Today I fly back to Seattle and I’ve got to say…it’s really hard leaving this place.
I’ve been away from Washington for just over thirty days, and have fallen back in love with my home. Massachusetts. I stepped off the plane on December 1st because my big brother was to be married two days later and between that and Christmas acting as bookends for a month’s stay, I sneezed and it’s over. I’m going to miss it here.
The thing about my home is, it’s just wherever my family and friends are. And the thing about my family and friends is, they’re peppered over the northeast. And so the thing about the northeast is, well, it’s where my heart is.
I love Seattle. And moving there eight months ago has been one of the best and most fulfilling changes I’ve made in life. It’s alive, it’s beautiful, it’s positively radiant with optimistic possibility. Everyone seems to be a doer, or a thinker, or a person ablaze with inspiration. There are small businesses and start ups everywhere, new ideas, farmers, growers, entrepreneurs, starving artists, and musicians, filmmakers just trying to get a message across. It’s infectious. People see and go and be and act in ways I am not accustomed to. They’re outside every.single.day, rain or no. Life moves casually, but purposefully, gratefully. I’m happy in the far upper corner of the west. As icky and uppity as it sounds, I feel as though I’m living an authentic life. The one I’d hoped for at nine, ten, and sixteen.
But the east. Oh the east. I’ve written a history here, where I was born. It’s where I grew to match the landscape. It’s where my brain formed with northeastern edge and loyalty and sincerity and skepticism and directness. It’s a foundation on which I build every other aspect of me. We’re up-front and honest, maybe to a fault. We like dunkin’ our donuts. We have fried whole belly clams and haddock at the ready. Winter is ruthless and mean. Shoveling is both an art and a workout. Summers and sunshine aren’t taken for granted. We head down the Cape with every.single.possession known to man bungee corded somewhat tastelessly to the roof of our car. We see no need for that letter just before S. There’s a tremendous pride lingering here.
And I love that. I do.
So I’m torn. Me and Natalie Imbruglia both, I bet.
Because when you’re living away from the ones who hold your heart, even if you’re absolutely loving the new place and all the intensity and thrill of life that comes with exploration and risk and change, can you really live as meaningfully?
In the past two years, I’ve lived in Massachusetts, then Pennsylvania, then Connecticut, then Washington. It’s been fun and freeing to feel nomadic. But I guess being home has made me think that I’m missing precious time with these people. They’re growing and I’m growing, but shouldn’t we be doing that within a hundred mile radius? So that we can at least eat ice cream out of the carton at the same time in the evening? In the same time zone?
The truth is, I go about my days and weeks in Seattle in the most pleasant way. I feel content almost completely. There’s a job I love, a community and a rich culture I can’t quite get enough of, and a backdrop that’s just breathtaking. So I’ll stay for a while longer. Not forever, but for now. Because I’ve always wanted to travel and see new places and to feel like I’m living in a ‘choose your own adventure’ book. I like to think I’m risking stuff. Well, most of the time.