What are you looking for?
Friday, August 1, 2014

my seattle: then and now

Most of the time, the word Seattle leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 

It's a combination of things that makes me cringe when I remember the year I spent working in the emerald city. 

The 3.5 hour commute I had that involved two ferries and two public transit buses every day.
The helplessness I felt day in and day out when confronted with the severe social inequity of the city.
The turbulent school I worked at with terribly overcrowded classrooms and too many issues to list.

The one year I spent working in Seattle was exceptionally difficult.  
Every night, I would lay in bed and dread the alarm clock. 
The piercing sound would mean I would have to pull myself out of bed at 4am to catch the 5am ferry and then work a job I hated that drained me emotionally while my commute would drain me physically. 

But I am thankful for this one year of my life.
I owe it so much.
Without this year, I do not think I would be living in Taiwan right now.
I do not think I would have had all of the adventures and experiences I have had over the past two years.

It took profound misery to get me moving forward.

That said, I still hold a little grudge. 
And I don't like that.
So when my mom suggested we go over for a fun day in the city, I took her up on it.
The last time I passed through the city was the night Sean and I left to catch a plane to Taiwan.
I wanted more than that though.

I wanted to enjoy Seattle.
To smile and have a good day and replace bad, old memories with nice, new ones.

So mom and I caught the ferry I used to take every day, twice a day.
But instead of taking the 5am ferry, we took the 10:25am ferry.
And instead of walking off the boat and up into the city to catch a bus, we turned left and wandered the waterfront.
We went on the Seattle Great Wheel and walked up the million stairs to Pikes Place Market and even popped by the legendary gum wall. 

It was such a beautiful day.

A day that helped me compare then and now.
A day that allowed me to really see just how far I've come and how much my life has changed for the better.
A day that made me realize that part of moving on is letting go of that one terrible year and forgiving it and thanking it and making peace with it and then really just moving on from it.

A day for a mom and a daughter to enjoy Seattle's fun culture and beauty and each other.

It was such a beautiful day.

Add your comment

  1. I love Seattle! That does sound like a horrible experience your first go at it... Glad Seattle was able to redeem itself for you!

    1. I had a great day in Seattle but at the same time I will never love it. Maybe I am just weird but I find it too depressing. It seemed like we could not walk down one city block without being confronted by homeless people or people strung out on drugs/alcohol. That will never be what I want to surround myself with daily.

  2. Very heartfelt post! I completely get you! I felt the same about my hometown in which I worked for a full year before moving abroad. I hated the commuting and the angry people and the getting to work part and doing that day after day, disliking my life. Then I moved abroad and it was amazing. Coming back was hard, but not having to head to work and have that routine that feels horrible makes me appreciate the city more - I see it for the beauty it is! Beautiful photos by the way! Are those gums??

    1. It was so nice to see something positive in Seattle. And yes, it's gum! One of Seattle's claim to fame is its gum wall. People go and stick their gum on this wall and everyone finds it fascinating. It's kind of like Paris's love lock bridge except way grosser (it does smell nice and minty though).