Monday marks eight weeks since I arrived in Seattle. Eight weeks! It feels like it’s gone by fast, but also it’s sort of hard to tell because I’ve felt pretty out of my element since I got here, if I’m honest.
Can I be honest? Making pie is about the most normal thing I’ve done since I got here. Most days I still feel like I’m on a trip and that eventually we’re going to make our way back home to Denver and life will pick back up where we left it. As though I’ve just been on summer vacation and in a matter of days/weeks I’ll be headed back to life as I knew it before the school year ended. (Shout out to all my teacher friends who are already back at it.)
One thing I’ve struggled with more than I’d like to admit is feeling afraid in the place I live now. We’re in the city, so understandably there’s a moderate amount of crime, but our building management seems unconcerned about keeping us in the loop when something like a bike storage break-in happens. At our building in Denver, when someone tried to break into the bike storage, the building management chased him down, took his picture, and posted it all over the building so everyone was informed and aware. The fact that this place is still so unfamiliar makes me feel anxiety more often than peace and comfort, which is a tough place to be. I may or may not have been wide awake at 3am the other night, searching for new places to live on craigslist. Our lease doesn’t end until May.
In the meantime, I’m choosing to get out and familiarize myself with my neighborhood. I registered for a self defense course because I figure it never hurts to be empowered and prepared. I was also admitted to the Seattle Police Department’s Community Police Academy, which I’m hoping will help me learn enough about the city to start feeling more comfortable here.
I’m trying to be mindful of Isaiah 41:13, too, because I believe that it's true.
I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
And I’m pretty sure it was the Holy Spirit that made Ice Cube’s ‘Friday’ come up on my Pandora station the other day when I was walking home alone. Something about the words “Throw ya neighborhood in the air/if ya don’t care” made me feel notably more confident as I made my way through the neighborhood. Maybe it was really just the bangin' beat, but whatever it was, it worked. (Is it a coincidence that Ice Cube is sporting a Mariners hat and jersey in the video? I don't think so.)
Luckily, we’re meeting people and making friends and that helps. And we’ve got family just up the road, too, which makes it feel like everything’s going to be okay. I bought a half flat of blueberries at the farmer’s market last weekend, and I’ve made two different blueberry pies in the last couple of weeks. The berries are delicious, and the fact that we’ve had plans with enough people to necessitate multiple pies recently brings me great joy. Here's hoping this place continues to feel more like home over time. Until then, I'll try to be brave and just keep throwing my neighborhood in the air.