Growing up about an hour from Seattle, I always referred to the city as home because geographically, technically, logically, it was. I moved ‘home’ from New York City for logical reasons. My family was here. A job that I loved was here. The chance to set up roots was here. I loved New York City with everything in me, but wasn’t sure I could see myself there forever, so at the time Seattle felt like a logical home. Just not a heart home.
Until it became one.
I don’t know when something shifted, but this year, it did. Maybe like aging in a way; it happens so slowly that you don’t really notice any difference day to day, until all of the sudden you can see it, feel it, as plainly as the lines on your hands. Seattle was kind of like that. It snuck up on me slowly, unnoticeably really, until one day I was here and really wanted to be here. Chose to be here, above anywhere else I could’ve been. Stopped daydreaming about the next city because Seattle suddenly felt like home. Not at a head level, but at a heart level.
It’s hard to articulate what it is that I like so much about this city. I like its quirkiness, its understatedness. Seattle doesn’t label itself as anything overly special; it just lets you figure it out for yourself. It lets you walk its neighborhoods — Capitol Hill on weekend nights with its eccentric bars and nightlife, Queen Anne on quiet Sunday mornings with its manicured neighborhood streets and regal brick buildings, Greenlake on summer days with its lush green pathways and dogs lounging on sidewalks outside of coffee shops, Fremont on Saturdays with its vintage shops and farmers markets.
Seattle lets you get to know its myriad little coffee shops, just like the baristas get to know you. Lets you, in one step, transcend from city streets into mountain air, forest hikes and seaside coasts. Lets you have summer days full of rooftops, barbeques and boat rides — the kind of days that make you kinda even like the lazy, gray, drizzly days the city is known for. Lets you be equal parts city slicker, outdoor enthusiast, and neighborhood regular all in one. The city doesn’t press anything on you, really; it just lets you nestle up among it, lets you fall in love.
At least that’s what it did for me. After a year here, which was the sequel to a year in another city that I adored more than anywhere else, a city that I feared I would consider my only ‘heart’ home for the rest of my life, Seattle became one too. I’m so excited for the next year here. Although this time, Seattle, I’m ready for ya.