Coming back from Europe, I was so excited to be home in the lovely city of Seattle.
I was so happy to be here, for about a month. I realized shortly after I tumbled back into the Pacific NW that I no longer fit in with my old life.
Europe inspired a love for solitude in nature. It also inspired a love for spontaneous, lovely conversations and real connections with strangers. After only occasional weeks of farm work throughout the trip, I understood what it meant to WANT to work, to feel productive. I was spinning my gears by the time I got home!
When I got here, I was excited to have these distinct connections with people I could REGULARLY see. I was excited that I wouldn’t have to make a friend and leave them behind again.
Surprise! My desires for productivity and legitimate connections were shot way-the-fuck down.
Working in the restaurant / food industry makes me feel like I’m WASTING my productivity. I’m working for someone ELSE’S vision, someone else’s project. I am a pawn in their machine, and oftentimes, I don’t agree with how that machine is run. I look at the whole thing critically and wish I could be in charge so I could manipulate the system and make it run better.
Many people in the restaurant industry are lovely, but a large percentage of them are also lost, confused about themselves, and drink far too much. I came home and surrounded myself with people who weren’t working towards their own visions, but were working blindly for a paycheck and drinking it away.
I don’t mean for that to sound judgmental – I certainly am confused a lot of the time, and waste money on silly things. Everyone does. And if it makes you happy, by all means, do it. But as an empath, I am prone to falling into the emotional habits of those around me, and being surrounded by people who spend their time and money on things that would make ME feel shitty about myself – that’s my own clever recipe for disaster.
Luckily, I’m going to school in the fall. If I weren’t, I’m pretty sure I would find myself desperate for release from this city prison.
I ache for solitude. All the time. I don’t want to talk to anyone, I don’t want to deal with their emotions.
Few of my friends cared that I went to Europe. I learned so much, I came back a different person – and nobody seemed to ask a single question about the trip. Not that I want everything to be about me, I am excited to be home and to be a part of my friends’ lives…but it became clear to me that my ‘friends’ liked being around me for what I could do for them.
I wasn’t a person to them. I was a vessel for their emotional needs, or a fun activity on a sunny day.
My current living situation made me realize that some of my closest friends don’t even have enough respect for me to do their own dishes regularly. I lost a friend, a close friend, over DISHES.
Even the new friends I had started to make here turned out to be flaky. After too many cancelled on plans, I gave up trying.
That said, I have plenty of lovely friends that I haven’t seen lately, because I’ve been so burnt out by this coming-home experience that I pretty much dwell in peaceful solitude. I guess you could say that I’m a little socially gun-shy.
It’s been a rough ride. And every day that I work downtown, I wish I were going out to work in nature. I don’t mind getting dirty, dealing with stinky animals, because it’s a real interaction.
The interactions I make with people from the perspective of a server or a barista, are constructed and purely money-driven. I don’t care about how well they like their $5 coffee or $20 meal. I want their tips. Working on a farm, though, I care about the welfare of the animals and I feel like an integral part of the upkeep of the farm as a whole.
I never thought I’d say this, but:
I am not a city girl.
I don’t know if I’m the farmin’ type, but I certainly dawdle in that role a lot more comfortably than in this one.
I took a train from Seattle to Bellingham on Saturday evening. As the sun set and we sped through the Skagit Valley, I was blown away. The beauty of the natural area was overwhelming. (To be honest, I cried because I was so upset that I couldn’t escape the confines of the train to roll down one of those lovely hills).
Riding along the coast, I saw a seal slink into the sea from a rock close to shore. It was beautiful. Combined with the lighting of the Golden Hour, that fucking seal looked MAJESTIC. I started daydreaming about scuba diving and running into one of those beautiful creatures.
It was a two-hour tease.
I wanted to be in it, not riding by it.
Now let’s bring this shit full circle!
I’ve been coming home from Bellingham about once a week as of late. My boyfriend lives up there.
Every time I get back to Seattle, I am sad. I hate the Bolt Bus that drags me home.
I don’t have a car, so I can’t just escape after work.
I hate that my job is downtown.
I hate that I feel connected to people who don’t live here, and the folks I do know here don’t have any sort of desire for a real connection.
I hate that I feel lonely amongst a sea of people.
I hate that people think I’m shy and reserved, because I’m not – I’m socially gun-shy.
I hate that I avoid my house because it feels more like a trap than a sanctuary.
Seattle, you are full of money and ‘culture’ and fashion and glamour and culinary masterpieces.
Your humans, however, are distant and empty.
Your beauty is constructed and manicured.
I never came home to you.
I left home for you.