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I have lived on Capitol Hill for six months and it has begun to reject me like a bad transplant.

I love the Hill, I do. I love being around the corner from great restaurants. I love that so many friends are either within walking distance or more than willing to search 45 minutes for parking to come to the center of the city and be close to me.

I love my little apartment that I worked so hard to make into a compact, perfect home. I love the way the morning light filters through my north-facing windows in a warm gray wash.

But Capitol Hill knows me now, and it knows I’m no center-of-the-action person. And as much as we may love each other in our best moments, we wear on each other the rest of the time. After six months of sirens and litter and being surrounded by buildings as far as the eye can see and maybe a couple traumatic moments that wouldn’t even shake a true city person, I’m running away.

SEE YOU NEVER.

Just kidding.

I actually wanted to tell you this news because I think it’s an example of why I do love being in a city, and why I’ve stayed in Seattle for the better part of a decade.

I posted on my Facebook that I needed legal advice to break my lease (something I’ve never done before). I made a joke about wanting a pet friendly remote cabin to cure my newfound jumpiness. I expected maybe a couple friends to comment with some numbers, and then I would follow through and have to figure out the rest myself. I figured I’d end up quickly finding a quiet studio apartment in north Seattle near Ballard or Fremont where I could hide behind big trees and breathe in salt air  and still go out at night like the weird city/country amalgam that I am.

I was prepared to do this on my own.

Instead I got floods, floods of responses. I got emails, texts, comments. I was referred to people’s parents, to their acquaintances. I had friends say they’d help me pay to break the lease if I couldn’t afford it. I was inundated from every corner of this city (and a few corners in New York and LA, what’s up guys) with help and support and I was overwhelmed and the gratitude had reached Peak Eye Welling.

Within days I had a plan in place. I had just started to peruse Craigslist for a sweet little top floor studio in a dog friendly building, when I got a Facebook message from a friend I hadn’t seen in years.

“Hey! Let us know if you seriously need a place on Vashon – we are getting ready to start an Airbnb on our property with some friends – an airstream RV. It’s like 300 square feet. Still working on the shower, but we could definitely do a monthly rental for you for a bit instead. It’s got a rad view of the water and is tucked away in the woods. Good luck!”

And then she sent me photos. When they popped up on my screen, a tiny latch was jimmied and my heart swung open in a breeze. I wanted to be there. Like right now. 

For a second I was like “this is going to be my Walden! I’m going to write the next” and then I punched my own self, so you don’t need to come over and do it for me.

I told her yes, please, please, yes. Then we talked more, and she cleared it with the other family on the property. I figured out that I could do a leisurely ferry commute to work every morning no problem for the rest of the summer until I figured out a more permanent situation. Jones would have a whole waterfront to roll in.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m throwing my stuff in my storage unit and moving to Vashon for the summer starting in June. I’ll be back in Seattle proper in the fall. 

But this reminded me of something I always and forever forget.

You can ask for help.

You aren’t alone.

People are kind of bonkers good sometimes. 

(People can be real wangdoodles, too, and I think it’s important to remember that so I don’t get too carried away here, but wangdoodles aren’t central to this particular story.)

And people who you may think don’t even know your name will come shooting out of the woodwork like fucking Caspar the Friendly Ghost and offer you help in showy displays of absolutely bananas altruism.

Did you know in one week I will have been here for 6 years?

I’ve never been more grateful for the people here, and for the water and the sky and the coffee I spill on myself and for all the goodness even when the world feels like it’s burning.

Now leave me alone, I don’t want to talk to anyone for a few months.

(Just kidding. If you don’t visit me I’ll cry.)

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