Let me tell you about my day here in Seattle yesterday. Yesterday I was asked where my slight accent was from. That's always fun. I never know how to take that question - whether I should be disappointed or proud. On the one hand, I was born in this country so would like to speak with a normal accent (whatever that means), but on the other hand, I assume that whatever accent I do have derives itself from my bilingual nature and speaking Spanish as my first language. I still haven't decided how I feel about my so-called accent. But I promise I'm going to try to embrace it because I should, right? It makes me different (or like everyone else in Miami - glass half full or empty?) so I will love my different Miami accent, especially in Seattle.
On another note, they spelled my name correctly at Starbucks (winning) and I found peonies at Whole Foods. People are also strangely nice here, as opposed to people in Miami, who are, for lack of a better word, rude (and I can say that because I was born and raised and have spent my entire life there).
So the first moral of this story - Seattle is very different from Miami.
Which leads me to the second moral of this story - living a multi-state lifestyle has changed me for the better.
I'd be lying if I told you I jumped for joy when Alex told me he wanted to take a job based out of Seattle. It was seriously mind-blowing to me. Seattle? Who lives in Seattle?! Tom Hanks! In a movie, for crying out loud. Not even in real life! And who goes to Seattle ever unless you're trying to get to Canada or unless you're leaving on an Alaskan cruise?! I mean, I knew there was a Nordstrom in Seattle because it's based out of there, but I wasn't going to bring that up - in true lawyer form, didn't help my argument. But in my defense, Seattle is really far from Miami. We're not talking Miami/Chicago or Miami/Austin, we're talking let's pick the northwestern-most point and the southeastern-most point on the main continent and let's commute back and forth every two months for an indefinite amount of time. In my mind, he might as well have taken a job in Europe and at least I'd drag myself to museums and become more cultured in the process.
But no, his dream job was in Seattle. And what a horrible wife would i be if I didn't support him in this endeavor. So after some discussion, we decided he would take the job in Seattle, I left my job as a lawyer (more details on that here) and we started the multi-state lifestyle.
A little background on multi-state lifestyles (at least mine):
- Commuting typically takes place every two months. Alex comes for about 3 weeks to work with his boss, I probably come anywhere from 1-2 weeks, depending on events and meetings in Miami. In Miami, Alex works from home. In Seattle, I work from our apartment. I generally see the commute as an opportunity for one of us to interact with human beings at work.
- Our apartment in Seattle - it's furnished rather modestly, being that we're not here full-time. But it's in a great neighborhood and walking distance from a Whole Foods, the Bar Method, West Elm (this shouldn't even be in this list but it's a nice distraction), great restaurants and Starbucks. These all weighed into our selecting our apartment, including West Elm, which location has been a great help in furnishing the apartment.
- Our house in Miami - it's being remodeled so I haven't really factored in how our house would fit in but I'm sure it will simply replace our temp Miami living in my brother in law's back house. We spend the majority of our time in Miami so the house will surely reflect that.
Except for the minor almost 7 hour plane rides to and from, our everyday routines in Miami and in Seattle aren't very different. It was important for us to have a similar structure in Seattle so as not to consider our time here a vacation and maintain our financial status quo. Granted, it's a change (they're two different cities). But the change is refreshing and our time here is like living another life - lets us disconnect, meet new people, visit new places, and experience a completely different lifestyle and culture.
at one of our many favorite Seattle restaurants, Local 360
And, in the midst of this multi-state lifestyle, I've learned that things happen in life to teach people lessons, and Alex taking his job was a huge lesson for me.
Never in a million years did I ever think I would have left a law career for a creative career to do what I absolutely love, never in a million years did I think I would be living part-time in Seattle (or a multi-state lifestyle for that matter), never in a million years did I think I'd be taking graphic design courses, learning indesign and photoshop, and never in a million years did I think I could live in the moment without thinking about tomorrow. But when life handed me lemons, I made lemonade and cocktails and lemon chicken breast and lemon tarts. I rocked it. And i'll keep rocking it. I needed and still need to work on letting go a bit - not being so hard on myself, not being so structured, and doing things because I want to do them, and not because I should or shouldn't. I've always struggled with that. It's a people pleaser thing. But I'm sure it will always be a work in progress. That's just how life works.
I hope your Seattle comes your way soon if it hasn't already. And I hope you embrace it, just like I embraced Seattle and similar to how I am learning to embrace my so-called Miami accent (I'll get there).
Seattle actually has seasons! That's been nice to watch.
I never liked oysters until I tried pacific northwest oysters. Definitely Seattle staples. We love going here for the best oysters.
Mount Rainier from the top of the Space Needle.