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A D.C. Girl in a West Coast Blur

I never thought I’d actually feel downright homesick for D.C., but that’s been the feeling  consuming me a lot these few weeks. I know that a lot of it has to do with where things stand in my life right now but I didn’t think it’d hit me this hard. But then again, I haven’t been the new kid on the block in a very long time. The block being the west coast, and ‘new’ being me completely out of my comfort zone and my introvert taking over full force.

(It may come as a shock to most of you that I’m an introvert. That’s a topic of discussion for another day.)

I’m used to being the new person or specifically the person that’s never quite fit in. When I was growing up, I don’t remember playing with any neighborhood kids. I started school by skipping straight to second grade so I was thrown into a classroom of older kids who’d known each other for years. I adapted by becoming a tomboy, sometimes getting into fights, but somehow managing to make a couple of girlfriends. We were a tight-knit group and I never spent a recess alone. I was able to drop my guard and just enjoy being a kid. Then at the end of fourth grade, we moved to a new city and I once again felt the need to be on the offensive. Just when I started feeling like I was settling in, my parents announced that we were moving to the US but I’d be spending a couple of months in a private school to learn English.

Great. New school, the added pressure of learning a new language, and trying not to get attached to people because I knew I was leaving in a few months. After we moved to the US, it really wasn’t until high school (and junior year at that) when I found a best friend I could count on, and a group of friends that I knew would actually show up to my birthday if I invited them. Fast-forward to college, not living on campus, commuting while working two jobs, and the beginning of the spiral that would lead to bad decisions, a lot of fucks up and the constant struggle to stay afloat.

As far as friendships and fitting in, nothing really stuck with me. I thought it would be different as an adult and after high school graduation, all I dreamed about was getting out of the area. Getting a fresh start and getting away from this city where nothing really made sense. It was surprising to me when I started putting down real roots. Don’t get me wrong – I had roots as far as family and memories but I didn’t think I’d put down any real roots as an adult. As a professional, I didn’t really start making a real name for myself until about four years ago. When it came time to leave D.C., the sadness of the friends I left behind was surprising to me. The way I miss D.C. and the people in it completely knocked me off my feet, emotionally.

I talk a lot about leaving my comfort zone but up until now, all I really meant was how familiar I am with the streets and the professional makeup of Washington, D.C.

As I spend more time trying to adjust to life in Seattle, I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that my comfort zone wasn’t just the familiar surroundings or the networking events I could attend on any given night of the week. Washington, D.C. had become as much a part of me as I had become of it. Before moving away from D.C., I never thought being homesick could be for any place other than Turkey, but now, there is a D.C.-shaped hole in my heart that nothing else can fill – right next to the Istanbul-shaped hole.

This doesn’t mean I’m going to pack up and go back tomorrow. That’d be taking the easy way out. It would be like deleting the few pages I’ve already written in this new chapter and going back to rewrite all over the old chapters, never touching a blank page again.

I knew that things would be tough but what I didn’t factor in was the culture shock I would experience as an east coaster on the west coast. Add to that my already loud and somewhat aggressive personality and I really stand out. I’m not quite sure if that’s a bad thing yet but I do know that there are certain things I have to reconcile on my own, to make sense of my own life, and the direction I’ve decided to take it.

But shit, I am terrified of never being able to straighten out this clusterfuck of a life. What I do know is that I’m going to be writing a lot more. I promise that I won’t have too many rambling posts, but once in a while, I’ll let you dive into my stream of consciousness.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • M. Skut, aka Mindy April 4, 2013, 10:56 am

    And this post terrifies me as I examine whether or not I should leave North Carolina. Ha.

    Whenever I go home to Pennsylvania, and other times as well, I’m reminded that there’s a void inside that misses that city, though I would prefer to never go back. What I want from there is the people (and the food, lol), but not the actual location, and I don’t know if that’s enough to go back for… But I understand there being that hole for that place that really is truly “home.” And I’ve made an awesome new home here, like you did in D.C. But similar to you, I wonder if I need to go elsewhere at this point in my life — if it’s time to move on from here, even if I love it. But I have the same fears you express, and can only hope that if I relocate, I’d know how to handle it.

    I know this isn’t helpful. I wish I had better words of encouragement. And funny enough, I’ve applied for a half dozen jobs in Seattle. Sometimes — and I found this living here at first, with no jobs and no friends, wondering why I bothered — it’s wading through the crap for a long time before it feels okay. Even at times here, I have ebbs where I want to escape because the rut is too much. But something good happens, or an awesome evening on the town, and I’m back where I should be.

    I’m babbling. Big hugs, lady. I hope it gets better!

  • Tori April 10, 2013, 4:33 pm

    You’re not allowed to move back! I need friends here who are as loud and aggressive as me!

  • AC May 27, 2015, 3:30 pm

    Moving out of your comfort zone is very hard to do and something I struggle with daily.

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