May 7, 2017

Letting go of my dream life/part 1

It looks like the sun will be out in Seattle all week! I am happy for all Seattleites who have had the greyest and wettest winter (starting October) in history, but also for Trouble 2 and Audrey who arrived in Seattle some days ago and will stay through the month.

In 2007 I was planning on starting spending more time in Seattle. My sons were growing up and I was picturing myself in the beautiful Emerald City 2-3 months a year, although spread out in about three periods.

I definitely perceived this time as a turning point in my life. My marriage was over. Both my parents had passed away. My sons changing to young men moving in with their girlfriends. And my start up business feeling the air under it’s wings. This was my time coming up.

I knew exactly what I wanted. I remember sitting on the deck of the Bainbridge ferry one of those gorgeous sunny Seattle summer days feeling it right into my bones: this is where I want to be. This is where I should be. This is where I need to be. This is where I must be. This is where I’m meant to be! 

It wasn’t news to me, I had been in love with this gorgeous city ever since we stayed the year 1996-97. Drinking the Portage Bay view from our living room window and driving through Arboretum in the afternoons picking up my sons at school. So I had been waiting for and heading for this moment for ten years. As my sons’ father had left Sweden a couple of years earlier, it couldn’t be full time though, which was okay. Three months a year would do fine as a start. My heart and roots were in my little Swedish village. Seattle was my lungs and the wind in my hair.

I was pretty sure too the Seattle environment would be good soil for my business. Communicating with storytelling was brand new in Sweden at this time, and it’s a tough job to create both a product and a market. Even in Seattle I had to do a lot of explaining on what I was doing, but there was definitely a curiosity and a more matur market.

So, the plan was to find clients and assignments in Seattle. And to create an environment for myself where I could feel like a professional. I was very grateful to all my friends who had let me stay in their basements for a lot of commuting years, but I now desired my own place. I wanted to buy me a city condo with water view, in purpose of renting it when I wasn’t there myself. Now, that utopia stops right there as there was no way I could come up with that kind om money, but the idea was great as well as intriguing.

No, I had to start at a different end. And I did. I bought myself a car. That’s a story by itself, a good one, and I am saving it for a different post. Anyway, I now had my own car! Bliss! That’s the most adequate word for how I felt about that car. And about myself in that car. Driving in Seattle. My city. My car. A Dodge Stratus ES year 2000 with an electric roof window. Leather seats. Color, I would say latte. And driving it… I’ve had some car experiences in my life, but driving that car was pure joy.

Now, as I couldn’t purchase a home I had to find a solution for all my stuff. To start with, there was the Tempure Pedic mattress which my body is addicted to for sleeping. I keep it in an U.S. domestic mail sack. And then there was those special things I wanted to hold on too. My cereal bowl, my tea cup, fragments of my Boyer Avenue home. And all the items so unpractical dragging cross the ocean several times a year: blow drier, schampoo, electric tooth brush, lotions, bath robe, shoes, clothes… Over the years it’s added up to three good size storage boxes. Stored in friends basements. Oh, those friends…

I didn’t want to be a burden to them anymore. And the solution eventually became a storage unit on Martin Luther King Ave half way to SeaTac airport. I really liked the number on that unit. And the view of the new light rail from where the elevator was. It wasn’t a city condo with a water view but it was something. It was my something.

You know all those stories you hear about people changing their lives for the better? Being at a crossroad starting walking towards a goal. I always wonder how that happens. How a plan actually becomes a reality. Mission completed. Doesn’t life intervene? Put up hinders?

This was my crossroad. And I was determined. Absolutely sure I would live a part time Seattle life. Feeling it into my bones. Meant to be.

How wrong I was. First my back crashed, although temporarily I hoped. Then I got cancer. And then my back crashed for good. 

I have been back in Seattle. But only for vacation. I have been driving my car, but only briefly. And I have actually had the experience of city condos with water views. Amazing pent houses, although momentary homes for my cereal bowl and tea cup.

Trouble 2 and Audrey is driving my beloved car right now. But the Doge Stratus seems to have lost it’s former glory since I last drove it in 2012. And my storage unit has turned expensive over the years meanwhile the Swedish crona is not an asset towards the dollar anymore. So.

Now is the time. Trouble 2 and Audrey have promised me to clean out my storage as a favor to having access to a free car. And I am preparing to say goodbye to my never achieved goal and dream life. I’ve known for some years now that it is the only thing to do. It’s just so hard to let go.

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