An Urban View
Y’all, I’m writing this from the floor of my Seattle apartment, carting the final few bags of donations to Goodwill and waiting for Craigslist buyers who, in true west coast fashion (no offense), may or may not show up.
And as I sit here, among all that annoying stuff that you never want to deal with at the end of a move, I am certainly writing this as a means of procrastination, but it’s as good a time as any to examine what we go through between the end of one thing and the beginning of another.
A chapter of my life is closing here, and with that closure comes a host of emotions. I’m a bit disappointed that things didn’t work out. I am a bit shocked at how little attachment I feel to this place. I am a bit nervous about what comes next. I am a bit sad to say goodbye to a dream. But nothing that happened while I lived in Seattle was what was expected, and it all started the day I got to my apartment.
When I signed my lease, sight unseen, I had a good idea of what I was getting myself into. Most new-build “open floor plan” one bedrooms are the same: partition walling off the bedroom from the rest of the space, sliding door of some sort, galley kitchen, in unit laundry, floor to ceiling windows. Sounds pretty good and they’re usually clean, free of bugs, and easy to deal with. When I asked the landlord about the location of the apartment in the building, she told me it faced East, toward the city, with “an urban view.”
Now, I know enough about the layout of Seattle and have seen enough episodes of Sex and the City, to know that on the third floor an “urban view” means I’m likely looking at the wall of another building, a power line, an alley full of dumpsters, or some combination thereof.
I got all three.
But I didn’t care. When I moved into this apartment, all I could think about was my new life here. There was nothing in my head besides optimism and excitement. It was the same when I moved to Boulder (both times), Bozeman, and almost everywhere else I’ve lived. Every time I pack my stuff, I’m stoked for the adventure, so my “urban view” wasn’t really a a big deal.
What my landlord didn't tell me, was that there is an insane roof deck on our building. And once I found that place, I saw what I wanted to see: the Seattle skyline, the Space Needle and a panoramic view of Puget Sound. No one was ever up there so it was basically my private patio.
I made the choice to go up there every day. I made the choice to see what I wanted to see. And I choose now, as I sit on the floor, staring at the wall of another building and the power lines right outside my window, to see what lies ahead. Sure, I’m in the throws of transition, deciding which paperbacks mean enough to pack up and which ones are getting tossed, lovingly wrapping my last few knick knacks in bubble paper, throwing caution to the wind and giving away things I will undoubtedly need to replace someday, but that doesn’t mean I need to focus on what is passing on.
I recognize what I learned from this move, what I learned from my time here, what I learned about my friends and the people that I worked with - and I am choosing to move forward, lessons in tow, eyes open to the possibility that comes with any new adventure. And that is a valuable form of freedom.
Letting go of things. Letting go of expectations. Letting go of a dream. Letting go of the past.
I think that sometimes we worry that there won’t be another. That we’ll never find another apartment that will have as nice of a view. That we won’t find another partner that did for us what the last one did. That we won’t find work that means as much or pays as much. I think that we get stuck in a mindset of scarcity around a lot of things in our lives, but if there’s one thing that I’ve learned through all the crazy twists and turns, it’s this:
There is always more.
It might not look the same or feel the same or pay the same, but there’s more for us every time we have the courage to make room for it.
And as I clear out my place and take one last look through the floor to ceiling windows at my urban view, I am choosing what I want to see. I am choosing to see more.
As always, here’s to the adventure.