This summer has been a stark contrast from my last summer here in more ways than one. I hit my one year anniversary of living in Seattle in June, though I’m a far cry from considering myself a “Seattle-ite.”
Last year I was in 90 degree heat, working on my tan by the water, jobless for months, wondering if I’d made a huge mistake, and adjusting to a new apartment. This year finds me working more hours than I’d care to admit and traipsing to the bus stop in a jacket to fight off the chill of the Seattle summer mornings that can’t quite seem to shake off that last bit off coolness from the wintertime.
And yet again this year, I am adjusting to a new apartment. I was on the fence about moving: I loved my location, but my rent was going up, and I didn’t get along great with my landlord. Plus add to that mix my absolute disdain for packing for a trip, much less packing up every item in my entire home.
I took a hard hat tour in April of a complex they were building about 10 blocks away from my original apartment (See Human Bus Schedule). I got approved, and they let me sign a 3 month lease and go month to month after that, which is a huge deal for someone like me who swore that I would only stay here a year or two when I first arrived.
I don’t like to commit to anything. I start to feel stuck and suffocated like I can’t change my mind, yet I’m somehow obligated to follow through with whatever commitment I’ve already made. So being able to bail out of Seattle whenever I please after October is over opens up a world of opportunity for someone like me with travel on the brain.
It seemed like the best of both worlds, so a few days ago, I moved into my new digs with the help of my parents, who were kind enough to fly in from Indianapolis to help me form a three person moving crew and move everything 10 blocks away from where I started. They also were pivotal in the IKEA, Target, and HomeGoods trips that we made to fill the extra space that I found myself with in the new place.
I was glad they could see both the old and the new. We started their vacation with fun things like Pike’s Place Market and Alki Beach in West Seattle. We even drove to Mt Rainier and did a few of the hikes there which was amazing. I haven’t hiked since I was in Greece, and thought maybe I should be getting more into this kind of a thing.
Hiking trails in Rainier with the three novice hikers that we are didn’t stop us from treking through the snow packed paths and getting as far as we could before the paths were closed off to those of us without real hiking gear. I assume that meant me with my fashion sneakers and pink top. Then I realized my dad was wearing red Vans, and my mom was wearing jeans, so none of us were prepared for the “hike” that it turned out to be, but it didn’t stop us from trekking as far as we could.
As always it was wonderful to have some more Lauck blood in Seattle. There are days when I feel like the odd person out because of the weirdness going on here that triggers my rage on a daily basis, so when my entire family is appalled at the dogs chilling in food service places and the terrible driving out here, it makes me feel like maybe I’m not the conductor of the crazy train after all.
I am proud of how the new apartment came together. We managed to create a space for me that feels like “home” whether it is for 3 months or for another year. As much as I hate the process of moving, in a way I feel like it keeps me grounded in my wanderlust roots.
I remind myself that I moved to Australia with one suitcase, and while it’s nice to have a place to settle while I’m here, it is only stuff, and I don’t need to get too attached. Home is what you make of it, and it’s important to me that I can keep moving and being a transient from place to place but still juggle having a roof over my head that I’m comfortable in for the duration of my stay.
I was sad to say goodbye to my parents after the week they were here visiting flew by, but I was so grateful that they were able to lend me a hand and help me create a space that feels like my own, even if I have a few finishing touches left to put on it.
I still have my living room that functions as a guest room for anyone who decides that they want to venture into the city to visit as well. Part of what makes my apartment feel like home to me is knowing that I can pay it forward for all of the times I’ve crashed at friends houses while traveling around. My futon has gotten plenty of use from friends of mine coming into town, and I hope that it remains a space that people feel welcome to come and crash if they want to explore the city while I’m here, however long that may be.