So Long, Seattle

IMG_0394A little more than eight years ago, I arrived in Seattle, looking for some new adventures. And adventures I have had – some more painful than I would have imagined, and others more fulfilling and life-giving than I could have hoped for. When I arrived in Seattle, I decided that I was going to fall in love with it, which didn’t take very long at all to accomplish. My love for Seattle is also why I am sad(ish) to say that it’s time to say goodbye.

Sarah and I left Seattle in September 2011 to go to London for my PhD studies. As it turned out, that was a shorter excursion than we had originally planned (which I briefly blogged about here). We returned in the Spring of 2012. But for some reasons I didn’t fully understand at the time, I didn’t plug back in to the Seattle scene. I didn’t make a big announcement that we were back, and I didn’t re-engage all of the relationships I had formed prior to leaving. It’s not that they weren’t valuable to me – not at all. I was just doing some soul searching, and trying to figure some things out. And Sarah and I both felt unsettled.

Then, last October, Sarah and I took a road trip to see my family down in San Diego. We stayed in a little vacation rental in a beach town called Encinitas, in north SD county – it’s a place I lived for about 12 years, throughout high school, college, and into grad school. I have family roots in Encinitas going back to the 1960s, when my great-grandparents bought a humble bungalow. It’s got a classic Southern California laid back vibe, with surf shops, cafes, taco stands, yoga studios, and, of course, beautiful beaches. We each felt a very unusual, but strong sense of home and connection with Encinitas. We loved the sunshine, waves, and walks in the ocean air.

Over many months of discussion and prayer, we decided it would be good for Sarah to renew her certification as Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, a career for which she had completed her Master of Science in Nursing degree, and worked several years ago, but had left behind for oncology and palliative care nursing. So, as she went through the process of updating her education and taking the national certification exam, we were discussing where she should look for work in that field.

To make a long(er) story short, Sarah applied for a position at a community health center in north San Diego county that serves a largely Hispanic population, and a couple weeks ago was invited for an interview. We flew down, stayed with family, and looked into the opportunity. There was an immediate connection between Sarah and her prospective employers, and within two days, she had a formal job offer – one that we decided to accept. They are eager for her to start work quickly, so our moving window is a short one – short enough to make saying goodbye to everyone in Seattle a challenge.

It’s a bittersweet thing for me to say my goodbyes to Seattle. The natural beauty everywhere you look, the many micro-cultures that exist in the various neighborhoods, the lively arts scenes, the coffee, the fanatical love for the Sounders FC and Seahawks, the entrepreneurial creativity you see all over the region, the never-ending conversations about weather. And far beyond all of those things, are the friends I’ve made here that are like family (in particular, the friend that became actual family). We will, of course, miss Sarah’s family, which will turn out to be a good thing, in that we’ll make regular visits to Seattle to say hello.

On the other hand, we are very excited to be heading to San Diego, where my family, and many friends are. We are particularly excited that following the job offer, we found a great place to live in Encinitas(!!!), close to the beach, but also close enough to Sarah’s work. I’ll look for work once we get there and get settled. I feel hopeful about what is in store and am thinking about a few different vocational paths.

New adventures lie ahead. It’s time to embrace them.

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