My last 100 days in Seattle.
In case you haven’t noticed, 100 is a number I have grown fond of – I did 100 days sober, 100 days vegan, and somehow my last 100 days in Seattle came and went. I wrote on and off throughout my last 100 days. Below is a compilation of 11 entries that encapsulate how I spent that time, what I reflected on, and what the greatest city ever taught me.
Feb 17th, 4:19 pm I can’t believe I only have 100 days left in the city that raised me. The city that harbored me for the last 24 years….the city that…ok now I’m just being dramatic. But holy WOW I am going to miss this place. I also am SO excited for this huge transition and life change. I want to make the most of my time left, and I want to remember it. That’s not necessarily a measurable goal, but whatever I’m off the clock.
I am working on developing a better relationship with myself. I was talking to my best friend the other day about loving people more than they love you.
She remarked with, “Do you love yourself?” And it caught me off guard. No, I don’t. I haven’t.
I have been asking people to do something that I’m not willing to do myself. This isn’t a new or novel concept, but it is important. I need to make a change, and I think that change starts with my self-talk.
March 1st. 2:20 pm. I just finished my math teaching competency exams, and son of a nutcracker I HOPE I passed. Studying these last three months has been grueling. I love math, but after a ten hour work day, I don’t exactly want to come home and solve for the volume of a cube inscribed in a sphere.
I am going to Utah tomorrow to hang out with my best friends for the weekend and also see my brother! Woohoo! It is the beginning of #TsCoastToCoastSpringTour (yes I am annoying and continuing my hashtag from last summer) as I go to Salt Lake City, Boston, then San Jose to VISIT (for my hiring interviews) before I move down there for the foreseeable future!
I am getting super excited and nervous. I just found out one of my current coworkers will actually be joining my program, so it will be great to have a familiar face during our summer training. I have such amazing friends here and I can only hope the people I meet down in SJ will be as stellar as them.
March 5th, 12:20 am. My heart is broken. Rest easy, friend. Sending all the love and light I have.
March 13th, 6:39 pm. In these last few months, my world has flipped upside down. I know now I can’t get through this alone, and I learned that I was leaning on the wrong shoulders – a trend I have noticed throughout my life the last few years.
I have learned that friendships aren’t formed on Friday nights, at 2 am, or at music festivals. Friendships are formed on Tuesday afternoons when you get in a car accident; friendships are formed when you receive a life-altering phone call; friendships are formed when they are tested.
I am sad that some of my friendships have ended in the past years. By no means am I innocent in their failings; I too have played my part in letting people down. I think my biggest takeaway is often times second chances don’t exist. I know this is a bold statement, one many of you may disagree with – but hear me out. In my life, it has proven true time and time again. Friendships take years to build and moments to break.
With 80 days left, I don’t have the time or energy to restore friendships that have let me down. I’m not trying to say anyone is a bad person, or that these decisions define these people. What I am saying is that I let their decisions define me, and I can’t do that anymore. I have to keep moving forward and surrounding myself with people that inspire me to be stronger and better.
April 2nd, 3:45 pm. My heart hurts as I write this. I became so lost in my adoration for you that I was blind to my martyrdom. We both felt like we did everything we could, and we did. It’s just hard to accept that sometimes that’s still not enough.
Love isn’t always enough…..when it’s not the right love. I wish it could’ve worked out, but there’s a reason it didn’t. We both deserve greater and higher love.
You couldn’t let go of my past and I had to let go of your future – it’s not mine to invest in anymore. I’m sorry I couldn’t put you first. I don’t think we ever would have pulled away from each other on good terms if I didn’t move away. I’m glad we have a clean break, but I’ll miss you more than you know. Thanks for growing with me. The song below I think really encapsulates our time together.
April 7th 6:18 pm. I found out that I didn’t pass my most recent teaching exam – by 3 points. I needed a 220/300 to pass, and I got a 217. My initial thoughts were that they had sent me someone else’s test results…..right? Once I passed the denial stage, I was upset – I have never failed anything in my life, especially when it comes to academics. I felt like math broke up with me.
Then I snapped out of it. In a way, I am glad I failed. If I had passed this test, I would’ve carried on thinking math would always be easy as long as I took the time to study and prepare. Regardless of how much I prepare, I sometimes cannot escape these moments of failure. If I had passed, I don’t think I would have been as prepared for failures of higher stakes – failing something that is bigger and more impactful than me. Granted, this singular failure doesn’t mean I won’t fail again – it means I have the perspective and resilience to fail again with grace.
I quickly bounced back from my pity party and felt rejuvenated. Yeah, it sucks I didn’t pass the first time, but I have no doubt I will pass the second, third, or fourth time around (but seriously planning on passing it this next time…fingers crossed!!!).
Success is not the absence of failure. Success is sculpted by failures that create spaces for growth and character development.
April 11th 5:54 pm. Abby and I are headed home from a whirlwind trip in Boston – 36 hours and I don’t even want to count how many of those were spent on planes. Nevertheless, I am SO glad we came (even though I will most likely be asleep for the next 3-4 months.)
We attended a leadership conference for work and connected with people in our same role across the country. It was incredibly refreshing to be around people who are so passionate about the work we do, but also see the areas where we need to improve as an organization. These coworkers understand, validate, and inspire me in a way that only a handful of people can.
My takeaways were the following: 1) Boston is an amazing city and I want to live there someday, and 2) Passion combined with light-heartedness is quite possibly the most important vessel for leadership and change.
April 17th 4:22 pm. I just finished watching 13 Reasons Why. To say I am moved is an understatement. To say it was done perfectly would be a lie; there is plenty of controversy in its production. I have found my deepest connection with the series in the conversations it has sparked.
Confession: I only watched the final episode all the way through, and the others I watched sporadically. My biggest take-away was the following conversation during the final episode:
“Do you want to hang out?”
“How about now?”
“Are you okay?”
“No, is that okay?”
I think this conversation was the most pivotal moment of the show because it reiterated what everyone wants to be reassured – IT’S OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY. Let’s talk about it. That’s the only way it will ever truly be okay, right?
And sometimes, that’s still not enough. Sometimes you did all you could, and it’s not enough. I still don’t know how to rationalize that. What I do know is that I want to have more dialogue where we ask each other how we’re doing, and we find the bravery to say, “not well.”
Another great film about suicide is an independent film from 2006 called 2:37. It’s raw and real and has stayed in my thoughts the last decade – definitely worth watching.
April 19th 5:19 pm. I just returned from a trip down to San Jose for my teaching interviews – it was amazing, terrifying, sweetbitter (yup – I like to emphasize the sweet rather than the bitter), and frankly, all of the feels.
“Where the body moves, the mind follows,” is a quote that has always rang very true for me. I get cravings to move when I need change in my life. I am glad I deferred my TFA acceptance so that I could have one more year in Seattle, and now I feel truly ready to leave. I think I’ll be back – but for now, I want to see and experience the world from different lenses. After San Jose, I am heart set on moving to D.C. and diving right into the belly of the political beast. After that, well, the world is my oyster. I want to travel to Ireland, Sweden, Greece, and Scotland (aka the homelands and the dreamland). My travel bug has felt prominent lately, and I think it’s one of the most important investments I can make in myself – saying yes to adventure.
April 24th 11:12 pm. “I love you but I can’t go back into the woods for you.” –Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior.
May 15th, 6;37 am. This past weekend, I had the honor of watching my brother graduate college. I also had the heartbreak of hearing that one of my dearest friends passed away. This weekend was a whirlwind of all the best and worst feelings in the world. The joy of watching one new chapter start and the devastation of hearing one has ended.
When I look back on my time at Chapman, Eric is one of the first people who comes to mind. He was a steadfast friend even after I moved back to Seattle. Everyone in my life that has truly touched my soul has some form of a novel/letter from me, and Eric was no exception. Considering this is our last of many goodbyes, it only seems fitting to not only say it in a letter, but also with a playlist:
I am truly speechless, and my heart aches for everyone who had the privilege of knowing you. I am in shock and a part of me refuses to believe you’re gone. It was only a few weeks ago we were talking about you coming to visit me in San Jose. I am forever grateful for our late night beach talks and jam sessions. I always hoped that we would find our way back to one another so we could travel the world attending music festivals (that Jubilo Drive was headlining, duh). I guess I’ll have to hold onto that dream for the next life. On a scale of 1-Eric Cruz, you were a 12. I’ll never forget how amazing you were to me. Thanks for changing my life and forever touching my heart. The world is better because you were part of it.
To one of the world’s brightest lights – shine on.