Moving is interesting. It’s like hitting a reset button. Here you have your established life, friends, habits, hobbies, and you leave them all behind to carve out a new chunk of personal experience.
I left my hometown about four months ago. I felt like I had reached the extent of what opportunities I had there. I commonly blamed my (perceived) lack of “success” on the town. This was an easy cop out, as the things I want to achieve can be done in just about any setting. Just human nature to blame where you were raised as “holding you back”, I suppose.
I’ve made it to the city of Seattle, after a 3 day ferry/car trip. I’ll tell you what, there’s something insanely rewarding about sitting behind that wheel, purposefully distancing yourself from what has been, and steeling yourself for what may be. It was a fun three days. And I had actual poutine for the first time ever, Canadian style. Good stuff, and I’ll have to wag my finger at the bar in my hometown. That stuff you had there? That ain’t poutine.
Upon arriving in Seattle, we (I made the change in location with my girlfriend) set up home base with her aunt and uncle. Great people, even if it was only for the fact that they’ve allowed us to stay rent free up to this point. Incredibly calming, knowing that you can job hunt without the fear of money tugging at your feet.
They live in a pretty nice, quiet neighborhood in the West Seattle area. A smaller house that has been lovingly added onto, making it deceptively large on the inside. You’ve got the basement/garage/TV room, the main floor and kitchen, and the upstairs, which I currently inhabit.
The aunt is a character. She works with patients with spinal cord and other debilitating injuries. And, from what I’ve heard as she comes home through the door with a whirlwind of stress and chatter, she seems to be the only one working there. She’s a talker, and she can just go off for 15 minutes at a time, if you’ll let her (I usually start trying to inch my way to the door as she’s talking). I guess there’s been some trouble in paradise, however. Her and her husband tend to argue, and the noise often rises to levels that you can’t ignore, no matter where you are in the house or how many doors you’ve shut along the way.
I guess I shouldn’t say that her and her husband tend to argue. That statement is a little misleading. Instead, I would have to say she just looks to pick fights. Often, as soon as she walks through the door, her fists are up. It gets pretty tiring, especially since most of their fighting is done in the kitchen. It’s like, shit, can you guys hate eachother somewhere else? I’m hungry and you all are making it too awkward to go fridge diving.
I could get more into their style of argument and how it seems more that she just is holding the house hostage, but that involves too much complaining for now. Truth is, when she isn’t being hot headed, she’s pretty interesting to talk to. Very involved in advocacy for women and has an interest in technology, as she sees a lot of advancements at the medical level being used to help her clients (like externally syncing brain activity to movement for the paralyzed).
The husband is hippy dippy. That’s for sure. But he also reminds me a lot of my father. Even in just the way his voice will boom into your ears at the start of a sentence, only to fall off into less audible levels at the end. A sing song quality, but with a deep, gravely voice. He’s interesting to talk to as well, and I’ve quite enjoyed grilling him on the history of Seattle and his experiences with the different sports teams in the area. I feel bad for him sometimes, as he is usually the recipient of his wife’s rage, often undeservedly so.
He takes it in stride though, and I think that’s due to his experience as a therapist for war veterans. He’s probably used to unbridled and oddly focused rage. Besides, his wife probably just uses her angry rants as a coping mechanism for the stresses of work. Not ideal, but if that’s the way they do it, then who am I to pooh pooh their methods?
They have their kid living with them as well. And here’s another funny coincidence: he reminds me a whole lot of me when I was his age. Yes, I can fondly look back to all two years ago when I was his age…I joke, but it’s also true. Sure, he’s only a few years younger than me, but the way he acts and the mistakes he apparently has been making are classic me. Even shares the same name, so go figure. I’m lucky I’ve learned enough over these past couple of years to be able to comprehend where I’ve correctly veered on my path, compared to this fellow. Hopefully he’ll start making some better decisions.
Of course, that certainly isn’t to say I’ve got everything figured out. Far from, in fact. Like, I don’t know what I’m doing with myself at this very second. It’s a Saturday, I should be doing something, but I just don’t know what.
It’s only the second Saturday I’ve had since I started my job. And man, what a job. When I arrived to the city, I fully expected to have to slog my way through months and months of unemployment and hundreds of applications. Not exactly looking forward to this, I put off the whole process for a couple weeks while we settled in and just took it easy. Then, I got to work. Slapping out an updated resume, and applying to about 12 different jobs over the course of the week.
Here’s where I got super lucky, because I actually got called back or emailed for interviews at about four or five of these places! It was something else. Funny story about one of them. I was expecting a call back from one of the places that had called me, because we were playing phone tag at that point. I went to the bathroom, dropped myself onto the seat, and had just started relaxing the proper muscles when the phone rang. I quickly answered it, thinking that it was the place from earlier and I was just quickly going to set up an interview time. It turned out to be a different place altogether, and he asked if I was willing to interview at that very moment! Now, in retrospect, I should have said, “Sure! Let me call you back in just a minute as I’m kind of busy at the moment.” Easy, right? Instead, in my desire for occupation, I quickly said “yeah sure let’s do this!” and proceeded to have an entire phone interview while on the shitter. A first.
It went well, and I was actually extended an invitation to come in for an interview. Bam. Then, the next day, I was called and offered another interview. This one was interesting as the company wanted to interview me for a different position than the one I applied for. I took that as a sign that they saw something they liked in my application and thought it would be a good fit.
I’ll skip over the next little bit simply to say that I got job offers from my first two interviews, and ended up taking the second offer. The one that interviewed for a different position. And what a position. What a company!
I never thought that my first job in Seattle would be something that I enjoyed. I figured I would come in, start at the ground level in some terrible job that I struggled to get through, and try to work my way up from there. Instead, I came in and scored a better paying, better benefits, better atmosphere, better fitting, better everything than my last job back in my hometown. Incredible. This place is a supplier for independent grocer outlets, so it’s located on a huge, mile long complex with several warehouses. And they care about their employees, big time. The amount of kickbacks and neat little things they do is so fun, and something I still can’t get over.
I am constantly marveling at how lucky I am. So I’ve got the job situation secured. I have somewhere to kick my feet up at night. Those are the two biggest worries I, or anyone I imagine, had about moving. Next up is the wants, not needs.
And there are quite a few wants, I suppose. Now that I’ve been working for two weeks, I’m starting to feel ready to try to branch out more for extracurricular activities. Maybe meet some friends. As much as I love my girlfriend, and enjoy the company of her family, I would like some new people to hang out with.
Honestly, I’d say even more so than making friends, I want to start chasing some hobbies. I’ve been meaning to get into a rec league. Of any variety, really. Ultimate frisbee, flag football, basketball…I just want to play a sport for the fun and the exercise of it.
Speaking of exercise, I do have to mention that I got a sweet bicycle. Of course I have to be thinking about commuting by bike in SeaTown, right? I mean, only Portland seems to be more bike friendly. So yeah, after not having bike ride since I was probably in middle school, I’ve been pedaling around town like crazy. And I forgot how much fun it is. A great way to get around, and you get some exercise. Plus it’s fun to pretend to be a car.
I also want to get into a couple of meetup groups of common interests, or maybe a Toastmasters club. Maybe a writing group? Learn some piano?
This is the reason why I moved here. My options are so, so plentiful. I’m glad I’ve got time to figure all this out, though. I tend to move slowly and I’m not exactly quick to warm up to people and new experiences, so to have a job and a place to call home in the meantime has been freeing. Here’s to a continued life of self improvement.