Road Trip to My Mothers House To Drop Off My Junk

Wow. Wow, wow, wow.

So, when you get older, you notice slight changes in your appearance.

When you’re a teenager/early 20s, you look pretty good in most lightning, slouchy pants and hair in a “whatever” bun is acceptable, and make up can be sparse. Youth hides other imperfections, cuz frankly you’re just a kid trying to figure it out. You experiment, sure, but you mostly come out unscathed and youthful as ever.

But MAN. When you’re 29 and trying to drive 12 hour days to get to Southern California from Seattle, mirrors are a reflection of your worst self. Sure I may have had my life packed up in my car, but DUDES, the BAGGAGE under my eyes was unreal. I saw layers. Multiple miniature rolls of tiredness cascading down my eyes. Darkness in the creases. Weird tiny pimples from sitting-in-the-car grease and exposure-to-the-sun, and who can forget over-eating-too-many-hot-Cheetos-to-keep-awake?

Anyway, as the sign says in California somewhere that I unsafely took a picture of says:

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Usually my road trips are filled with pleasurable pit stops and Oreo Mcflurries. But, alas, this was a business road trip filled with business things. I bought a book on tape talking about getting rid of fear while living a creative life (yes, I know, shut up), I woke up with the sun and drank coffee out of a tiny paper cup. I even put a little eyeliner on to distract myself from the rippling dark waves that have made their ways to under my eyes.

On a side note, my mother surprised me at the Sacramento airport and helped me drive the rest of the way home. Thanks, mom! You’re my biggest fan!

The strangest part of all of this is extreme RELENTLESS certainty that I’m making the right decision about moving to Hamburg. Driving out of Seattle, I said my goodbyes with such directness and grace that is extremely rare for a person of my anxious past.

So much is my resoluteness, this really awesome email exchange with my landlord only ruffled my feathers for a couple of minutes.

“SARAH YOU LEFT THE APARTMENT A MESS. I just spent 4 hours cleaning it. You really should call me.”

NAH DUDE I’M GOOD.

Anyway, after a brief exchange, he’s giving me half of my deposit back. Keep in mind, I lived in a 280 square foot shoebox. How much damage could I have possibly done to warrant a 4 hour cleaning spree? Plus, if he already cleaned it, he’s just wants me to call so he can yell at me further? I’m already a hot mess, “TOM” I think we can call it good. Hugs and Kisses!!!!XOXOOXOO

One time, when he didn’t think anyone was looking, I watched him text furiously to someone in his car. I think he does this whole “you’re not getting your full deposit back” on the regular.

No matter, friends. I’m going to Germany. DID YOU GET THE MEMO YET?

Today I spent the day at the UCR botanical gardens with my family. Here’s a series of pictures to warm all of our hearts.

After two days of sleeping and sunshine, and wearing shorts for the first time in probably a year, I think I’m on the upswing, finally.

Auf Wiedersehen (I had to google translate this even after 3 weeks of Duolingo practice on my phone, sigh.)

Sarah

NEXT WEEK: BON VOYAGE PARTY AND FITTING MY STUFF INTO ONE SUITCASE

 

 

Road Trip to My Mothers House To Drop Off My Junk

Interlude of Bittersweetness

I have lived in Seattle for 9 years. Almost to the nose. Only now, a day away from my road trip down to CA to drop off my stuff before embarking to Hamburg, does it hit me like a lead balloon. My stomach is writhing. How can I experience such a profound sense of certainty that I’m making the right decision for my well-being and then simultaneously feel the walls crumbling around me?

The wall started crumbling when I gave away my pet turtle of 8 years, Mr. Fuji. The longest standing roommate I’ve ever had, Fuji showed no affection what so ever, enjoyed blueberries and dark corners, and was older than me by at least 6 years. He let me put him on my belly to watch him rise and fall. He survived a dog attack. He survived the unnecessary amount of affection and long ramblings late into the night.

Fuji, I will miss you. I love you, buddy.

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7 out of the 9 years I spent in Seattle, my affections were also shared with a human male. Our relationship wasn’t perfect. But when you spend that much time with a person, you’re bound to miss the little things. The sound and warmth of someone sleeping next to you, the nervous habits they have. Though the relationship was ultimately not a healthy situation for either party, and escaping this city means finally not associating places with old memories, there’s a profound sadness that giving up Seattle finally means giving up this giant part of my past. Today I threw away all of his old letters and gifts.

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(circa 2009)

This city gave me my first and second roommates, a chance to live alone and establish independence, a greeting card business, heartbreak, grief of losing a parent, reconnecting with my brother, horrible OKcupid dating anecdotes, my first real addiction to coffee, a chance to live in a 280 square foot living space and a chance to create a children’s book.

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This city gave me so many interesting, beautiful friendships. All ebbing and flowing, some growing and maturing with me, others fading away with each passing year. It gave me a chance to work in retail, a way to get my bachelors degree in an obscure subject. Hiking adventures, mastering peeing in the woods and building a fire, introductions to banana slugs and blackberry picking, “the Seattle Freeze”, and a series of many crappy short hair cuts.

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But most of all, Seattle gave me my first taste of completeness. This feeling of contentment in a sea of discomfort accumulated from years of feeling unworthy and grief and living in a body with chemicals and life circumstances that are against me. I spent my entire 20’s here growing and expanding outward. Seattle helped me understand that although I couldn’t follow the “norms” of what a person is supposed to do with their lives, the chapters have yet to unfold in any consecutive order, Seattle unveiled a little corner for me to adapt and flourish.

Seattle, I’m so grateful for you taking me in and showing me the ropes. Thank you for letting me explore as an artist and as a person. My time is up here, but how can I forget you? Your fresh air and green foresty hills are a part of me forever.

Love,

Sarah

Interlude of Bittersweetness

The Pressure Is Too Much

Starting a blog is always so easy for me. I have approximately 10 Tumblrs, a scary amount of LiveJournals and Myspace diary entries floating around the internet, three wordpresses, and how can any self-respecting millennial forget Xanga? I never did much with any of them though. I never watered or played with them, or put on Baby Mozart to help them grow smart.

It is as if the tide rolls in with all of these exciting new ideas, and then it rolls out again. I had such high hopes for every single one of those baby blogs. Thank God this didn’t translate to real children. I would have literally 23 children and they would all have to fend for themselves.

But like every new baby, being birthed from my brain ovaries (what?), I hope for the best. This one is fully, 100% dedicated to my trials and tribulations of getting over to Hamburg, Germany. Not just getting there, but once getting there figuring out how to STAY there.

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(Image from travel-to-Hamburg.com, DUDE I’m trying already)

Right now I’m a jobless, single, forever-chubby lady of Seattle, WA. After graduating school (late, I’m 29), I decided to be extremely proactive and apply for a bunch of stuff. Let’s look at the series of rejection letters of just this past week alone, shall we?

Ohhhhh, 4 in one week! I feel like the luckiest girl in the WORLD.

With me so far? Great. Get out a piece of paper, this next part requires some math.

So, let’s say I apply for a bunch of jobs per week for the past three months. And each week I get 2-4 rejection letters. Add one failed OKcupid date per week. Stir it in a simmering pot of depression, anxiety, and despair. Add 20 pounds of comfort pastries. This equals a cesspool of discontentment so overwhelming that crying became an Olympic sport for me. I should have added this skill set to my resume. Cry over a group of mothers chatting about babies? Check. Cry over an apple fritter? Check.  Cry over a blank wall? You bet! I’m your gal!

So, why Hamburg, Germany? The biggest and most honest reason is that a lady from my high school is paving her way through Hamburg as we speak, teaching English to adults.

After absolutely no consideration at all, I asked her, “GIRL. ON A SCALE OF 1-10 HOW MUCH WILL YOU HELP ME GET TO HAMBURG PLEASE HELP I THINK I’M DYING”, I waited with baited breath. If she said at least a 7, I’m jumping into this. She said 14. Hallelujah!

So, I bought an one way ticket, am actively getting rid of 95% of my things I’ve accumulated over my time in Seattle, writing heartfelt goodbye letters to the people who have come to put up with me over the years, and finally deactivated my OKcupid account with no intention of reactivating it 3-5 days later.

I also applied to a massive amount of English teaching schools in Hamburg, determined that I will not be phased by such rejections I’ve been experiencing in the past.

BUT DUDES, I didn’t have to. I have 8 interviews scheduled as soon as I get into Hamburg. WHY HOW WHO WHAT ME HOW WHAY WHA WAAAAA.

Dudes, I have never owned a blazer before. I better consult my personal styling assistant. Just kidding, I’m still jobless and poor. Good one, Sarah, thanks Sarah.

And sure, they may take one look at my pastry-filled husky frame and reject me (Those Europeans are really posh) but the fact that I get to attempt my charms in person, versus these bland rejection letters before meeting is enough to make me optimistic.

Hamburg, here I come already.

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Fondly,

Sarah

NEXT WEEK: Road Trip to My Mothers House To Drop Off My Junk

 

The Pressure Is Too Much