I was born in the Pacific Northwest.
Not really. I was actually born in Texas and grew up in the Southwest: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico. But when I graduated from college I moved to Seattle —trading drought for damp and chiles for blackberries.
The landscape of the Pacific Northwest was so different from anything I had experienced. A big city with buses and ferries and mountains unlike anything I had seen. Water and boats and bridges, rain and clouds and more rain.
I was young, and I was living far away from my home and my parents. I was truly on my own for the first time in my life. I felt free to push myself creatively, free to allow myself to change, free to reinvent myself, free to make mistakes. I dove in headfirst, taking in the city and the surrounding landscape, making friends, falling in love, falling out of love, changing jobs, staying up too late, creating art, and generally trying to figure out who I was going to be.
So in a way, I was born in the Pacific Northwest; I became someone new there. It is as embedded in me as the Southwest: my two homes.
When I left Seattle, it was because I felt like I was done there. I had accomplished what I needed to accomplish. I had a better sense of the kind of person I wanted to be and it felt right to leave the Pacific Northwest behind to pursue new things.
But I’ll always go back.
To revisit the city is to revisit myself, to see how much I’ve grown and changed and to embrace that young person who was so hungry for life, but so uncertain where she was headed. I’m happy to tell her it’s all going to be wonderful.
To read about Seattle eats, go to Buried Carrots.