I have officially been back in Seattle for a week and Monet and I are all settled into my “microstudio” and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Excited to chronicle this new chapter of my life, I am starting by reflecting on this past seven days and the four years I lived in Seattle before.
Let me start this off with a bit about how I experienced Seattle before moving back to LA two years ago. I want to admit the things that were hard for me, as most of my friends and family heard me go on and on about them. Few worry about my return due to some of these factors; but, I just see things differently now so I’m not anticipating the same “Debbie Downer” feelings I had before.
The weather was rough
It is incredibly hard to get out of bed when it is still dark at 11am due to the cloudiness. Something people who have not lived in Seattle don’t understand is that it doesn’t rain as much as it is cloudy. In fact, Seattle ranks 44th among major U.S. cities annual rainfall in inches. At the time, I was dealing with episodes of major depression and the weather made it exceptionally worse for me, causing a general pessimistic view of the city.
The Seattle Freeze
Isolation and loneliness succumbed my very existence on an entirely new level during my earlier time in Seattle. Depressed and dealing with the common Seasonal Affective Disorder, it was already hard for me to get out and do things. What made it even more difficult, was the Seattle Freeze. It’s difficult to make friends in Seattle, especially as an out-of-stater with no previous connections in the city. Even though I was in college, I feel like because I didn’t connect to a clique at the beginning of my freshman year, it hindered my ability to join any later on. The decided cliques did not generally accept newcomers – or few people from a group would, but the rest would make me feel weird about being around. Don’t get me wrong, though, I definitely acclimated to the Seattle Freeze and began distancing myself from new potential friends, as well – it’s hard not to when that’s the norm.
School is just not my thing. I love learning, but only about things I’m (1) interested in and/or (2) will be useful to me in my life. In college I found myself having to take many classes that I had such little interest in that took time away from things I saw more important, like exploring potential career options for my future. It’s not that I didn’t have any time at all, it’s that I was more so disappointed that I had to spend so much time on unnecessary assignments. So, I became discouraged about my future and just lost focus of what I really wanted to do.
What’s different this time
I’m in a different mind state than I was before. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you know I’m very open about my experience with mental health. After a year and a half of therapy and skills classes, I am not moving to the city while suffering from depression – making any symptoms of SAD easier for me to combat should they present themselves. During my time in LA, I also socialized more than I ever have in my life. I made new friends left and right and reconnected with many old. Additionally, I have this really cool alarm clock that is basically an artificial sun lamp to help trick my brain that the sun is shining bright, even if its dark and gloomy outside. Also, I have a whole new set of goals I’m working toward to keep me motivated and working hard. As far as the cold weather, every time I go outside I remind myself I will soon be inside again – something I honestly never even thought about last time.
My First Week
Despite a few hiccups (leaving my keys at home in LA and my WiFi tragically just stopping for a solid twelve hours – typical First World Problems) I have really had one of the best weeks that I have had in a long time, where consistently everyday I go to bed super stoked on everything I accomplished and ready for the next day to get up, go out and do even more. 2017 is being good to me and I’m hoping the rest of the year goes as smoothly as it has been so far.
I just need to geek-out and mention my utter excitement that people in Seattle are still hardcore about Pokémon Go, as I’ve seen lures everywhere during all times of the day and night. Like, I haven’t seen a lure in LA in three months… and it was one that I put up myself! I totally don’t feel awkward about playing it here, because since basically everyone is still playing it I don’t have to fear a stranger will judge me by saying, “you’re still playing that?” Because yes. Yes I am. I wanna be the very best.