Archive for January, 2011

Moving West

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

I was raised on the East Coast near Washington, DC and for the most part was blessed with a fun and happy life.  I had one of those remarkable early childhoods my parents were in love, I had security and although we never had much money I never felt the lack.  I believe that my entire world started changing around 5th grade, maybe I should blame my increasing awareness of the world but I somehow became aware that I was different.  I was raised to think different is good, but in school different isn’t always as fun.  It didn’t help that I was in my awkward phase of life.  I was gangly, I had huge glasses and a very unfortunate perm.  I think of the awkward phases as ‘character building’.  I might sum it up by saying I built a lot of character during my last years of elementary school.

In Junior High my parents were still in love but they were starting their own company and working most of the time.  Money was still tight but we definitely had more than we did when my dad worked for the Air Force.  By the time High School came around I realized that I wasn’t normal for the DC area.  I never really partied hard, I was into every sport I could play and I was in some of the advanced academic classes (not math though!).  So looking at myself stereotypically, I was a geeky jock who managed to be relatively clean cut at the same time.  In my grade this was not cool, I may not have been on the bottom of the high school totem pole but I definitely wasn’t at the top.  That being said, I made good friends, to whom I’m still grateful.  I believe that I continued to build character in high school and as an adult I’m grateful for the sensitivity and awareness that I developed in High School.

By the time I graduated from college I was still a geek who thoroughly enjoyed sports and international relations.  This diversity of thought got me a wonderful career with the government.  I have never worked so hard or been so challenged intellectually by a job.  I loved it!  I was finally in a community of people that were like me, we were all a little nerdy, all intellectually curious and most of us had a good sense of adventure.  It was like a dream come true.  But it is still the DC area and politics infuses everything.  I was never really suited for politics and it began to take it’s toll.   Soon after I began pulling my resume together our country was hit by Al Qa’ida.  This day changed many people’s lives and I am no different.  After we were hit I could no longer leave my job, so I stayed on.

I’ve done my best to serve my country but after a year in Afghanistan I decided it was enough.  I looked for other jobs in the service industry and applied for a bunch but just had a hard time getting a job that was a good fit.  When I came home I opted to take some time off and drive around the country.  I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to drive around the country by myself because it was cathartic, therapeutic and frankly a lot of fun!  I realized as I was driving around that I felt lighter and happier but I felt the best when I reached Seattle.   So, when I finished my drive around the country I packed up everything I owned, put it in storage, put my house up for rent and drove back across the country for a new adventure.

It sounds simple but it was by far and away the scariest moment of my life.  I knew one person when I arrived in Seattle and although he was nice I needed to make friends, find a place to live, find a job and generally figure out how to live in the Pacific Northwest.  It was still scary, intimidating and generally a wild ride but I have found more friends, met my now husband and now we will have a little boy in June.  I keep asking can it get any better?  I can’t believe that it can get better but life is full of surprises so who knows!

And finally my happy place…