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There’s No Place Like Home

Good morning. Be advised: I’ve had coffee. You can approach.

As recorded in this un-posted post, I found Wednesday a little challenging:

Oh my gods. Do you ever just have those days where everything you do turns into a giant poo ball?ย WELCOME TO MY TUESDAY!

But really. It’s 11:30 and this is all I’ve accomplished:

(1) Sent a query.

(2) Wrestled sidewalk meat away from Toby.

(3) Sent the WRONG FUCKING cover letter for a particularly interesting job.

(4) Gone Devil Wears Prada on the asshat moving company that still owes us for fucking up some of our furniture.

(5) Deleted yesterday’s three job rejections, including the one for this job.

(6) Repeatedly screamed “FUCK the FUCKING FUCK!”

(7) Guzzled a pitcher of iced coffee.

(8) Realized that some people’s dogs on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook have more likes/followers than my blog.

(9) Read about a stay-at-home gay dad turned writer, checked out his Instagram feed, and was bombarded by shirtless photos that made me want to EAT A CAKE AND THROW IT UP JUST SO I COULD EAT IT AGAIN.

(10) TYPED EVERYTHING IN ALL CAPS.

I’m in such a foul mood. And the most annoying thing about it is that it’s one of those that I know I can snap myself out of, but I sort of don’t want to at the moment. I JUST WANT TO GIVE EVERYONE MY RESTING BITCH FACE AND END IT WITH AN ALL INCLUSIVE MIC DROP.

Not only did everything in the world rub me the wrong way, but I’d completely misplaced Wednesday.

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I haven’t hidden the fact that moving to Seattle has been harder than I initially thought it’d be. I figured we’d land on our feet like we always have, and I’d snag one of the bazillion nonprofit development jobs floating around, and we’d live contentedly happy lives smack in the middle of Capitol Hill and marvel at the amazingness of life.

That’s just not how it’s panned out.

Granted, we like where we live and we’re constantly marveling at the amazingness of life, but we’re also aware that this move has drained us a bit. What’s more, it’s reminded us of what we’ve been missing, and what we want.

Last weekend we ventured out to immerse ourselves in Seattle’s LGBT community (after all, one of our goals before moving out here was to get more involved), and we figured we’d do that by going to visit the location of one particular organization that seemed to be a crazy-awesome hub for LGBT activism. So, fortified with coffee, we set out with equal parts exhilaration and anxiety – because starting over in a new place is always difficult, as is meeting new people.

We walked up, got excited by the fluorescent sign, swung open the door, and walked into a tiny room stacked with books – whose keeper was completely passed out at his desk. After tiptoeing around a bit, stoking the now smoldering embers of our excitement with the slightest fuel – LOOK, THEY HAVE AN OLD, YELLOWED COPY OF SUCH AND SUCH – we started heading for the door, at which time the attendant awoke. I asked him where the “larger center with which this place is affiliated” was located, and just got a blank stare in response. This was it. Thoroughly dismayed, we donated the few bucks we had in our wallets, thanked him, and left.

To the organization’s credit, it was there – present for the community as a resource and support; that’s incredibly important and I don’t mean to minimize it.

But the fact of the matter is, over the past few years, we’ve craved community on this coast and haven’t really found it. We’ve been fortunate enough to meet wonderful people and make a few friends. Still, even in the liberal enclaves, we’ve yet to encounter anything remotely as accessible, opening, and welcoming as the community-centricย LGBT Center of Raleigh – where we met, and a place we love.

LA seemed more about appearance and income brackets than community.

Seattle seems more about fragmented, insulated social bubbles into which it’s nearly impossible to break.

Naively, we were expecting that same sense of community from our Raleigh days to be amplified in these larger, more liberal cities. Instead, it’s been the exact opposite. And the very particular sense of loneliness that’s resulted has been what’s been pushing us to move around, to find a fitting answer – even when the most logical solution has been staring us in the face.

Wednesday night, after Andy surprised me with tulips and a sweet card even though I was being a monstrous beast, we chatted over pizza and peach pie. And then watched Revolutionary Road. Whenever we’re thinking intensively about the future, and any big changes ahead, we always watch it.

We watched it when we decided to venture out to this coast.

So we watched it again when we decided to move back.

Wednesday was a big day.

***

So, we’re giving ourselves a year or so before we head back – after all, we just got to Seattle and there’s a lot of interesting stuff here to explore, and things to learn.

But there’s a certain sense of relief knowing that we’ll be returning to a place that’s felt more like home than anywhere we’ve lived – a place where we can make a difference, contribute to the community, and feel a sense of belonging that’s been so lacking out here. Plus, whenever we decide to become parents, we don’t want to raise our kid in a liberal bubble, but we also have to be somewhere where we, too, feel supported and at peace.

Until then, though, we’ll keep our heads up and enjoy our time out here – with our Raleigh goal always in sight. And while our journey on this coast may end, we’ll still learn plenty of lessons while we’re out here.

And gladly take them back home.

8 thoughts on “There’s No Place Like Home

  1. We would certainly love to have you back in NC, but you JUST GOT THERE, love! Seattle is a notoriously standoffish place especially to newcomers. I’m very surprised that the Community Center was so scant, but I also know the Seatlle community is very rich once you tap into it (the same thing is true here, mind you–you just might have managed to get “in the door” more easily). Do you have any singing interest? The Seattle Men’s Chorus is literally one of the most famous and wonderful GLBT Choruses in the world, and you would DEFINITELY meet “community” there are they appear at all kinds of things.

    It just takes meeting the first few folks and meeting their friends, etc. I’m a big old Introvert but I still need social interaction, and volunteer work is the fastest way to meet cool people (I know you are trying this route, and already knew this). Is there a gay film festival there coming up? Volunteer for that, or see what’s happening in the Community around Bumbershoot, a big Seattle “thing” that happens Labor Day. Someone as friendly and charming as you will have no problems once the ball gets rolling ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks a bunch, Kent ๐Ÿ™‚ I always am looking for ways to get involved, and we’re definitely going to do everything we can to make friends and network while we’re here. (I just wish I had a better singing voice ;-)). We still have plenty of stuff to figure out, and have plenty of time left out here, and we’ll enjoy it all ๐Ÿ™‚ Seattle is definitely a fun, interesting place – and I’m sure we’ll meet plenty of great people (we already have). Projecting forward, we just know that so much of what we want (minus the absurd political climate) is in Raleigh. And we’re ready to reengage and make a difference ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. There truly is nothing like Southern Hospitality. We hear it at the store all the time, “people are so friendly down here.” (unless you are black and that’s another story) Can’t wait to have you back!

    1. We’ve definitely enjoyed our time on the Left Coast, but we’re definitely looking forward to getting back – and getting involved in advocacy, and making a change. There’s still plenty of work to do in NC (like, say, all of the discriminatory voting crap and systemic racism), and I know we’re both ready to make an impact. We’re excited to see all of y’all, even if it’s a little ways down the line ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Yay ! (Did I say that out loud?) Well, of course I love that you bravely set out to find new places and goals and it did sound exciting and amazing and bold. And there’s Toby, who came to you on the great Left Coast. But as Dorothy said so well, “There’s no place like home!”. What ever lessons you learn on your great adventure, we will always be here in Raleigh, waiting for your return and the fabulous stories you have to share when you come home.

    1. YAY! Yes, we’ve really enjoyed being out here and have definitely learned plenty of valuable lessons. But we’re getting to the point where we want to start laying down roots, and while we’ve tried out here, they haven’t really taken – and that’s fine. It’s all a learning process, and we’re excited that we’ll be back in our old tromping grounds in a year or two ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Well, given that I will also be eastward-bound in a year or less, I will certainly be happy to have you guys back in Raleigh. I am sorry that Seattle has been kind of a let-down, and I hope we can find some fun things to do in the next year.

    1. Seattle is a super interesting place, and I’m glad we’ll have spent a good amount of time here by the time we decide to head back to Raleigh. I definitely don’t regret any of our experiences out here, and am better for all of them ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m looking forward to engaging with all the fun things this area has to offer before we set our sights back home ๐Ÿ™‚

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