Change of Plans: Staying put after letting go

When things start moving in an alternate direction even after you have a goal in mind, sometimes there’s nothing you can do but move in the new direction.

I had mapped out what my next few months would look like, travelling around the country, meeting new people, learning more about myself and contemplating the meaning of life or some crap like that, as travellers are wont to do. I was going to taste the varied foods of Mexico as I skirted along the West Coast and East through Arizona and Texas. Then I would have gumbo, so much of it, once I hit New Orleans.

I would meet Southern folks and listen to their stories and stand at the grocery store talking for hours even though I only came in for a few apples and some soup.

I imagined myself fending off all of the unlucky men who were going to try to court me because I heard that I am exactly the kind of “light skinned black lady with curves” that every black man is looking for down there. I reason that this is unfair and internalized racism within the community, but I would get on board because it’s nice to finally be the ideal when you’ve always lived in places where you’re the opposite of that.

I was going to play my new pop music as I Coco Cherie and wow the small audiences around the country until I had at least 100 facebook fans. Then I was going to make a decision: Go back to Seattle or move somewhere else.

Well that decision has now been made for me, by me, with my consent at least.

Everything has changed now and I won’t be doing any of that. Fortunately the last two months of travelling around Seattle and living in various neighborhoods from Fremont, West Seattle, Laurelhurst, to White Center have given me more perspective on the city I’ve been living in the last eight years. The city I was so eager to give up, opened its belly to me and showed me its inner workings that I had never really gone out of my way to see.

It’s really easy to sequester yourself in one neighborhood in this city. The “my neighborhood is the best neighborhood” mentality permeates almost everywhere neighborhood. The truth is that every neighborhood really is the best neighborhood once you’re in it. Most of them have a small shopping district and various neighborhood bars, fancy and divey for those with different preferences. There are schools to take the kids, trails and parks to walk or ride your bike, grass and trees for days, and they’re all clean (exceptions to clean: belltown, downtown, pioneer square – though for a city, these are still relatively clean).

Every neighborhood I stayed in really was the best while I was there. There were always options for things to do. They all felt cozy and like home even if only for a few days. I really started to fall back in love with Seattle after meeting more of its people and seeing more of its landscape.

I’m glad for this because I’m staying now, at least for a while. I had a small recommitment ceremony with the city and we’re on for at least another year, maybe two. Who knows? Maybe it could last a lifetime. No, it’s not because I met someone, though I have and that’s just kind of a bonus.

What happened was a series of circumstances that changed my plans.


1. I found out I was eligible for unemployment.

Something I didn’t realize because I thought I need to be laid off from a job, not just in between contract work. At first this didn’t seem like a big deal, other than it was gonna help me get by until either finding a new contract job or leaving the city, but about a week in, I received a letter stating that I needed to attend an orientation with Workforce so I could fully understand what my responsibilities as an UI recipient (unemployment insurance) are.

At the meeting that they discussed Worker Retraining. If you don’t know anything about Worker Retraining

It’s basically a program that helps those that are unemployed, underemployed and need new job skills go back to school so that they can rejoin the workforce bigger, badder, and more productive.

Holy Shitballs!  I thought. This is exactly what I’ve been wanting to do. I had been telling friends for the last year that I wanted to go into Web Development, but couldn’t find any of the time or the money to actually learn at a decent pace.

I needed to find out more.


2. NighTraiN’s tour was cancelled.

Due to the douchery of the South not booking us after months of attempted booking, our tour to the South was cancelled. I had really wanted to visit “Hotlanta,” but it seemed my hopes and dreams of meeting a fine ass Southern man were all fantasy and had to be put on the backburner.

This ended up being the best thing that could happen to me because of that whole unemployment, worker retraining thing. I was able to be here for all of the classes, meet with an adviser, sign up for school, write appropriate requests that I wouldn’t have been able to do from across the country.


3. Starting the Web Development program at Seattle Central Community College

I’m writing this post start date of course. I started school two weeks ago and so far so good.

Taking: C#, Working with a Web Team, JavaScript, and intermediate HTML + CSS (we’ll see how that one goes since I completely skipped beginning – thank gawd for online tutorials!).


So I’m here! I’m here, I’m here, I’m here! I will be here. I have to commit to being frugal as fuck since I’m on UI and not making any other money outside of this. I’m gonna fucking rock these classes. I’m gonna figure out a way to get a bad ass development job. These things are going to happen.

Anyways, I love you Seattle and I am kind of glad I’m not leaving now because I would have missed all your trees, hills I have to walk up that sometimes hurt my calves, and all my friends who make everyday kind of fucking awesome and entertaining.


4. NighTraiN is opening for Turquoise Jeeeeeeeep!

Okay, that shit just happened, but if I weren’t staying, this wouldn’t be happening! We are opening for Turquoise motherf’n Jeep! Do you understand? Do you even have any idea?


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