“The best things in life are on the other side of terror. On the other side of your maximum fear are all of the best things in life.”
- Will Smith
After driving for twenty hours, and being awake for more than thirty, I arrived in Las Vegas, NV. Rowena spent at least four hours refusing to speak to me after we arrived – unless you count baritone growls and terror inducing hisses. This is our life now and we will both need time to adjust.
Honestly, I have cried every day since getting here. I cried when I was leaving Seattle. I left my heart in Seattle. It was everything I wanted in a home city. It was somewhere that I finally belonged (and that’s saying something when you’re as weird as me). It was prohibitively expensive and I’m sure I’ll be sad for a long time yet that I was forced out because of that.
So, now I live in Las Vegas. I hate it already (but I’m willing to love it).
It was a dream that brought me to Seattle. As a little child I wanted to live in either Seattle or New York City. I have no idea what drove this passion, but it refused to leave me. I moved to Washington state in 2012 from San Antonio, TX. To say I fell on my ass was an understatement. I had just spent five days driving across the country and it was NOTHING like I expected.
Had it not been for amazing friends I would have returned to Texas with my tail between my legs. That phone call literally went “I need help and if you aren’t able to then my next call is my dad.” I was one phone call away from giving up and going home. I never made that call to my dad. I don’t think my parents ever found out how close I was to giving up.
I struggled for years to get my feet under me, but somewhere around three years ago I finally made it. I wasn’t exactly IN Seattle yet, but I was close enough to bus downtown and explore. I eventually moved into the Madison Park neighborhood, and then to Ballard. Then rent started to increase exponentially and I had a choice to make. Was I going to hold on to this dream, this city, or was I willing to dream bigger?
The text I sent my parents the week after Christmas sort of summed everything up. It was, essentially:
I’m moving to Las Vegas because I’m not willing to let my dreams die for this city. I can do it on my own, so don’t worry about anything.
I think my parents have long since resorted to freaking out amongst each other instead of trying to lecture me in any way. I guess it helps that I ask for lectures when I feel like I need them, but they also accept that I’m a free spirit and they won’t be able to sway me. I’ve also never really asked them for help, so they know I can do it on my own. I’m not the prayin’ type, but they are and I think that helps them.
Then I jumped. Again. I put the fear aside and just ran right off the cliff. I feel jolted, lost, and uprooted. It is terrifying. Here’s a secret though: if you don’t feel like you’re falling after you’ve jumped off of a proverbial cliff, then you didn’t actually jump. Now I will either crash and burn, or softly land with my dignity intact. Either way, I’ll reach the ground and put the pieces of my life back together. I don’t love Las Vegas yet, but I suspect I will one day.