Hey Lewis (and Clark, he should probably start reading this too if he isn’t already),
Can’t wait! Need to write more- now! Mostly, I don’t want to do this Twitter spreadsheet I’m supposed to be working on (wrinkly frowny face emoji).
By the time you read this you will probably be in London (and not China). But how cool! You are out in the world doing the stuffs. Me too! Last night through some strange twists of events I found myself down in Columbia City working on this project. A group of people associated with the Hillman City Collaboratory are working to restore this venue to use as a community space for performing artists. HOW COOL IS THAT? As I’ve recently committed to getting out in the world, my friend Andy invited me down and without really knowing what I was getting into (or why) I just went. I got to help knock down a wall and move a bunch of really dusty furniture. I tried to paint some conduit that was on the ceiling, but I felt like there just had to be a better way to not get all that GOLD, ON THE CEILING.
Andy and I had a magical moment as we drove home. You see, I’ve known Andy since high school and didn’t even realize he lived here until I got to Seattle. If that wasn’t enough, we lived around each other while we lived in Chicago. It’s incredibly comforting to have someone to talk to about the people and places you remember. Andy, knowing my general WTF is going on with my life sentiment asked me if I would stay in Seattle. I mean, I think so? I still feel like I just got here. And you know, the tides pulling me back being born here and all… But back to the magic moment. We started talking about how it feels to come into a place, without roots. And he’s starting to put some serious roots down. He has a lovely girlfriend and a boat and impressive friend base.
Andy transitioned out of his old job last spring, and he confessed that when that happened he was thinking about leaving. I think he was questioning if he belonged here. I certainly question that all the time, but I don’t have a clue as to where I would go if not here. Like I said, I just got here! Where was I going with this… Oh yea, magic moment. We both agreed that community is an incredibly important thing to be a part of. It’s super tough to seek that out when you are busy trying to find a job or a husband and figuring out how to pay the rent.
Community is so important, or rather a sense of belonging to one. Last night for the first time in a while I just let everything go for a few hours and got my hands, really dirty. And I want to help this team so bad. I don’t think necessarily if my aid in the destruction/rebuilding of a venue is the best way, but the storyteller in me couldn’t stop… With each of the organizers I asked “How are you documenting this, what story do you want to tell?” I mean, have you ever heard of the Hillman Collaboratry? Or any of the non-profits running out of it? Probably not. What they are doing is incredibly important, not only for the local community but Seattle as a whole.
Balance is a terribly hard thing to obtain. I want to make the monies to sustain a life in Seattle, but I want to participate in my community. When I travel, I want to say “I’m from Seattle,” and feel like I really deserve to say that. HOW DO I DO THIS? How do I participate, and activate, and find reliable enough income (that genuinely makes me giddy to go to work each day). How do I find a partner (while I’m not supposed to be looking for them). HOW DO I DO THE THINGS TO GET THE STUFFS THAT AREN’T EVEN STUFFS BUT MORE JUST REALLY FEELINGS.
I had a phone interview this morning, and I wish I could say I crushed it but I have no idea. I did that thing where I got reeeeal excited about a few things and talked real fast and then was like (in my head) “Oh shit, what did I just say?” I guess at the end of the day, if they don’t want me then it’s not the right thing. Just like partners. This needs to go both ways, and if you hesitate between me and someone else, please don’t choose me. (But I really, really hope they choose me. SERIOUSLY! I’D BE SUCH A GOOD TEAMMATE).
The waiting! I WANT IT ALL AND I WANTS IT NOW! But the best things always take so much time. I’m excited to try and see if I can’t offer to help out with some digital services with these Columbia City folks. They have an incredible story that no one is hearing. Maybe if I move down there I can buy myself a little time to figure it all out. I love Phinney, but man… rent is so much for someone who is freelancing at the moment. Perhaps it’s not my right community yet?
So while you are out there, finding rivers, lakes and mountains, meeting new peoples and having the moments, how will you answer the question, “Where are you from?” Will you answer Seattle? Do you feel like you left a community behind, or have you managed to bring them with you? Tell me your secrets. Send em’ via carrier pigeon.