You were the first and only real city I have ever lived in. I came to you oh a wing and a prayer, with hopes of find a job and at the very least supporting myself. What I found was something I could have never imagined in all my life. Seattle you have a little piece of my soul. You will always be that one place I will tether to. I will likely never return to set roots here again, but I have a fondness for your cold dank soul. I have 28 days left until I move away, there are so many things I would love to do before I go, but not enough time I am certain.
Seattle helped me find my soul again, my heart, and my strength. The people who I found here are my true family. I will miss you all so much. I found my strength to fight back in an abusive relationship. I found the strength to be on my own and be ok with that. I found the beauty of my children as they grew up and defended those who had no voice. I saw myself grow right along with my children. It was like having a second chance to grow up.
I learned to ride a bike again here. I learned to ride in the traffic and have no fear. I learned how to walk again after I was hit on my bike. I also learned how to ride again. I found true love. I found peace and happiness. Most of all I found the greatest people to share my life with. To those people, you know who you are, I love you so much. I would mention names, but since I do not have permission to publish those names I will simply leave it at that. They better know who they are, they have made so much difference in my life.
I came to Seattle desperate with no money, no job and no hope. I left my children with my ex in hopes of making a better life for them. For those he scream about those on welfare, what about those of us with children who do not qualify but cannot support them either? Those of us single parents who had no intention of being single parents but fate dealt us a bad hand. Having your husband walk out on you is tragic enough, but then have him fight against you in every aspect of life is a whole new game. It beats you down, makes you feel worthless. When you feel worthless life can get the upper hand. So before you judge those people you see as alcoholics and drug addicts, ask yourself how you would deal with a continued beat down daily and how you could pick yourself up. It is not easy.
In Seattle I learned to actually love. It was something I felt was never going to be part of my life. I have been in many relationship with no love to feel it was never going to be mine. I came to terms with that, I accepted it. Then fate dropped a man in my life who was nothing like anyone I had ever been with. Someone, that 10 years before I would not have wanted to even be friends with. Someone who accepted me as I was, flaws and all. Someone who does not care about my weight or my looks, but thinks I am beautiful and perfect just the way I am. Someone who I see as perfect as well.
I have never wanted to live here. I have been trying to find an escape for so long. I was born in California, but moved here at 6 months old. I have never been anywhere else. To make it even worse, I had only lived in small towns until I moved to Seattle in 2004. Seattle was to biggest and craziest place I had ever lived. I discovered the local asian markets, and my path to vegetarianism was cemented when I discovered cultural foods. I later learned about local seasonal food systems and began to embrace those. I later discovered whole foods and avoid processed foods. I learned how to really cook here. I also learned that I loved cooking. I love cooking for others even more.
I found my strength here, to the point where people will tell me I cannot do something and I am determined to prove them wrong. I was told I could not go to grad school, work full-time and raise two teens alone. I proved them all wrong. I was told I could not bike like I had before the collision. I proved them wrong, to the point where I have not ridden my scooter in almost 2 years. I have to sell it now, it served me well, but it is not legal to drive where I am going. I was told that I could not bike across the country, I proved them all wrong! I was told that the Peace Corps is going to be hard, I have yet to prove them wrong. For me hard is more than just difficult, it is a mind-set, and I will always prove them wrong.
The final thing about Seattle, I followed my dreams. I kept them a secret for far too long, now I shout them from the rooftops. I am following my dreams and I my hope for you is that you find your strength to acknowledge your dreams and follow them. You cannot follow your dreams is you pretend you have none. This is the first step, acknowledge them and verbalize them. When you find a person who tells you it is impossible, this should be the fuel that lights your passion. The fire that has been doused should come alive every time anyone tells you that your dreams are ridiculous. They are dreams, and that is what feeds our soul, even if we never accomplish them, just striving for them may be enough.