When I was soul-searching about living in London after my graduation from Hult, my MBA program, I remember wondering if the novelty might wear off. Would London lose its charm, when then 9-5 grind became habit? Would I find myself in a stupor of work-eat-drink-home-sleep-repeat? I guess ‘wondering’ isn’t the correct term, because I actually found myself worrying that I might fall out of London. Just like in relationships with other people, I find that I have an emotional relationship with the place I live, and each one has both a honeymoon phase and a termination of that honeymoon phase.
With that in mind (plus the increasing prospects that I would not be able to acquire a visa or a paying job sufficient to cover the payments on the alarming student loans I carry), I started to look at coming back to the U.S. To be honest, I didn’t want to come back; I wanted to stay. I wanted to test the limits of my honeymoon with London, and see if maybe there was one place in the world where I simply wouldn’t get sick of being there eventually. But, I needed a backup plan, and Seattle became the only choice I could bear.
I couldn’t be “a New Yorker.” I didn’t want to endure the bitter winters of Chicago or the humid summers of D.C. Thinking I could afford to live within the city limits of San Francisco was a pipe dream, and Denver was too landlocked. Seattle, on the other hand, had several things going for it: a reputation for rain (reminding me of London), a temperate year-round climate, and a terrain and vegetation which reminded me of where I grew up in Alaska without being anywhere near as isolated. Seattle it is, I said, and luckily Seattle wanted me. I snagged a great job at an exciting company, am well rewarded (both professionally and financially) for the work I do, and love the things which compromise my daily 9-to-5 slog… even when I just want to be laying on the couch (I mean, who doesn’t want to be laying on the couch if the terms of payment were the same?).
As I approach my six-month anniversary at my current role, and the slightly more-distant prospect of 10 days in London, I can’t help but feel like I made the right decision. Life didn’t put me here, I made a choice to (temporarily) give up the dream of living long-term in London and come to Seattle. But, I am getting to know great people here, I’m learning a lot, I’m coming to appreciate the life I have even as it develops into something I could never have expected. I don’t know where I will go when my student loans are paid off in six years, if anywhere. I may have roots here in Seattle, and a life too firmly established to leave. I’d like to think that I’m open to whatever options will be presented, and will make choices that make me happy. I can only trust that I’ve been pretty darn good at making these kinds of decisions in the past.
After a gloriously sunny Sunday in Seattle which included spending time with my awesome roommate and neighbor, wandering around a construction site, a great dinner of Mexican food, and some prep work on my new apartment, well,… I think things are going pretty well, and I’m glad to be exactly where I am.
(Even though it will be awesome to visit London (and terrible, because I will undoubtedly feel even more sad to leave).)