Archive for Sensitivity

Life Is A Carnival

Dan,

It’s been four short years since I moved to the city I now happily call home, and I find it a struggle to recall how it felt to not live in this place. The years here haven’t always felt smooth but being a resident of Seattle has almost always felt “right” to me, as if I found the magical place where I belong. But no place is perfect, no matter how besotted you are with it.

In the last four years I have had one moment of doubt regarding my choice to pack up my life and drive to Washington. So here’s the story of how on day three of living here I nearly came crawling back to Montana.

I moved to Seattle with no job, no home and very few acquaintances. I left my family and the comfort of a place I had known for twenty-three years in the hopes that this city would become my new home. Three days into this adventure I came outside to find the windows of my car shattered and part of the car’s steering taken apart (not to mention a fair amount of blood on the interior).

At the time that I came across my vehicle I was on my way to meet my friend Megan, we had solidified our friendship less than 24 hours prior but she handled the situation like a champ. As we waited for the police to come file a report she helped me remove the belongings that remained in my vehicle and take them into my friend’s apartment. We then made phone calls to find a mechanic open on a Sunday and when my car was safely towed away she drove me to a job interview I had scheduled for later that day.

After the interview, she dropped me off downtown where I was staying, I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I felt like a part of me had been violated, knowing that a stranger had sifted through my photos and books (which was pretty much all I had in the car).

I came into my friend’s apartment and found it empty so I sat on his couch, looked out the window and wondered what the hell I was thinking when I made the decision to leave my home. I called my mother and cried, I told her I missed her and felt so alone and didn’t know if I made the right choice. I wanted some encouraging sign but I felt as if the city itself was rejecting me.

After I got off the phone, my friend walked in and took in the whole scene of me sitting in a dark living room and crying. Uncharacteristically, he hugged me and told me that it was just a bad day and offered to make popcorn and put on a movie for us. As soon as he went into the kitchen, my phone rang with a job offer and moments later Megan texted me with words of encouragement and it felt as if the puzzle pieces were coming into place.

My life didn’t come into immediate focus that night but as I sat on the couch next to an old friend, watching the ferries glide across the dark water, and texting my new friend, I felt like I could handle it. I had a support unit, a job and a roof over my head. And for the first time I really saw that there was potential of something great in this city, something I couldn’t yet verbalize but now recognize as finding your place.

Navigating choppy water,

Adair

 

 

Try A Little Tenderness

Dan,

I think we can both agree that we try to make the most of the opportunities given to us. We fight hard for our achievements but we also recognize that we are lucky to be in that position. We appreciate the beauty of pursuing passions and dreams. Our lives are not perfect, we still battle our respective windmills, but we are living a lucky existence.

This being said, something I’ve seen as a habit for myself is the growing impatience I have with the pace of those around me. I’m a fairly lighthearted person in the day to day but I also know what it is to hurt and struggle to claim your own identity. I spent years floundering, fighting upstream to get to the place I find myself at now.

I have a job I love, friends who support me, family who understands me, passions that drive me and I reside in a city that constantly inspires me. I am living the life I worked for, I am the woman I struggled to become and now I feel like I’m waiting for the world around me to catch up.

The projects I help on thrill me but do not feel completed in the way I desire them to. The financial goals I have for myself are established but nowhere near accomplished. And I see people around me focus on what goes wrong rather than embracing how lucky we are to be given the opportunities we are offered, and taking action and make our lives better.

I know I fall victim to wallowing, overthinking and depression but I am able to dig myself out. I spent so long feeling so helpless that I don’t want to waste my limited time focusing on what I can’t have. I want to create, live and grow and I want to recognize every day how lucky I am to have these options.

Despite this I become impatient, I want my life to feel more like it’s “started.” I don’t want to wait on others; I want them to be at this ready place as well. But that’s not how life works is it? Part of embracing existence and learning is recognizing you may be alone in this some days. People, projects and jobs may hinder you at times; you may even become your own obstacle. Knowing this is half the battle and allowing life to go at whatever pace it needs to is the other half.

Practicing Patience,

Adair

Live and Learn

Dan,

It fascinates me how much the people of this country differ as you travel across it. The world feels simpler in a city filled with so many like minded individuals, but it wasn’t so long ago that we both lived in a state that varied so extremely with each road trip you took through it. Even the people we know from childhood differ so completely; contrasting career paths, life choices and beliefs.

You talked of the memories of our country, how they hold us together when it seems like so much is able to fall apart. I look at what our generation has gone through alone and I have to agree. For as much crap as “millennials” receive for our flakiness and dependency on social media I would say we have also suffered some serious blows in our short lifetime.

When we were in middle school the world felt simple, our lives were planned out for several years and most of us weren’t wanting for much. The idea of adulthood was a distant threat and the biggest fear was often which color backpack to get for the first day of school. Then we were hit with a harsh reality, the world was not as safe as we previously imagined. People could be shot, buildings could fall and bombs could go off.

In our current reality, chaos feels like the new normal but in the days of our childhood the world seemed to be filled with fewer jagged edges. For years after it felt like our generation was playing catch-up, like an excelled learning course for why the world wasn’t fair. And then we found ourselves becoming adults, and we were all unified by being so suddenly on our own.

Politics aside, when Obama was elected President I feel a lot of our generation felt hope again. We needed something to believe in and something about that election felt like things were getting better, the country was becoming whole again. The future felt less exhausting even if it was all in our heads.

Our generation is so different but often so passionate, we don’t always agree on what the best path to take is but we don’t wish to repeat some of the history we all lived through. We want something better, something stronger. What makes us a tribe is our need to prove that we can learn from our mistakes and be part of something we can feel proud of.

Hopeful,

Adair

The Book of Love

Dan,

Summer is edging closer it would seem and with it comes my favorite time of year, book season. Yes I know our reading habits are not limited to the summer but I feel like enjoying a book is easiest when inhabiting a sunny patch of grass or sand around Seattle. As you mentioned, we are book people and so what better time to share a favorite title with you then at the start of these warm literature filled months.

Surprisingly I don’t own the book I’m suggesting to you but don’t let this fool you, I loved it and wish I had read it more than once through the last few years. No you will probably not gain any skill as a writer from reading it but I can promise you a unique insight into infatuated love, I know you’re on the edge of your seat now.

The book is a collection of love letters between F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald entitled “Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda.” I know it’s not the typical type of literature that comes to mind when you discuss the topic of non-fiction but this book changed me. I borrowed it at a time when I was at my lowest and needed inspiration and was wishing for guidance out of my own tumultuous experience and this book delivered.

The love between F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald was complicated from start to finish; the letters in this book are filled with longing, obsession, creative struggle and mental illness. No their love was not one I envy, it was tragic despite the passion and adoration. But it brought to light something I was struggling to see in my own sadness.

This book showed me that inspiration is everywhere, struggle could help build my story and frustration could fuel my creativity.   I could use this emotion to let myself grow rather than allow the feelings to bury me.

The book is not a happy one, you see the deterioration of bright and beautiful lovers but if you hold it up to Fitzgerald’s work you can’t help but be impressed with what he made of his own tragedies and labors. This collection showed me that we all have our obstacles, and it’s our choice what we make of them and how we let it effect our art.

Jumping Hurdles,

Adair