in bloom

The greatest part about moving to Seattle is remembering how much I love The Cure and Nirvana. Not that I ever really forgot, but I suppose I kind of did. To a small degree. Every restaurant we try is playing one of the two, and I feel like it’s bringing me back to my shitty teenage roots, which is kind of great. I’m remembering angsty Amy that had a Nirvana/Green Day/Weezer shrine in her bedroom and CD albums decked out with pictures of Kurt Cobain. That Amy was oh-god-so-awkward, but she was also dreamy and hopeful, and I dig remembering how it felt to be that age every now and again. I also will eternally regret getting rid of my Dr. Martens from middle school. Goddammit.

We’ve been eating everything and walking everywhere, getting to know the neighborhoods. I got my first Seattle haircut yesterday up in Capitol Hill and ate the greatest veggie sandwich of all time. I’ve been a vegetarian for 5 years now, and I’ve never really tried any meat substitute stuff, but they had this tomato field roast that was amaziiiiiiing. PLUS the sandwich was called Emilio Pestovez, so, obvs a brilliant sandwich from the get-go.

Things I’m realizing I know nothing about after moving here:

Recycling. I KNOW. I’m a real asshole. Utah’s not that big into the whole recycling thing, and nobody really sorts anything. Restaurants just have a garbage can–they don’t have the three or four garbage cans you see everywhere in Seattle. So now I’m the dick that has to stop and read the instructions EVERY TIME I throw something away. I’m not proud of it, guys. Don’t judge me.

Night life. This is a legit city where people are always milling around. People LIVE here. Salt Lake City, at least downtown, is a commuter town where it’s bustling with businesspeople during the day but mostly a ghost town at night. Not so here. I am continually surprised by the sheer amount of people on the streets every night. I lived a sheltered life, I know.

WATER. Boats, guys. Boats. So cool. I hope the novelty of seeing the Lake Union houseboats NEVER goes away. Or the sea planes. Or the cranes on Elliott Bay. I’m obsessed with it all because I’ve been landlocked my whole life. Also, locks are stairs for boats? WHAT? So cool. I need to ride the ferries here ASAP. I’m into it.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

I unpacked our last box last Friday, which left me feeling like I’d be fine to never see another cardboard box again ever. But we’re renting again, so, tough shit, Amy. You’ll see boxes many many more times. We’re all settling in nicely, and we finally got the TV all set up so we could finish season 2 of The Killing. SO GOOD. Anyone else a Killing fan? We had to start watching it to get pumped on Seattle. We’re glad we did.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

Happy Monday. I’m elbow deep in job hunting, so I’m sending hireable, success vibes out in the universe for anyone else doing the same.

Peace.

unidentification

I’ve been getting down and dirty with mindfulness lately. We’re talking the hippie dippy type shit of living in the present, meditation, minimalism, and all that good stuff. I started thinking about it all when I realized Prozac wasn’t helping anymore. And then the move happened and I went through a crazy roller coaster of grief and excitement and omg what have we done and it’s going to be ok. Throughout the roller coaster, I found a recurring thread of “Amy, this is your chance to shake it all off.” Or something more like, “dude, this is totally your Madonna reinvention moment.” I kept coming back to that thought, so I listened to it. And I figured mindfulness practice was the best way to get there. To practice really, really, really hard to stay in the present and not frame all of it around regrets from the past and fears of the future.

I’m reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. He talks about unidentifying from your mind–those thoughts that run rampant and unchecked most of the time. That is not you. You are you. And when you unidentify from your mind and stop to listen to it–that’s when you find enlightenment. I KNOW. It’s all very vague, new-agey stuff, but it’s GOOD STUFF. Especially for someone with anxiety. It’s also hard to understand at times and even more difficult to practice consistently. I’m so used to my mind running that I don’t even notice it anymore until I’m in a horrible mood and I’m trying to figure out why.

DSCF4321

DSCF4316

It’s been kind of perfect to be unemployed for a minute right after moving to Seattle. I mean, I’m not stoked about not having a job, and I’m working hard to find one. But these quiet, slow mornings are the perfect chance to practice mindfulness. To sit in our new window bay with the windows open, smelling the rainy air, sipping dark coffee, and just being. Sitting. Experiencing the physical sensations of sitting and the warmth of the coffee in my left hand. My hair blowing in the breeze. I feel stupid writing this because it sounds like bullshit, but it’s making a big difference.

In the mundane of my Salt Lake City life, I forgot who I was and what I enjoyed. It was my own fault. I never stopped to think about it. I was NEVER present. I was rolling along with the tide of everyday living, forgetting to wake up and remember Amy throughout it all. I’m sure that will happen here again once I get a job and settle down with a routine, but I’m working on preventing it through mindfulness.

This post from Sarah of Yes and Yes is exactly what I’m talking about but more on the change side of things. Finding little ways to STAY AWAKE in life. Because it’s harder than it should be really. I’ve also mentioned that I’m doing Gala Darling’s Dare/Dream/Do course, which has been phenomenal for these same reasons.

DSCF4315

DSCF4364

DSCF4319

ANYWAY. All I’m trying to say is I’m trying to reinvent my perspective and my life. I have a lot of time on my hands, which makes this really convenient, and that will (hopefully) change soon. But it’s refreshing, and I dig it, dammit. I’m just trying to find my happiness so I can start fresh in this new city. Sue me.

Any fellow mindfulness junkies out there? Book suggestions? Podcasts? Apps? Let’s hear it.

seattlefication

Holy shit we made it.

We are officially Seattleites. Although, we’re probably still too new to say that. But we live here. We have an address and Mitch started his job and things are rolling. It feels good. Really, really, really good.

The drive here was terrible–as expected–but totally doable. It was mostly just terrible because Royal and Pagoda were thoroughly petrified the ENTIRE ride. Royal took up a nook under one of the Westy’s tables and dug his nose as far into the corner as he possibly could. Pagoda sat there like a little stripey loaf looking straight ahead and panting for 12 hours. I had a knot in my stomach the whole way there and only really breathed again once they were safely quarantined in our new place’s bathroom. I’m happy to say they are fully recovered now and taking full advantage of the new, sunny window bay that looks down on a bustling alley.

Processed with VSCOcam with x2 preset

DSCF4295

DSCF4298

DSCF4303

DSCF4304

Shout out to Mitchell’s parents for driving the enormous moving truck that also towed our little Honda Fit behind it. That was a huge task, and they did it without thinking twice. His mom also cleaned the entire place for us, which saved me from an imminent meltdown after two weeks of chaos. They are the salt of the Earth. I tell you what.

Since his parents were here for two days, we did the whole tourist thang, making sure they saw all the musts. We’d been here before, but we had to make the move official by riding the Ducks and visiting Pike Place. We can walk everywhere from our new place, and there’s a stellar banh mi place right around the block, which made the entire move worth it. I love banh mi. SO MUCH.

DSCF4308

DSCF4309

DSCF4311

DSCF4326

DSCF4332

DSCF4336

DSCF4338

DSCF4342

DSCF4345

DSCF4347

DSCF4349

If you’re thinking about moving to a new city, and you’re feeling unsure, my completely premature advice is DO IT. Take this with a grain of salt considering I’ve only been here three days, and the novelty is still very, very high. It still feels like I’m on vacation, but the more I unpack, the more real it feels. And it’s a good kind of real. Everything is terrifying, but in the best way. It’s scary, but it’s so shiny and new and exciting. We had to take a trip to the hardware store, but because it’s a new city, it felt like an adventure. A test to see if I could remember the street names. Every day errands are a treat because you’re never sure what you’ll pass on the way.

There are disappointments. Like having to rent a parking spot for exorbitant sums. Or the soul-sucking realization that you literally have not a single friend in the city. But these are just new-city facts that, in a weird way, are fun to make yourself accept. All of these new little parts of this new life that seem weird, but they’re not so weird–tons of other people are doing it every day, and now you’re doing it. It’s your choice–your interpretation of your life and your own new choices and routines. It’s scary, but it’s invigorating. New facts, disappointments, perks, and routines. IT’S BEAUTIFUL, GUYS.

DSCF4351

DSCF4353

DSCF4356

DSCF4358

DSCF4359

DSCF4360

DSCF4362

DSCF4367

My sister-in-law whom I love told me she felt like she was on a 6-year vacation when she moved to a new city, and I hope that’s how this continues to feel. As a born and bred Utahan, it feels downright lovely to branch out and see landscapes that are green and city skylines with real skyscrapers. Not to dis Utah–it’s great for a lot of reasons. But for me–someone with raging social anxiety and a bushel of other fun issues–it’s nice to start over, stretch out my brain a little bit, take a giant deep breath, and carve out something new.

If you’re in Seattle, let’s hang out. I’m bored, and I don’t know a soul. Have you moved to a new city recently? Did you love it? Hate it?