One Year in Oz

I’m pet-sitting for the Steitzeseses again, and this time the cat has remained inside the house. It’s a much less stressful experience when you’re not causing yourself gastrointestinal distress over potentially having to tell one of your best friends that one of her best friends has gone missing. Also, the weather has finally decided to cooperate and is giving us one of the last beautiful days we can expect until probably next May, so I suppose it’s an ideal time to be responsible for walking a dog around the city.

They’re in the UK now. I mention this because I am supremely jealous of them, and because every single one of the photos they post fills me with such envy that I grit my teeth at my phone and have to remind myself about how much I love Seattle.

It’s probably a good thing that I could not/am not in the UK right now, anyway. I suspect that if I did go/was there, the same thing that happened when I visited Seattle would occur. I’d fly home and immediately feel homesick for a place that wasn’t my home, and in a year I’d find a reason to spend a bunch of money to move thousands of miles away because for some reason, that is where my body knows it is supposed to be.

I know this sounds weird, but I really do believe that there are places your heart knows before the rest of you does, and there are cities that will always feel like home no matter if you have lived in them or not. A few of them I’ve already been to, and a few of them I suspect are waiting for me to show up. Of course, some of the other cities I’ve been to are definitely not home, not for any specific reason like I got repeatedly mugged or anything, but just…something about them made me feel like a visitor, or like I was a mismatched organ the body was trying to reject after transplant. St. Louis will always be my home by birth, but in Seattle, I finally understand what people in St. Louis were talking about when they told me they didn’t ever want to leave it. Some cities just feel like where you belong.

Yes, even with all the rain.

As of tomorrow, I will have lived in Seattle for one year. It doesn’t feel like one year. It feels like a couple of months, like I can’t remember last winter or the false spring or, already, any of the summer at all. I remember a few things that happened (Thanksgiving, Misfits Christmas, starting my job, Easter at the beach, Birthday Mountain, some shows, and always the walking, walking, walking), but overall, it’s all blended together into something that’s moved both way too fast and sooooooo unbearably slow, because you have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to say that I’ve spent a year here already.

I think I’ve had a good year. Some parts were pretty dark and weird, but for the most part, I got here, I didn’t go broke, I became employed, I learned my way around, and I made friends. Doesn’t sound like much, but when you’ve failed to live in other cities (the ones that try to reject you like a rotten kidney), doing it the right way in a place you love is a huge deal. Not only this, but coming to think of the place you love as your home — as in, when I was in St. Louis I told people that I was going to fly home to Seattle — makes you so much more grateful that you finally went there, because you can’t figure out why it ever took so long in the first place.

So this is why I can’t go to the UK. I’ve only just started to know Seattle really well, and I’m not finished here yet. And really, if I’m going to go live in Europe someday, I might as well do it when I’m a little older, have a little more money, and am at the amazingly sophisticated part of my development as a person because as far as expats go, that will probably be my most marketable skill.

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About erineph

I'm Erin. I have tattoos and more than one cat. I am an office drone, a music writer, and an erstwhile bartender. I am a cook in the bedroom and a whore in the kitchen. Things I enjoy include but are not limited to zombies, burritos, Cthulhu, Kurt Vonnegut, Keith Richards, accordions, perfumery, and wearing fat pants in the privacy of my own home.
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