Last weekend, Mindy and I went to Seattle (or “the Coast” in local vernacular) to pick up a load of stuff and visit family. I grew up on the west side of the state. I identify strongly as a west-sider. And we just moved from Seattle only three months ago. But apparently, it didn’t take me long to grow acclimated to a slower lifestyle out here — enough so that a quick trip to Seattle showed me how much I’d changed.
Things I noticed that I had taken for granted when living on the west side that riled me up last weekend:
- Once you hit about Ellensburg, everyone starts passing you on the right. Don’t do this! It’s dangerous!
- Parking is routinely >$10. Or, what’s more absurd — you have to pay to leave your car somewhere. Or, if you do find cheap/free parking, you will walk half an hour to wherever it is you wanted to go in the first place.
- Money disappears awfully fast. Probably partly because of the parking issue. Also the fact that coffee costs $3.00 and up. And it’s so dark all the time that you always need coffee.
- The PACE. I used to live in this, thrive in it even … I don’t know how to describe it. It’s just this feeling that you should always be on the move, there’s always someplace to be, time is wasting, go go go. Feels a lot like an organizer’s life, but writ large. This also fuels the need for coffee and energy drinks.
Don’t get me wrong, I know this sounds like a lot of complaining. It’s exactly the kind of thing I would have mocked when I lived in Seattle. But going back to Seattle was a little bit like reverse culture shock for me. I do think part of it has to do with the fact that it was a holiday weekend, we had an agenda, and time was limited. And I’m sure that after some time to acclimate, I’d do fine in Seattle again. I did before.
I’m glad to be out in the country though. I like the slower lifestyle. It just feels right for me at this point in my life.
Even if I don’t get to do this in the country: