Seattle: The first six months

Grass Seeds_1

I’m not entirely certain what to expect from bright blue grass seeds, but I suppose I wouldn’t be entirely disappointed with a bright blue lawn.

Six months ago I arrived in Seattle with a car stuffed entirely too full and an angry, stressed-out cat on my lap (he has a fit when forced to ride in the carrier but is perfectly content so long as he gets to sit on my lap). Cat litter (thankfully, clean) was strewn across my car like confetti and I arrived at what I hoped was my apartment, also hoping that the property management had hidden the key like they promised because I arrived on a Sunday and they weren’t open that day.

Basically, the major theme was hope–hope that I would somehow be able to make a home and community for myself in a new state despite being a born-and-raised Californian who loves her home state, hope that leaving behind my newspaper editing job of nine years wasn’t presumptuous, hope that the new job I would be starting would be satisfying and come to feel like home, hope that I could finally buy a house, hope that I wouldn’t freeze.

I’m not generally what you would call a hopeful, or optimistic person. I believe that good things don’t just happen; you have to work and plan and position yourself so that you’re in the position to take advantage of opportunities when they come along. The sad reality was that no amount of hard work was going to get me what I really wanted in California: a home of my own.

I sort of can’t believe how much has happened during the last six months because it feels like more than I’ve accomplished in the last six years (not technically true, but it is certainly true that I’ve made more progress toward my goals than I had in any six-month period in recent memory).

Here’s a breakdown of what those six months looked like:

  • Two of our best friends (who I had the privilege to marry last fall) moved to Seattle as well.
  • Lessons learned and accomplishments accomplished while working at Rightside:
    • I’ve learned basic coding and discovered that I really enjoy it and would like to learn more (one of the benefits of working for a tech company, I suppose).
    • I participated in my first Hackathon, which involved developing the website http://www.kitty.army in the space of a day. (Rightside happens to own about 39 alternatives to .COM, including .ARMY, so of course I registered kitty.army.) 
    • I’ve made the acquaintance of a handful of office dogs with whom I am in love and visit with regularly over the course of the day. Some–namely, Clover–now actively seek me out. 
    • I played bubble soccer for the first time, thanks to TeamCulture, which regularly organizes pretty fantastic events. 
    • I helped organize a scavenger hunt (obviously I joined Team Culture because Team Culture .ROCKS, which happens to be another Rightside domain) and am in the process of organizing Rightside’s first pecha kucha event.
    • I learned the terrible art of commuting. For the first couple of weeks, I was seriously in danger of deliberately crashing my car in frustration, but I’ve learned to relax, listen to music, and just take it day by day.
    • Rightside company picnics are awesome and involve cotton candy, face paint, and bouncy rides.
  • Visited, both intentionally and accidentally, no fewer than two-dozen Little Free Libraries; it turns out that Seattle is a Little Free Library mecca.
  • I’ve attended a handful of really cool events (and hope to attend more) including:
    • Town Hall Seattle Science Forum
    • Wicked (finally!)
    • Two concerts–one at the Crocodile and one at Neumos
    • stand-up comedy at a neighborhood bookstore
    • 10 Things I Hate About You outdoor movie (wish I had been better about taking advantage of these during the summer)
    • Urban Craft Uprising
  • I was featured in Glamour, which has nothing whatsoever to do with Seattle, but is still sufficiently bizarre that it’s worth noting.
  • I took, roughly, 5,374 cat photos which was bound to happen no matter where I was living
  • I bought a house. I should say “we bought a house” because it was definitely a team effort and technically Colin’s name is also on the title. As it turned out, buying a house was only the beginning.
    • We’ve visited Goodwill roughly 35 times in the last month and a half because we have a giant house that now needs to be furnished on a not-so-giant budget
    • We’ve visited Home Depot almost as many times as we’ve been to Goodwill. Roughly half our Home Depot time has been spent trying to figure out what the hell we’re doing.
    • We’ve learned to flip the breaker when half our lights go out.
    • We’ve learned to seed a lawn (we think, maybe, we’ll see how it turns out?). Long story short, our backyard was filled with rocks instead of grass. Several weeks of shoveling later and one weekend of shoveling compost and fertilizer specifically, we’ve got maybe the start of a lawn. Who knows?
    • We’ve begun a campaign in earnest to be “that house” for Halloween. You know the house? Cool, over-the-top decorations that make you wonder if the people who live there have day jobs and full-sized candybars for every kid? Yeah. That house. And we both have jobs, but we don’t have kids (besides the cats) so that saves some time, right?

I find myself hoping the six months to come are a little bit more peaceful. I have a novel to finish, another to publish, and yet another to begin. And I’d like to start enjoying my house. Realistically, though, with Christmas and all the projects still left to accomplish, I probably won’t have a moment of peace until the house is officially paid off in 2045. But I’ll really enjoy that moment when it comes.

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Comments

  1. Welcome to Washington! 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] Shoveling untold buckets of rocks and planting our very own lawn from seed […]

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