I’ve been in Seattle 4 years officially now. The time has been… bittersweet.
Yes, it’s a beautiful city and region. That cannot be denied. The state of Washington and the Northwest in general offers treats for the eyes that are absolutely unparalleled. There are a number of people that are genuinely nice, motivated, and a delight to be around.
It can take time to find these people.
I can count on at least two hands the number of times I’ve been told “go back to LA!” or something similar aggressively (or maybe even passive-aggressively in places I cannot access), because I said something about Seattle that someone on the internet didn’t like. Even offline it’s prickly.
You know what, though? I’m not going back to LA. And I’m not going to stop loving this city with a critical eye.
That’s what you do when you care for something — you spend time, money and effort. You pay attention. You call shit out. You think of ways to make things better. You remain steadfast.
Make no mistake about me. I want to work hard and live well and vote often and pay taxes that I know are somewhat going to the betterment of my surroundings. I want to learn, and to grow.
I understand that there are many people who’ve been in this area much longer than I, especially since I am not quite 30 years old and had to fight my way up here. However, that does not entitle natives or longer-term residents to bully me into silence when I say something that isn’t popular to dislike about this region, or commonly gets ignored in favour of other points on an agenda.
If I wanted to be purely antagonistic, I could step up to the stage, say I don’t care for Nirvana, drop the mic and be done with it. But that’s silly, because there are plenty of people who like the band and the culture surrounding it, which makes sense because this is grunge city and all.
Wisdom consists in not rocking the boat when there’s nothing to be learned or gained from it, so I don’t push that button.
You may be asking yourself what I find so contrary about this place. Well, there’s a separate post for that which may come later.
For now, I am using this space to reflect on how far I’ve come, and to acknowledge that Seattle, for all its shortcomings (as you’ll find that no place is perfect), has helped me immensely.