I spent the summer living in Seattle, so you don’t have to.
Just kidding, I loved it! Seattle is one of the most unique places I’ve ever visited. The local culture is so vibrant, and there’s an mist of nonchalance that covers the air when the fog burns up. Seattle is a city that its residents are proud to represent, and this gave me the perfect environment to do a little soul-searching and self improvement. I’ve never spent a summer focusing solely on personal growth and where I want to go life-wise, and at the risk of sounding too much like a blurb off Instagram, taking three months to learn more about myself and what I really want has been enlightening.
Now that I’ve sprinkled this post with so much mozzarella, let’s get onto the point of your visit here: 6 life lessons from living in Seattle.
1. You can be easygoing and ambitious at the same time: Simply put, you don’t have to constantly feel like you’re about to have a coronary from anxiety to have goals. I think it’s a common thing to associate Type A personalities with high ambition, but wanting success isn’t necessarily a trait specific to a personality type. It’s okay to roll with it; you’ll still get things done! 🙂 Seattle is possibly the most collectively relaxed city I’ve ever visited–much different from the east coast in a sense that that insatiable need to get onto the next task is diminished. It’s taught me that you don’t always have to be on the go to want to achieve. Which leads me into my next point…
2. Not everything needs to get done right now: Not everything on the bucket list has to be done by tomorrow or this weekend. Take your time, and take breaks when you need it. It can be daunting to look at all the things you want to accomplish and become intimidated. For a while, I often felt like I was going to be constantly racing against the clock to get all of my school completed, and it was frustrating. Once you reframe your mindset to realize how much time a year or five actually is, you realize that you’re doing just fine, and your pace is probably perfect for you.
3. Everyone can use another friend: I’ve made so many wonderful friends this summer, and I’m so grateful for them. I used to be one to keep my friend circle pretty small, but learning to branch out has taught me how much you can gain from new friendships. Genuinely connecting with people can be unusual, so it’s amazing when you find people who you feel like you can be yourself around and enjoy your company. This isn’t to say that you’re required to become best friends with everyone you meet, because that obviously isn’t realistic. But, you can never meet too many good people. Knowing someone cares about your wellbeing is a warm feeling, and you never know how much a friendship means to someone who feels they don’t have enough support or really needs it at the moment.
4. It’s easier to be outgoing when you’re confident: This is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned this summer. I’ve always been pretty quiet, but I’ve slowly begun to grow out of my shyness. Developing self confidence is something that’s helped me in talking to people–but that sounds intuitive, doesn’t it? When you feel comfortable with yourself to the degree that you’re not afraid of people’s reactions, you’re more likely to approach them as the truest and calmest version of yourself, because you know you’ll be okay if they don’t like what you’re saying.
5. Don’t take it personally if someone doesn’t like you: You’re not everyone’s type, and sometimes your experiences are so different that you can’t relate to each other. It’s nobody’s fault–it’s just the circumstances that make you guys incompatible. It doesn’t mean you both aren’t amazing people. You won’t have a connection with everyone that you meet, and that’s ok; it’s what makes those friendships more special.
6. Trust your intuition: If something feels right, then go with it. If it doesn’t, don’t. Your instincts are biologically engrained into you to keep you safe from dangerous situations. If you feel like something is wrong, then it probably is, and you shouldn’t ignore your feelings, even if you risk coming off as impolite.