Solace in Seattle

Friday, October 5, 2018

I have seasons of wild, chaos, or slow.

But this season is none of the above.

This season is about finding middle ground.

Finding middle ground habits I've been enjoying:

Being okay with night's IN...I know, I know.

Using a paper planner for personal life and digital planner for work and not mixing it.

Work doesn't come home with me, or as often.

Writing.

Reading more.

Slow walks downtown and watching the leaves change colors.

Making the right friends and saying yes to the right things.

Mini road trips.

Saying positive things out loud about the people around me, often.

Texting my parents more often

Listening to podcasts each week.


Writing more gratitude & thank you cards.

Learning to take my time.

Opening my window to listen to the rain...the closest sound I have to waves of the ocean. 

Collages and art.

Playing with my new tarot card set.


It's been nice. Nice finding some solace in Seattle.

Parents

Friday, September 28, 2018

Brunch with my parents over Labor Day weekend at my favorite restaurant in Redmond, WA - Woodblock

The more times the earth rotates around the sun, the more I recognize how valuable my parents really are.

I've lived away from my parents since I was 18 with the exception of when I broke my leg after college - HA.

And every passing year, it's always been a pain point for me to live so far away. I've missed Christmases, birthdays, Mothers day, Fathers day, anniversaries, and everything in between.

But South Dakota is my first home - I knew my neighbors. I was raised on a family farm. I knew my classmates. Teachers cared for us like their own kids. I knew my friends parents as well as my friends.

My parents gave me everything they could.

Even though we grew up extremely poor.

I remember having snow drifts in our house, or having leaks in our roof, all full well knowing we couldn't afford to fix any of those. We were lucky to have a working car that when we pulled into a parking lot, was often made fun of because it was that ragged. I grew up in a town that the average salary was between $11,000-$20,000 per YEAR, and that was a dual income.

But my parents made me feel like we had everything we could possibly have.

And I am so grateful and proud to be where I am from - An at the time 174 population rural town.

I love where I was raised. I love that my work ethic, my values for hospitality, and my love for my Faith are deeply rooted in how and where I was raised.

But I'm also different - my life philosophies, career, interests, where I feel like I belong isn't fully possible where I grew up.

And reconciling that has been one of the biggest challenges of my adult life.

But I write this for the people who like to remind me that my parents are getting older and their unwanted advice or guilt trip of thinking I should, "quit my job, move back near my parents, and take care of them"....

YES. I know. They're my parents...and have you met my parents? If I even mention they're "old" you would have thought I told them that the earth was a triangle.

My parents visited over Labor Day and I asked them what they wanted for their kids out of life.

They said they hoped their kids had faith, family, and a good job. More or less I have most of those crossed off. And I thought that without saying it, those are exactly the 3 things that I visibly prioritize to this day.

I then asked them if they ever thought I'd move home...and they told me ever since I was a teenager and saw how curious I was about the world, that it was unlikely I'd ever come back if I moved.

I love my parents, the ones that gave me everything they could, and of course I honor them and celebrate them in different ways since I live so far away.

But they also raised me to be self sufficient. They raised me to explore, pursue my passions and my paychecks equally. 

They raised me to live my life AND to value family ties, and that the mileage between us was not mutually exclusive to do both.

And to be real, I actually tried moving back to South Dakota 3 times (When my Mom had cancer, Spring of 2016, and Summer of 2018)...and a job fell through EVERY time...I took it as God, the world, whatever was telling me, it's not time yet.

So for the next friend, "family member" (the ones that talk shit behind my back about what I post or what I believe, but will never have the backbone to say it to my face) or whoever has a judgement to pass that I don't live near my parents - stay in your lane.

I may move near my parents in a year, 5 years, or never.

And that will be my burden to carry, not yours.

And that decision is so complicated that you can never possibly understand. My parents are not your parents, clearly - Because my parents taught me to not intrude on other families' affairs.

My parents are high on my priority list.

But your opinion as what I should do as a "Midwestern woman" is not even in the top 1000.

The 2-4 times a year I do spend with my parents, is rich, quality time...Asking hard questions, loving them, treating them well, and packing in as much connection as possible.

Some families are built to be spread apart and come together....and some are built to stay in their village...and both and all options are good because every family connection is different.

Thank you Mom & Dad - For the life you've created for me and for the support you continuously give as I live my love affair with my own life. 

My 7 year relationship with California

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Castro District - San Francisco

This post is dedicated to one of my longest relationships, my 7 year love of my life, California.

I wrote a year ago about how when I moved to Southern California, I was 22, scared, cried when my parents left me - this small town girl from South Dakota. In many ways, I am still that same girl, and in about every obvious way, I have evolved into a woman I am also proud to be.

Southern California was all about re-exploring the ideas and values that I was taught, and if they really matched me. It was about Disneyland runs, receiving my Masters degree, doing all the tourist things - the beach, Santa Monica ferris wheel, wine country, big bear, dodgers/angels games, and establishing my CA pageant family. It was a beautiful life, but I ended up moving to California's Central Coast, Monterey Bay for my first job post grad school.

Monterey Bay gave me the career I needed to define the type of professional I'd be for years to come. It gave me friends who I am so lucky to be officiating their wedding next month, a home 2 miles from the beach, students who I talk with regularly, and an almost reality show gig...Monterey Bay was slow, steady, and sweet. It breathed clean air into my life that felt polluted with personal mental health, my mom's cancer, and my dad going blind. Monterey Bay brought me to almost whole and it gave me space and community that held me when everything I mentioned piled in the same year.

But, like in every story, there comes the part where you feel this is the reason the story exists.

It is so cheesy, but I now understand the song, I left my heart in San Francisco. After Monterey Bay, I was looking for a faster paced life - filled with creatives, night life, and being close to an international airport for ease of travel. So, I moved to San Francisco.

San Francisco was all about my liberation of what it meant to be a woman...and a woman of color, and the power and sacredness it holds in my dark locks and my brown sugared skin. The light and energy that pour from my dark mocha, and beautiful almond shaped eyes. I was surrounded for the first time, with like minded peers & students who were organized and I felt like the student instead of the educator for the first time in awhile.

Despite the dramatic comments from family members gossiping about how, "Liberal San Francisco is making me sin"...Still makes me laugh out loud...San Francisco also gave me a great sense of who God is, what my faith actually meant and how it was practiced. It's where I started my side business, it gave me my first live in boyfriend, the best birthday parties I've ever had, it gave me friends who I consider family, friends who know entirely too much about me. I also came out of a job with skills that prepared me to move up the ladder in my field.

San Francisco was everything I ever needed AND wanted.

I've lived in DOZENS of cities. I have made places that felt like home, but as a friend said, they thought San Francisco was etched as my forever home. And all of these experiences have now spit me into the sound of the Seattle area. 

Seattle has been the easiest transition I have ever had, but when people ask if I miss San Francisco...You have to understand, I am the only blood relative I know, so finding home has been a life journey, and so I am going to respond as if I am recovering from a heart break.

This is a good life, even though I left my heart in San Francisco, I think rooting my dreams to bloom in Seattle is also going to be its own adventure and love of my life in its own time.

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