I once considered a home felt more and more like a place where I was simply residing. I always knew I wanted to leave, but I was reluctant to let it go. Did I not try hard enough to make it feel like home? Was I just choosing to see the negatives of living there? Was I running away from problems, thinking the only thing that could solve them was simply leaving?
All those questions ran through my head constantly, but just two months after moving over to Seattle, I felt like this was the right answer.
Aside from the actual unloading process not going 100% smoothly (granted, I feel like that part of moving almost never goes exactly according to plan) everything else went way better than expected. My older brother drove my car up with me, making the drive way more fun, and way less exhausting than it would have been on my own. It was a relief, especially since it was my first time driving that long of a distance with an animal, who was actually very good through the whole thing!
Okay so it didn’t start that way, though. This was him for at least an hour, working himself up to the point where he was panting. I felt bad, and tried to calm him down, but only time (and some kitty pheromone spray) would really help, at that point. After about an hour, I think he realized his reality would be in that cage for the foreseeable future, and decided to nap it out as much as he could. (He’s also dramatic.)
Surprisingly, he enjoyed hotels! I think the fact that they were a smaller space helped him explore the room more confidently, enough to where he felt comfortable eating and drinking water (he only ate in the car when we were parked.) However, after the second 12-hour day of being in a cage in the car, he was finally over it, started screaming again half an hour out from the hotel, and even hissed at my brother when he tried to pet him. Considering he was comfortable with my brother, despite not being his “person,” that’s how I knew he became Detox from Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 5.
Once we got to the apartment, the both of us really felt out of sorts for a bit. I was barely sleeping because the air mattress I slept on for three days kept losing a lot of air by the middle of the night. It was so warm during the day because I didn’t have a portable A/C yet. Smokey’s only hiding spot was achieved by becoming liquid, squeezing his way behind the laundry machine. Compared to what we had just came from, we were roughin’ it, for sure.
But once my stuff got delivered, and I got all the furniture I needed to make this space a home, it was all smooth sailing from there.
A couple months here, and I’ve already found myself being so excited about, well, literally everything. I can be walking around and smell the most delicious array of foods from different cultures, and then just two steps later, catch a whiff of urine. Though that’s not the exciting part, it’s not something I got in Phoenix! It’s a new experience!
Getting to meet up with so many people I already knew out here, as well as discover new connections, makes me feel like everything really is going to be okay up here. The connections I already did have before coming up here feel so solid, (most of) the new people I’m meeting feel like they genuinely have an interest in building some sort of relationship with me, and the more time I spend going out and about, the more I feel genuine hope about this place potentially becoming home.
There are so many cute coffee shops, fun restaurants, and unique things to do within walking distance. Not being much of a nightlife person anymore (though I’ll still go out every once in a while) in a city that has a much bigger gayborhood than Phoenix, it feels so nice to simply have the option to take my work with me to a coffee shop to get some time away from my home office. It’s also nice to be able to hop on such easily-accessible public transit when I want to go explore around the city and find something new about it to love. Locals say it needs a lot of work, and I’m not one to argue with those who have more experience with it than I do, but it’s worlds better than where I come from.
It’s just such a relief and a dream to finally be in Seattle.
I don’t know what my future holds here, to be honest, all I know is this is definitely somewhere I’d rather live than anywhere I’ve been in my home state. I don’t know if the novelty of Washington will eventually wear off, and I’ll feel the need to move yet again, but right now, it’s exciting. Right now, I’m feeling like I have a place here. Right now, I’m excited to see more of what it has to offer.
Everything here is new. Everyone here is new. And everything about that is just so exciting.
It’s all reminded me of something that usually helps me feel grounded, and that’s to stay in the present. In Phoenix, I was thinking too much of the past that had scarred me too much to enjoy the state (and ooh boy, is it a LONG list of trauma), and I kept obsessing over the future I wanted to the point where simply having new experiences became a chore. I couldn’t just go out to a local bar and enjoy the night, because I had too many notions of “it’s never worked before, why would it work, now?” and “gosh I sure hope one of these fools is my future husband, wouldn’t that be rad?” And honestly? That just felt like it was limiting me from having good experiences, anymore. There was no hope for the present. There was only what was, and what I hoped there would be.
Right now, I’d love for Seattle to be home. It’s a deep, rich color of green that I’ve never been so lucky to live around. The leaves changing to warm shades of red, the brisk air, and the way some neighborhoods are just in walking distance from radically different neighborhoods is so much more delightful than I even knew it would be. The fact that I can simply open my window and let in a cool, fresh breeze, as opposed to smog-filled, organ-drying air, is just divine.
It just feels good to be excited again, and I’m beyond ready to see where this excitement takes me.