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These Seattle winters are making me soft

Standing in the snow outside my apartment this morning.

Standing in the snow outside my apartment this morning.

It’s snowing.

When I first moved here, I was miserable. I couldn’t stop telling people about my plans to move back to Washington, DC. I had no friends, my relationship was in shambles, and I was working retail in an incredibly toxic environment. And then there was the weather. (The weather, y’all.) It rained roughly 99.98% of the time and in the off chance that it wasn’t raining that day, the sky was too grey or the sun was setting too early or I was seasonally depressed and not willing to confront it.

The weather is still the same, but my feelings about this city have shifted dramatically.

My life — coincidentally? consequentially? — has also shifted dramatically. I have a bunch of friends, friends who I casually call “my people.” Friends who write with me and watch stand up with me and go see plays with me and then hug me into oblivion because they know that’s what I need. Friends who introduce me to their friends. Friends who don’t care that I’m living on a shoestring budget. Friends who are more than happy to share comped tickets with me and come over for dinner and just be with me.

My relationship is no longer in shambles. And maybe I shouldn’t talk about that so publicly, but so what who cares. I’m working from home today and he just now texted to see if I’m free for lunch. He’s a hundred percent there for a hug literally whenever I need it and while he doesn’t like to talk about the shoestring budget, I force him to and we’re working on it.

My job is incredible. Or, I should say, my four to five jobs (depending on the month) are incredible. I still work a customer service role two to three days a week, but the people I work with are wonderful and warm and open and artistic and everything I could ever wish for in a part time role at a museum. I write for two different publications regularly, including a blog I’ve been with for almost eight (!!!) years. The other publication allows me to flex my journalism degree and dig into topics (both whimsical and serious) that affect our Seattle arts community. (A huge thanks to Sara for getting me that job and making it possible for me to stay long after she left.) I’m teaching — what? — an arts journalism class for teens this Spring and it looks like that won’t be a one-time thing. And I’m writing plays. I’m writing imaginative, incredible plays.

Yes, Leslie!

Yes, Leslie!

Plays that are pushing me artistically and expanding my definition of “possible.” Plays that have given me a community of collaborators who believe in me more than I believe in myself.

But oh yeah, it’s snowing.

And I should probably talk about that. After all, that’s what prompted me to write this blog post in the first place. Seattle has gone quiet. Everyone’s posting their personal winter wonderlands on Instagram (myself included) and the entire city feels like it’s shut down. There are fewer cars on the road and fewer schools open and the whole thing reminds me of DC on a winter day — the way the government would shut down and every other building would follow suit. The way I’d read looking out the window, knowing it just meant twice as much work the next day.

Like I said, I work remotely half my week anyway. So the only thing that’s changed is the lunch I shared with my husband. And the meeting that was cancelled later this afternoon. And the fact that no one really wants to answer their emails. No one here anyway.

But one other thing has changed: instead of looking at today and calling it’s DC parallel “homesickness,” I’m counting it as one more reason I’m meant to live here in Seattle. The bright snow is reflecting my own joy, my own possibility, my own renewed sense of self.

It’s a journey. But it’s one I’m glad I’m on.