Well, I finally did it — I moved from Austin.
It took two years to line up the pieces to make it happen, but it’s done. I live in Seattle now, close enough to Hawai´i to make traveling less arduous but far enough to keep me away from the orbit of familial crazy.
I live in a bona fide gay neighborhood now. I can walk or take public transportation, which actually is preferable since city planning in Seattle seems to be an oxymoron. (Take one wrong turn, and you’ll find yourself on the other side of town.)
Seafood and Asian cuisine options are abundant, but of course, that means surrendering Papalote and Azul Tequila. But hey — I can find plate lunches here. They won’t give Grace’s Inn any sleepless nights, but if I crave something from the islands, I don’t have to make it myself.
Cedar season had to kick me in the nuts before I left Austin — compounded by the fact the allergies really masked a stress-induced cold — but I like the fact I’m spending my January free from the death grip of allergies.
My apartment has a balcony with the Space Needle squarely in view. I keep the vertical blinds open as much as possible because I love the view. I can see the Sound, the mountains, the downtown skyline. Back in Austin, I kept my vertical blinds closed because all I had look at was a swimming pool.
I grew up surrounded by water, but after 14 years in Austin, I realized the sight of water is actually comforting. Yes, I know — there are the Central Texas lakes and Barton Springs, but you have to drive to get there. Looking out a window is so much easier.
The cold weather is still a wild card. I may have forever stayed in my Austin rut if the summers hadn’t gotten extremely hot. Ninety days of triple-digit heat? Fuck that shit. I tell people here in Seattle that I’m done with sun. Had too much of it. Give me overcast skies. Too much blue sky means drought, and droughts suck ass.
We’ll see how I feel about a season of freezing temperatures. At the same time, a winter should feel like winter, not spring. (Unless you’re in Hawai´i.)
The cold weather has already had an effect on my wardrobe. I bought some waterproof boots to deal with an unusually strong winter storm. My athletic shoes were no match for the ice and snow, not to mention the hills of my neighborhood. I also bought a cap. One thing I remember from my year in New York City — most body heat escapes from the head and hands. I could feel the heat sapped out of my hair as I walked in the chill.
So yes, lots of adjustments to come. It’s been a long time since I’ve moved. I know there’s a psychological impact to relocation, stages a person goes through getting used to a new environment. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone through them, and I hope I’m at an age where I can weather them.
We’ll just have to see now, won’t we?