Monday, June 11, 2012

Moving, influenza, and Daniel Bedingfield

When I told strangers I was moving to Seattle, I heard “Why?” and “I’m sorry” more than once. It didn’t bother me. These comments were made in places like Sandpoint, Idaho and Ellensburg, Washington, where people who love the city do not tend to live. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s letting go of the opinions of people who don’t matter to me.

With those who do matter, though, it’s not so simple. So when the best friend I have in Seattle (who bugged me to move here for a decade) and my husband told me in the same week that this city might not be the place for me, I took notice.

The bad luck could’ve happened anywhere. First, I got my butt kicked by The Worst Flu Ever… not a little tummy ache and fever I called the flu, an actual strain of influenza so bad that when I finally dragged myself through the door of Urgent Care a nurse rushed over and handed me a mask and helped me to my seat. It rendered me useless for over a week. I couldn’t pack a thing.

After that week, four days before the move (when I had packed approximately four boxes) Mr. W broke the news that there was no possible way he could be home to help me due to a work conflict. A tornado in Kansas led to me having to move completely on my own for the first time in my life. I thought it would be no problem since we hired movers and I took two days off work.

I was wrong. And listing all the things that fell apart would not only turn into a 5,000 word essay, it would be stupidly negative and depressing. At the end of it all I laid in a sleeping bag on my mattress, sleep deprived, stinky and unshowered because I couldn’t find my soap, closer to broke than I thought I could ever be as a grown up, due at work in a few hours, crying, with no husband to console me and one of my dearest friends driving a moving van to San Francisco. I know, right? WAH!

But that night, I stopped crying the moment my head hit the pillow and I realized I could see the skyline and Space Needle from my bed. Because holy shit, I always wanted that but never thought I would actually have it. And now I do, and I’m so grateful. I love it here.

So that’s why I was so bummed when two people I love suggested this might not be the place for me. And it was weighing on my mind on the Saturday afternoon when I finally quit procrastinating and started unpacking boxes. Mr. W and I agreed that we still have entirely too much stuff and I noticed our gigantic collection of CD’s we never listened to because things like Pandora and Spotify exist.

“How does one get rid of a CD?” I asked Mr. W. “We can keep some of these, but are we really going to miss Daniel Bedingfield’s ‘Gotta Get Thru This?’”

“We might,” He joked.

Then I remembered there was a Half Price Books eight blocks away and it was a gorgeous day. I scooped up the collection of CD’s that didn’t make the cut, threw them in a paper bag and headed out. Sunshine is like Prozac to Seattle residents. Everyone grinned at each other as I walked down Pine Street, a song from the Daniel Bedingfield CD stuck in my head. I started humming it softly to myself. When I stepped down a side street behind a building and found myself alone, I couldn’t resist belting out some lyrics….

I don’t want to run away, but I can’t take it, I don’t understand
If I’m not made for you, then why does my heart tell me that I am?

Of course, I turned the corner and almost smashed directly into two young women walking together, staring at me.

“This is why I love the hill,” one of them said to the other. “People aren’t afraid to be weird.”

I wasn’t even embarrassed. It’s the truth.

I found Half Price Books, which bought every CD except that of a country singer who had one mediocre hit in 2002 and called it quits. I stopped on my way home for two slices of delicious pizza and a bottle of wine (because I walk almost everywhere now and must be burning 12,000 calories a day). Then I sat on my teeny tiny balcony with my dinner and glass of Cab, feet propped up, watching the most beautiful sunset I’d seen all year. My day had been close to perfect.

And I realized that even people you love can be wrong. Because if Seattle isn’t right for me, why in the hell am I so unbelievably happy here, despite everything life has thrown at me since?

Awesome photo by this guy 

If I’m not made for you, than why does my heart tell me that I am?

I think I am. I think good and bad things happen, and sometimes you’re lucky enough to be surrounded with enough good to handle the bad.


Stevie said...

I think I need to come over and join you on your new patio. I'll bring the wine :-)

I'm so glad you're so happy, especially after going through such a horrific moving ordeal and being so sick. Yay Seattle!

JessicaLee said...

Thank you Stevie! :) You are always welcome on my new you know, with my location, the wine is never far away.

Mike Barbre said...

We're glad the both of you are here too. To many more years.

Mike Barbre said...

We're glad you two are here too. To many more beautiful sunsets.

Wearmanyhats said...

Good for you for following your dreams. Most likely these bumps will level out and you'll enjoy where you live immensely. But just remember when you start grumbling about where you are living, if you ever do, get away! Go where you want to go! Life is too darn short to do otherwise. Take it from someone who's been there, done that.

Foxy said...

you are not allowed to leave seattle or talk about like you may one day leave because now i have found you and you're pretty much the greatest friend not on 8 wheels that i have here.

MJL said...

you're not allowed to doubt living here because you're pretty much the best blonde not on 8 wheels that i know.

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