I want to be a writer who avoids cliches. In my gut, I know they are tired and overused. Yet, they persist because once in a while nothing can sum up the moment better than something we've heard hundreds of times before. My feelings on Seattle have become a well-worn cliche and it is this. Home is where the heart is. I do think I would amend this and add that my heart is in Seattle.
Social media has afforded me the luxury of keeping up with my friends back in Oklahoma City. Without a doubt, the once former boomtown on the prairie is blossoming into a city destined for greatness. New attractions, districts, restaurants, and people are changing the landscape and bending the arch of OKC's future to one of a more cosmopolitan metro area. There are times I wish I was there. There are moments when I feel called to be there to help shape what is to come. Then I realize my ego is a powerful thing and I do my best to silence such illusions.
For six years, I have felt like a participant in the daily life of Seattle, Washington. Five days a week, I hop in my little hatchback and drive 18 miles south of the city limits to the outer suburbs to work for a human services organization. I volunteer in South King County. My friends live here. I have grown as a leader and a man, because of this region. South King County is where my connections to this area lie. For the entirety of this experiment, I have worked hard to make a difference in South King County. All the while, I have ignored my obligation to the place I call home.
That was until the Women's March on Seattle back in January. As I crowded city streets with nearly 200,000 other people, I finally felt like a member of this collective community. I was at the forefront of her progressive politics. I was rubbing elbows and allowing the rubber to hit the road with other like-minded people. I was reminded of one of the many reasons I abandoned a comfortable life for a brand new adventure in the Pacific Northwest. No longer the outsider or the butt of people's jokes, I was part of a family; a family who accepts my views on religion, my relationship, and concerns for the world without rigid reaction. I was home.
I was invited to explore more broadly. I was invited to get involved on the district level with the 34th District Democrats. I was invited to search out local neighborhood councils working on issues impacting me. I was invited to search for a new way of expressing myself and my connection to everything around me. For me, nothing could more profound or paramount. So, yes, I look back at Oklahoma City with fondness. I miss my friends. I long for my family. I crave the places we used to go. I envy what's new and what wasn't there when I decided to leave. I say and feel this knowing Seattle is home and this is where I am meant to be.
Be good to each other,