Farewell Seattle, I’m off to Oz. I’m following the yellow brick road of my dreams to see the wizard and start a new adventure.
You’ve been kind to me, Seattle. Because of you I truly know how delicious Spring can smell. I know what it feels like to see beauty stretch out in every direction and make you catch your breath in your throat, every day. I know that overcast skies make for brighter colors, and how to love the smell of wet concrete. I know that evergreen trees feel like the Earth’s way of giving you a hug. I know what clean air feels like in my lungs. I know the riotous beauty of wildflowers in summer. I know what a perfect summer day feels like. I know that a city skyline can be so beautiful it makes you want to cry.
You taught me a lot about myself, Seattle. How to make mistakes. How to remember what’s important. How to do it all completely on my own. How to cast off the safety net and live without fear. How to reach for my goals, but appreciate what I have in the moment. A lot has happened while I’ve been with you, Seattle. I fell out of love. I fell in love. I learned that love isn’t always enough. I learned that people will take their insecurities out on me. I learned how to be successful. I learned the dozens of small ways I can fail, but I also learned how to forgive myself for those failures. I learned how to not sweat the small stuff that doesn’t matter, and to cling with both hands to the small stuff that really matters. I broke a couple of hearts, including my own. I learned that sometimes letting go is braver than holding on, and even if letting go hurts, it hurts less than not doing so. I grew up with you all around me, and you’ll always be a very special place to me.
I’ve left lots of pieces of my heart scattered all around you, Seattle. On a ferry boat on Puget Sound. On top of a mountain on Orcas Island. At a Campground at the foot of Mount Rainier. Floating on Lake Washington. In a bungalow in Queen Anne. On the salt-covered floor of Pike’s Place Market. On a volleyball court in Alki Beach. At a park near my home. With a boy. With the incredible women I was lucky enough to become friends with. With coworkers who became family.
But I have a lot more left to do, dear Seattle. I have things yet to learn that you can’t teach me. I have mistakes to make, patience to earn, friends to love, and arrogance to temper. And I can’t do this with you, though I love you for everything you’ve given me. I’m going further than I ever thought possible, because you taught me that I can. You taught me that it’s nothing to fear, rather, it’s something to revel in. That no matter what, I will never regret the step I am going to take.
So farewell Seattle, I’m off to Oz.