Medication Is An Educational Present from your Well-Meaning but Clueless Great Aunt Mable

Six months ago in April, I was finding it difficult to breathe.

I am not going to talk about the giant scope of mental illness. Though I am a sufferer, I am not a mental health professional. What I will say is that as someone who lets the Anxiety and Depression Sister Duo tap dance their way to terrible stardom in her brain, there are times when their dance routines are unspeakably unbearable.

In April, in the midst of my joblessness and lack of direction, the unbearableness happened again. Every single day I was crying. I started crying when someone looked at me, I cried when I received a rejection email from a job I applied to, I cried when I had to go to the grocery store. When they say you are 70% water, they aren’t lying. There are just buckets of water inside of you.

crying1

I also don’t think it is wise to talk about the word “suicide”. How do I bring up this word without sending a hailstorm of concerned, well-meaning individuals crashing down at my door? In April, I was not suicidal, but I was driving down Suicidal Avenue. I think a few more left turns and I would have perhaps hypothetically been leaning in that direction.

If you have had depression, you know what hopelessness feels like. You know what the world looks like through your darker-than-a-blackhole-sunglasses. It is a terrible picture that seemingly has only one end. I had no meaning and no direction, and it was scary. I was legit scared. Think of a scary movie and multiply it by approximately 13512462464.

donald-trump-appears-in-classic-horror-movie-scenes4__880

In April, I decided to take medication for my near and dear chemical imbalance. After ten years of trudging through it with natural and homeopathic techniques, this FINAL STRAW of brain explosions in April caused the flood gates to open and I realized my bi-weekly acupuncture appointments and nature walks weren’t going to cut it anymore. Though I have an uncomfortable relationship with medication due to years and years of always getting more side effects than treatment… it felt extremely urgent to try it one last time.

And so! For the past six months, I have been on anxiety/depression medication. These meds not only stopped the waterworks, it effectively got me to Germany. It helped me pack up my micro-apartment in Seattle, fly to a foreign country, and start a new life in a place I have never been to before.

For that I am grateful.

I am now in Germany. A place even a year ago I would never have imagined being. What! Why! How!?

HOWEVER

Some miracles have a tiny man behind the curtain. Every yin has a yang. Here is a carefully orchestrated list of how one small pill has changed my life for the better and the worse.

  • The Good: I can now stand up in front of a group of adults and eloquently express myself without shuddering like a chihuahua in winter. 
  • The Bad: I have become forgetful and chronically tired to the point of losing my jacket, my keys, my train of thought, and what I purchased from the store five minutes ago.
  • The Good: I have successfully gone on dates with exotic German men without feeling intimidated or weirded out that there are cultural differences or that I am an odd human being.
  • The Bad: I often feel neutral about everything now, including affection and romantic gestures. Another day, another make out session. Who cares.
  • The Good: The pills have given me confidence to take more fashion risks, and feel better about my poochy pear shaped body.
  • The Bad: My lack of discipline has now caused me to purchase an exorbitant amount of clothing, pastries, and junk! A  brand new character flaw I have never had before. I used to be thrifty!
  • The Good: I have been able to successfully navigate a new city, create a Facebook group, be extremely social, and nurture new friendships with minimal emotional breakdowns.
  • The Bad: For some unknown reason, these pills have caused me to have ZERO tolerance for creativity, meaning my creative (AND REASON FOR EXISTING) well has all but dried up. My long nights of painting, writing and self reflection have effectively gone out the window.

drjeckll

THE (current) VERDICT

After a hard look at myself in the mirror, I decided where my priorities are and what I want my future to be like. I am not the Sarah I was in April. I am German Sarah now. And German Sarah, although mostly still unknown, is a different beast entirely. After heavy consideration, I am weening myself off of the medication and going back to perhaps a more potent, Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde situation…Something I am familiar with, but in a new and improved environment.

So far, in day four, I have gotten my first German hair cut, had a mild depression episode about loneliness, and have finally written this blog entry after over a month of silence.

I want to try my best to become friends with the monster, the aspect of myself that is terribly imperfect. Perhaps if navigated correctly, I can produce interesting results.

mermaid

I’m quickly realizing that progress can look less like a straight line and more like a giant circle. The ol’ two step forwards, one step back waltz. But that infuriating circle is rolling somewhere, damn it, and I need to know where it is taking me instead of buying my 47th scarf at the mall while eating a mediocre doughnut.

Crying One Second And Laughing The Next,

Sarah

Medication Is An Educational Present from your Well-Meaning but Clueless Great Aunt Mable

I Met Someone

Today marks the day that I went on my 30th “first date” through this crazy and wacky experience called online dating. This last person actually called me after our date (about ten minutes ago) to specifically say that he has no interest in me at all romantically. Thanks, Philip! You’re also a real peach! Good luck calling women evil and not asking your date a single question on the next round!

datingggg

Yes, meeting 30 people for any consecutive amount of time is bound to come up with interesting storytelling anecdotes, but other than that… excuse my German… it has been a shit storm. I have hated every minute of it. I have liked a lot of men with no reciprocation, and visa versa… the men who like me I am really (really, really) not into.

I have built a lot of character over the past two years. Quitting a seven year relationship and trying to find yourself again will do that to you, I suppose. But one thing is clear: the more I date, the more patterns of human nature emerge, and it becomes painfully apparent that this whole typical online dating thing SIMPLY ISN’T WORKING. Hell, I even moved continents to see if that would help! Spoiler alert: it might be worse here.

For the past few months I have taken a long, hard look at myself and asked what I really want…and the truth is, unless I find someone that truly complements me, this whole trying-too-hard thing isn’t working. Settling doesn’t seem like a real option for me, even if I am GETTING OLD. Mutual chemistry has to be there. And if it isn’t? Besides the sadness that late night brings from time to time, (like trying to find something and you have forgotten what it looks like)…I am surprisingly comfortable being alone.

meeee

I have HATED the fact that I am a serious relationship person when seemingly everyone else is super flamboyant with their sexuality. I have HATED that I felt I am not “attractive” enough, thin enough or feminine enough to be considered desirable. These residual feelings of inadequacy stem from childhood and they creep up every time a “Philip”, or someone I am actually interested in go out of their way to say mean things. The words filter in my brain and spiral down to my heart and sits until it rots. I have always taken things too seriously, and I hate it.

All of this hatred aside, I realized something terribly important in my near 30 years of existence. I realized how strong I am. How different I am. How loving I am. I love so deeply. I really am not an asshole. I am funny, and smart, and often confused, and creative. I truly am soft. I don’t have the edges of traditional sex appeal, it is true, but I have the curves of a loving, caring, open person. The smile of a neighbor and a sister. The belly of a laughing Buddha after too many doughnuts. The hugs of a grandmother and an aunt. No…believe it or not, I am not a nun, I DO have a libido after all, but I am not a sexpot either. I can be so much more than just one thing, and to find someone to appreciate me as a whole complicated being is not going to be easy. It isn’t going to be a list of boxes that need to be checked. It has to be something that I haven’t come across yet but viscerally I know it exists.

So, yes, on that note, DUDES, I have met someone.

It just happens to be myself. Yes, this is a cheesy self love actualization blog post, suckers!!!!!

But do you realize how important that is to find in a sea of codependency, self hatred and loneliness? I am capable of thriving (not just surviving) by myself and not everyone has had the opportunity to do that. I don’t need another person to make me feel worthy. Would I have asked for this if it wasn’t forced upon me? Probably not. But the longer you live the more opportunities you have to learn valuable albeit HORRIBLY PAINFUL life lessons. I think it is important for radical self acceptance and love, especially when you are bombarded by society and your own habitual brain telling you otherwise. I MEAN LOOK AT ME:

I’m seriously pretty cute and not boring. I am a catch, a chubby neon orange mermaid really, and not just any sailor is meant for my unique siren call.

I’m not going to wait for a phantom anymore. I am going to ride my bike, eat a lot of cake, laugh a lot with friends, teach English to willing participants, cry over spilled milk and not go to sleep past 11 because that is irresponsible. I am going to accept my flaws wholeheartedly, eat less meat because I love animals too much, turn 30 next year, and finish writing my pre teen sci fi novel that I have been sitting on for half a decade. I am going to be fat. I am going to giggle uncontrollably at cute dogs and babies. I am going to be TOO soft and overly sensitive and too nice. I am going to be strong, resilient and not give up on the things that matter most to me. Of course I want a relationship, a lot of people do. But I am cutting the strings that bind me so tightly to a fantasy that has caused me way too much suffering.

So, GIRL, YOU SWEET THANG YOU, I love you. And that is more than enough. More than enough, enough, enoughness.

Sexy grandma hugs to you ;),

Sarah

I Met Someone

When in Doubt, Eat

Wow! I have taken a looooong hiatus from my blog writing. A month in a half in internet time is like five years! You all thought I was dead!

…WELL, I WAS. I decided to spend my afterlife on the internet too. I mean, what else am I supposed to do? Frolic with the angels?

(Side note: This was the first time I’ve ever written frolic and it feels weird. Shouldn’t there be a K? Anyway.)

During the last month in a half, my computer broke (by ghosts, I’m not kidding this time!), and I moved from one tiny room in a popular part of town to one giant apartment in a less desirable part. Also during this time I created and nurtured a blossoming bouncing baby facebook group called:

Hamburg Food Enthusiasts: English

It’s important to note that it says ENGLISH, because even though I’ve lived here for over four months, my German vocabulary has only expanded to about 30 nonsensical words. Hooray! Burgermeister!

Within a week of starting this group, it grew with such determination I thought for sure that I was going to spontaneously combust. YES, I know my blog handle HAM IN HAMBURG implies that I’m a dramatic, normally socialized person who loves to be the center of attention. Well, the truth is I have a love-hate relationship with people that I battle with internally on a daily basis! SO! Love ya!

As it stands, this mutant I’ve created has over 230 people in it, and we go on bi-weekly journeys across Hamburg to try new and interesting cuisine. 10-20 people show up at any given time, and I have to…like reserve stuff, and entertain!

 

It’s been crazy! And I’ve met some wonderful, lovely people in the process.

(Note: Some of these people aren’t solely from the food group, but it felt important anyway to note how much I’ve enjoyed getting to know them anyway)

And the FOOD, the whole point of this process, has been mildly disappointing to amazing.

In some ways, this group has helped me connect with this city on a spiritual level (and by that I just mean being well-fed) and gain some friendships I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to create. Thanks, internet!

Of course, there are some cons having to be the leader of a very active group. I’ve had to kick out a couple of people (one was a dude that was hitting on women, the other was a woman who called me a dictator! Cool!) and also orchestrating events is this crazy long process with a lot of hoops to jump through. I’ve also had to pretend that I knew a lot more about food than I do (I feel there is a long distance between “enjoying eating anything and everything” and an official “foodie” and I’m trying to breach that gap as we speak).

But it has been worth it. This group gives me the illusion that I’m popular which obviously has been my goal since the beginning of my life, it helps me orient myself in the city, and make connections/build friendships in a place that I knew very little people.

There is also nothing like being forced to go outside when you want nothing else but to stay at home in your pajamas eating oreos because you have literally 20 people counting on you to be there. 😀

In conclusion, I give this 4 out of 5 stars. Will try again. Sweet and salty with a tangy aftertaste.

Sarah the Burgermeister

P.S. In case you happen to be in Hamburg, the places we tried are: San Khao Thai Food, Paulines (brunch) La Quesadilla, and Ashoka Indian Food. ALSO JUST IN CASE THE INTERNET POLICE COME: The pictures are all taken from my food group and I politely asked if I can use their faces in my very, very popular blog that I assume only my mother reads. Guten Tag!

When in Doubt, Eat

A Day in the Life of an English Teacher in Hamburg

The weather in Hamburg is seemingly unpredictable. Each morning I wake up, stare out of the window, check my phone, as if there is any comprehension in understanding what 80 degrees with thunderstorms mean. My friend sends me a link to an English news site; a tornado warning. How do you dress for tornado weather?

I check the time. I give myself ample amounts of time for the Hochbahn, a subway system that is meticulously on time throughout Hamburg. During rush hour, every train comes at exactly four minutes apart from each other, with only a few seconds of leniency. If you’re not there right when the Hochbahn arrives, you miss it. Some how people know when it’s coming, an every-4-minute schedule memorized, but I give myself plenty of wiggle room. My morning routine is not down to the minute (yet.)

I step on the train. If I get on at 7:52, there is a huge crowd of people. Standing room only. You are forced against someone else (And oh, deodorant is often only a suggestion here), or huddling in the corner away from making eye contact. At 7:56 there is no one. A deserted landscape of dark red or dark blue fabric patterns.

hochbahn (hamburg.de)

Alas, I made it to the earlier train. People everywhere. Some are tired, they are closing their eyes while placing their heads on the window. Some are alert. They are staring intensely at each person for 3-5 seconds. Sizing them up, taking them in. Oh, the staring. When first arriving here, the staring was a slap to the face. What is wrong with me? Why won’t they smile when I smile? My American habits of smiling while staring gets immediately put to bed. After two months, I have started staring back. People watching has become an Olympic sport!

I make it to the English school I’m teaching at 30 minutes early. This is common. Lesson planning is a never ending process. If you planned your lessons the night before, you must make copies. If you didn’t plan anything, you better hurry up. A grammar lesson is first thing.

In Hamburg, if you’re aiming to be an English teacher, unless you’re fluent in German, you’re teaching adults. Adults want full integration. I am put in a room with 3-7 adults. Most are older than me, and come from all over Europe and beyond. 2/3rds are of German descent, and 1/3rd encompasses people usually from other countries near by. Turkey. Russia. Bolvaria. A beautiful kaleidoscope of accents and pronunciations.

A Russian woman with puffed up lips and a bedazzled dress robustly says, “YOU GO TO THE MOVIES?”, interviewing her partner. A 50-something German man with a round pot belly and half moon glasses at the end of his nose replies, “Yes, I’m going to see an action film starring Arnold Shwarzenneger.”

It’s nearing afternoon. I have a company class outside of Hamburg city proper, maybe 30 minutes if I’m lucky, 50 minutes if I’m not. Again, I need to give myself ample time to not get lost. I also need to eat something, desperately. The sliced lunch meats I grew accustomed to in the states taste different here and I can’t stomach them. I’m often at Dat Backhus, a chain bakery with assorted sandwiches and unknown desserts, which I partake in more often than not.

dat-backhus-mit-neuem-gesicht-in-den-harburg-arcaden

“Spreken zie English?”

Over and over I ask. Do you speak English? 82% of the time it’s a yes, particularly with the younger crowd, but less common with the older crowd. This time it’s a no. I enthusiastically point at a fresh looking mozzarella sandwich with sliced tomatoes. I then smile and nod at a white chocolate chip cookie. They love white chocolate here. Coffee (or Kaffee) is the same word, and is much needed. Standing in front of a crowd of students, presenting yourself and your persona over and over again is exhausting.

The company class has 2 out of 5 people absent. One is at a meeting, another is on holiday. British English is more common here, and I find myself saying “holiday” instead of vacation and “colleague” instead of co-worker more and more often. I give them a spiel about Donald Trump.

“The number one question people ask me is: why do Americans like Donald Trump?”

Which is true. Germans are seemingly fascinated with a character such as Trump. Because they are B2 level (not beginners, not fluent, yet) I hand them a fairly engaging article about the reasoning behind why certain groups of people support the Republican candidate. They seem interested, and a discussion ensues.

It’s already late afternoon. My phone is running low on data (Monthly, pre-paid plans can do that to you, especially if you’re continuously lost.), and I have to try and find the bus that will take me back to the subway. Confusion sets in, and I just start walking towards the general direction of the Hochbahn station. It’s a mile in a half away. The app that tells you what bus to take but does not tell you how to get to said bus. Thank God for comfortable clogs I bought before leaving for Germany. Comfort of standing on your feet all day out trumps fashion.

I get home and the sun is thinking about calling it a night. She’s looking at me through hazy clouds, squinting and rubbing her eyes. I feel the same. She pulls the covers over her head and a sudden downpour showers the streets. I forgot my umbrella.

When I finally get to my apartment (or is it flat?), my roommate, a 50-something glamourous woman is home, chatting with someone in German on the phone. It’s only 6:30, but I’m slipping into my pajamas, and disappointed I didn’t pick up something for dinner too. The European championships are on (soccer, or is it football?), and she is squealing at the TV. Germany is known for their exceptional soccer team.

She is a friendly woman, though perturbed that a late-20s girl isn’t out drinking with her friends, discovering the night life, or doing something more proactive than watching another series on Netflix. She seemingly, at 25+years my senior, has infinite more energy than I do. Walking around in her underwear, animatedly chatting on the phone, curlers in her hair. She and I have had many conversations in her underwear now, and my American sensibilities have been constantly questioned.

Though I have lived alone for 7 years or so, it is seemingly impossible to get your own flat once you first move to Germany. The paperwork is neverending, and I found myself using an American Idiom more than once.

“What came first: the chicken or the egg?”

One cannot get a job without two letters of intent from prospective companies, that you have to meet in person. One cannot get a flat without a residence permit that can easily take 2-3 months to get. One cannot get a bank account without a place to live. Everything hinges on something else, and often I find myself asking, how did I get here? Where am I going? Will this ever end?

And then, gradually, it does.

The paperwork gets sorted. The clouds start to part. And the sun starts to set over Hamburg in an egg yolk yellow hue.

Tomorrow is a new day, and I have to plan on how to teach Present Perfect Continuous.

 

 

 

A Day in the Life of an English Teacher in Hamburg

An Introvert in Germany

FIRST AND FOREMOST, I would like to tell you what an introvert is. Over the years, people label themselves this as a convenient way of saying they are deep or insightful (just don’t.) Or people use it as a negative tool for calling someone anti-social and nerdy.

Who WOULDN’T WANT TO BE THE LIFE OF THE PARTY, sorry I didn’t mean to scream.

Anyway, here’s the best definition I found from UrbanDictionary.com:

“Opposite of extrovert. A person who is energized by spending time alone. Often found in their homes, libraries, quiet parks that not many people know about, or other secluded places, introverts like to think and be alone.

Contrary to popular belief, not all introverts are shy. Some may have great social lives and love talking to their friends but just need some time to be alone to “recharge” afterwards. The word “Introvert” has negative connotations that need to be destroyed. Introverts are simply misunderstood because the majority of the population consists of extroverts.

Extrovert: Oh my god, you’re so shy! You need to get out more!
Introvert: But it’s so draining – I don’t have a problem with going out; I just want to stay at home and read sometimes, y’know?Jesse is an introvert. He doesn’t mind staying home on a Friday night.”

This was written in the ancient times of 2007 and still rings true today.
I love people. I love talking to them, getting to know their horrible secrets, unfairly diagnosing them from my psychology degree, eating so much brunch, etc. But frankly? Once I’m done hanging out, this happens.
fatdog2
(fun fact, I sent this picture to my bosses the other day after being 45 minutes late because I got horribly lost!!)
People are lovely, but exhausting. I like ripping off my pants and taking a nap, every single time.
So during my time in Hamburg, I have been 100% exhausted 100% of the time. Not only am I constantly exposed to new people, but walking outside my door I am always getting lost.
I am also repeatedly having to ask people if they speak English. And though most people do, there is a distinct language barrier from sometimes truly connecting and understanding. You say tomato, I say to-mah-to! By the time the weekend comes, I’m sleeping for 10 hours straight and eating my recently found Oreo cookies in bed.

Another Strange Development:

Being an introvert usually means I do not succumb to the normal “trying to fit in” schemes that happen in society. Not because I don’t want to, because I’m just too tired and lazy. How can I be cool when I’m trying to watch Lady Dynamite on Netflix?

I have never been fashion forward, never liked to party, and certainly don’t like to shop. But here’s a fun fact!!!

Hamburg people love wearing stripes. These are pictures from real Hamburg People, wearing real Stripes. (not really, this is a lie)

I don’t know if it’s because of the proximity to the harbot that they want to wear some sort of sailor-jail like stripe fashions, but it is abundantly clear in every shopping center there are multiple choices of striped clothing.
Yesterday, I opened my closet and found these.
Some how THREE striped shirts manifested themselves out of nowhere. As if living in Hamburg long enough metamorphosed a Hamburg looking Sarah. I decided to pair these blouses with my new European old lady sandals and 2 dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep.
I’ll be honest and say I don’t know where this journey will take me. I’m still unsure about the paperwork situation, unsure about my abilities to navigate myself successfully throughout this city, and really unsure of how to maintain balance as an introvert in a job that is very fun but totally exhausting.
Better luck next time!
Sarah
An Introvert in Germany

BON VOYAGE AND FITTING MY STUFF INTO ONE SUITCASE

I think there’s several levels of exhaustion at work here. One level is just never sleeping quite enough (the energy of leaving, plus all of this damn sunshine causes me to wake up far too early. Thanks, Southern California.), another level is continuously saying goodbye to friends and family members with the weak hope that they’d come visit me in Germany. And the final level is material exhaustion.

HOW DO YOU PACK YOUR WHOLE LIFE IN A BAG?

HOW DO YOU DRESS PROFESSIONALLY?

HOW MANY BOOKS ABOUT ENGLISH GRAMMAR SHOULD I STUDY WITH ON THE PLANE SO IT LOOKS LIKE I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING?

These questions are haunting me any chance I get.

Regardless, I’m happy. This feels so right it’s almost alarming.

Over this past week I’ve collected a series of pictures that accurately describe my feelings of excitement, resoluteness, love, bittersweetness, fake-it-till-you-make-it bravery, and a dash of fear. Enjoy!

In regards to saying goodbye to my friends and family:

tumblr_o2qzqb2CYv1tq0wuto1_540tumblr_o2qzqb2CYv1tq0wuto2_540tumblr_o2qzqb2CYv1tq0wuto4_540

 

In regards to my never-ending fatigue and stress eating:

tumblr_ny19eyOyWx1r38w10o2_540tumblr_m8ou0qtOhb1r2m2dpo1_540tumblr_o0m996i6hg1sn4t3lo1_540

Jessica Warrick (artist of mermaid)

tumblr_n7szlqTCZs1rwpb29o1_540

In regards to this weird feeling of just not giving a rats ass anymore and just GOING FOR IT, YO:

tumblr_nve0bjBMbV1rr22hqo1_540tumblr_myl75lZGxg1r607aso1_540tumblr_ns4g52e5GH1tq11emo1_540

Pep talks to myself that it’s okay to be overweight, different, have a large personality and be exuberant. Being meek doesn’t suit me anymore. There’s enough room for me:

tumblr_o1vlzck1XJ1qgrc3qo1_540

 

Dreamy thoughts about the fantasies of Hamburg:

tumblr_o4rqfnNBRF1qas1mto3_540tumblr_o4rqfnNBRF1qas1mto10_540tumblr_o4rqfnNBRF1qas1mto4_540tumblr_o4rql86xli1qas1mto3_540

Christian Schloe (artist)

I was about to show an image of my overflowing suitcase as the final picture, but it isn’t pretty, and I will have to reevaluate a few million items. Instead I found this lovely bag. Let’s just pretend I’m this dainty and whimsical instead, shall we?

tumblr_ntv57s2EPw1rpgpe2o1_540

Travel bag for ladies, 1900 – 1930. Exhibition 2015. Museum for communication, Berlin

GUYS THE NEXT TIME YOU HEAR FROM ME I’LL BE IN GERMANY. DID YOU GET THE MEMO? I’M MOVING TO GERMANY. THE AIRBNBs ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

Much love,

Sarah

 

BON VOYAGE AND FITTING MY STUFF INTO ONE SUITCASE

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.

1934713_118477430910_576265_n396544_10150485576410911_794054813_n

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.

1934713_118477440910_2457679_n

(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.

IMG_2987

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.

1934713_118477400910_7219675_n

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