I recently told a friend I hated Seattle, but I knew when I said it that it was a lie. A dramatic turn of phrase. I hate that my best friends have left Seattle. I hate that it is pretty hard to make new friends here, and that I’ve started to feel kind of lonely. But do I hate Seattle?
On paper, Seattle is everything I’ve ever wanted from a city. It’s got the bustling metropolis — the jobs, the things to do, the night scene, the fun festivals — plus it is insanely pretty with its two large lakes and the bay, the mountains in the not so distance, and the way it smells like sea air in the morning. Couple the cityness of it with it with its proximity to beaches, hiking, snowboarding and pretty much any outdoor activity you could dream up, and it’s clearly the best place in the world for me. Especially as a girl who loved all these things about Portland, but pretty much refuses to move back to her hometown.
Sure, it has its faults. The dark season here is long, and it is really dark. The Seattle Freeze — the general cold politeness of locals that makes it seem like a kind city, but actually makes it nearly impossible to form friendships — is a real thing that continues to sting me even after three years. The traffic is horrible and at all hours of the day and night and there just isn’t any reason for it. But we accept all the things we love in life at their best and their worst.
Clearly I love Seattle. I know it every time I step out on a blustery fall day to the crisp smell of clean air and fireplace smoke. I know it every time I walk past Kerry Park — I live down the block, but will never grow tired of that view.
I love it, but it makes me antsy. Deep down, I feel like Seattle might be my fated home. The city I am meant to call mine. But, I also know I need to go do something else. It’s the high school boyfriend of cities– I love it so much, but the college I want to go to is in a different state. I want to settle down with it. I tell myself it’s everything I need, and it’ll make me happy, but we both know it’s not true. I have to find my way without it, before I can commit to it. Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest I think it’s crazy to want to live anywhere else, but I know I have to try something other than the life I’ve always known.
I love you Seattle. I love the way the sun glistens off you, and I love how you can’t handle snow. I love your festivals, and your food, and all the fun we have together. But I think it’s time I bite the bullet and admit that it’s just not working between us anymore. I hope it will someday, but I just feel like we’re in different places in our lives. It’s not you, Seattle; it’s me.
Megan is going to hold on to Seattle as long as she can, but has plans to look east in 2013.