After being pummeled by relentless raindrops a couple weeks ago, and as the rain becomes more intermittent, I’ve grown to focus more on embracing Seattle’s warmer temperatures. Luckily, our home was impervious to the floods that left much of Seattle and Southwestern Washington residents feeling like drowned rats. Much of our office, like many, was forced to remain home to cope with the raging floods by siphoning sewage and filthy waters from their soaked basements. And although our townhome (with no basement) escaped the treacherous floods unscathed, the excess water and the damage it wreaked left me feeling rueful for others in our neighborhood who weren’t so fortunate. But in spite of the crippling floods, I must say Seattle’s weather (replete with ample sun breaks) overall is a cakewalk compared with the winter storms that wallop the Midwest.
As I experience my first holiday season in Seattle and with Thanksgiving behind us, I can finally empathize with others who do not have their families nearby during the most cherished of seasons. My Thanksgiving holiday was stung by vapidity, though I cannot say it never has been before, since I have predominantly worked several past turkey days. Though I did take comfort that with my family sprinkled throughout the United States, it was not as if they were hovered around lush, porous cranberries flanked by dark meat poking fun at my absence. However, I am heading back to Chicago (a.k.a. the frozen tundra) for the holidays on Thursday, so although it will be cumbersome dealing with the bitter cold, I am extremely excited to see friends and family that I haven’t seen in some time. Much of the past month my focus has been confined to work and wrapping projects for my class at Seattle University, so it will be invigorating to enjoy a respite from the daily grind, to spend time in the Midwest again, and see so many people I care about again.
Despite the distance from so many loved ones, I am enjoying Seattle and the eye-opening culture that comes with it. Interestingly enough, my roommate said how markedly different I am than I first arrived. My foot-on-the-pedal, fast paced tendencies that I toted with me seem to have abated and it seems my former scales of distress and anxiety have been shed, likely because I have somewhat adapted to the more laid back environment on the West Coast and I’m not tangled in a daily routine I’ve known for too long. Even I have noticed the changes within myself, and I’m not sure if it is just the change of scenery or Seattle, but I am much less prone to panic attacks and much of my stiffness and anxiety has melted when dealing with rough patches lately.
But although I am enjoying my new home, nothing will ever beat going home to Chicago for the holidays!