Oh, Seattle, how I love thee. With your green trees and mostly temperate weather, your high humidity and grey skies.
When I first moved here, I wasn't impressed with the people. They moved fast and seemed slightly cold compared to small-town Craig, Colorado. People didn't say hello for no reason or stop to talk in the grocery store. People crowded in stores and kept their heads down.
However, as I lived here for awhile, I came to appreciate it. You get your errands done faster, you don't have to try to remember the person's name that you met once at a party when you were 9, and you appreciate the kindness of strangers all the more when they actually are strangers (and not someone you've known your whole life) being polite or giving a helping hand.
When I became a checker at QFC, I had to go to a liquor licensing class in downtown. My boss at the time drove me and we got lost looking for the place. As we circled the blocks, I marveled at the 9-5 crowds. With their suits and skirts, their high heels and hurried looks on their faces. Not even having applied for UW yet, the 10-second glimpses of their lives seemed so interesting and yet unattainable.
Less than 5 years later, I was a part of the downtown crowd. I was dressed up and hurried and wondering if any small-town newcomers saw me and wished to be a part of the big city life. It turns out, that life isn't for me.
So now I live further north and have a lovely job that I can drive to rather than bus to. I have a house in a quiet neighborhood and it really is grand.
And you know what? Only in Seattle can I have both of these life experiences, so close together in miles but worlds apart in how they feel. Only in Seattle can I meet people who change the way I view community from something you get in a small town to something that is all around you. Only in Seattle can I meet people that are the polar opposite of what I grew up around but are exactly the people I want to meet.
Seattle - I love you (even if I'm scared to drive here)!