Archive for January, 2014

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What I Have Learned This Past Year

January 1, 2014

Last year as a result of this annual reflection, Chris, my old college roommate, emailed me and said we should grab lunch. For whatever reason (life, time, distance), I hardly saw him after my sophomore year when I left Morrison Hall and got an apartment of my own. It had been a decade since we had last seen each other.

It is easy to summarize a year in your life when only hitting the highlights. Alex and I moved in together after dating for almost a year. I started a new job at the Pacific Science Center. And somewhere along the way, we decided to go to France in 2014 for a month. That’s the 2013 highlight reel.

And apparently, it is even easier to summarize a decade of your life. So easy in fact that I had explained the highlights of the past 10 years to Chris before our burgers had even arrived. But that is the tragedy and the beauty of everyday life. The majority of life happens between the highlights. Or perhaps said better with that old adage, “life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”

Alex and I had been talking about moving in together for months before she saw the listing on Craigslist. We were excited to get the new apartment, but part of me was sad to leave the Roxborough — even if she was old, tired, and rundown. That place had been my home for more than six years. I had a longer tenure there than any place I lived since I was a 12 years old. Because Alex and I only moved a block away, I walk by the Roxborough constantly. It’s like running into an ex-girlfriend. The good times flash before your eyes, and almost as quickly, you are reminded of the reasons why you left. And every time I walk by, I look up into my old windows and try to spy on the person who now calls my old place home.

Musings about dating have transformed into musings about Miles. Ever since moving into our new place Miles has mysteriously developed a new hatred of the sound of the shower turning on. He now charges into the bathroom with his teeth flared and starts batting and biting until he draws blood. Another adventure happened during the summer when he escaped out onto the deck almost jumped down into Capitol Hill, never to be heard from again. Fortunately, Alex whisked him up before he disappeared for good.

This past year was filled many memorable moments. Traore, Yedlin, Johnson. The bounty of an oyster CSA box. Walla Walla wine tasting. For country (I’m under that flag… somewhere). Dressing up. Cards Against Humanity. Bremerton birthday weekend. Concerts. Mora’s and their chocolate peanut butter ice cream. A Sounders tailgate on a warm Seattle summer afternoon. An amazing anniversary dinner. Silly work events. Sometimes a memorable moment is a kid at your holiday party projectile vomiting all over your refrigerator and kitchen. Let’s just say our kitchen was never cleaner afterward.

On some level, it is understood that when you leave a job, you leave your colleagues behind. But I didn’t truly understand that until Becky was no longer in my day-to-day life. I worked with her and eventually we came to share a tiny office for 4.5 years. Too many lunches, coffees, dating stories and laughs to count. She was my confidant, my friend and I find myself missing her. At my new job, I have two work wives. We have lunches, coffees, and talk about our relationships. If at the end of my tenure here, if I have a relationship with them half as strong as my friendship with Becky was, I will consider myself very fortunate.

I will remember this past year for holidays on Bainbridge. Spaghetti in Allyn. For a wedding I helped plan. For dinners at Hitchcock, Rione XIII, Green Leaf, and Kate’s. Endless soccer conversations and prognostications at Full Pull. Endless soccer conversations and prognostications at Fuel. Endless soccer conversations and prognostications at CenturyLink. A cabin on the coast. Summer walks to get our CSA box. Candy on the 4th of July. A broken desk. The State Fair. Board meetings in Pioneer Square. Wine parties and wine pouring. Bald eagle float trips and early morning breakfasts.

One summer morning Alex and I were heading to Bainbridge and were killing time at the Seattle Ferry Terminal. I was short .25 cents for a newspaper and asked Alex if she had a quarter. She shook her head. Out of nowhere a man comes up to me and hands me a quarter. On Christmas Eve I find myself in the same ferry terminal killing time. This time having the correct amount of change I acquire a Seattle Times. While reading the sports section and with the rest of my paper to my left, a woman comes up to me (without saying a word) and picks up my newspaper (much to my surprise) and starts reading it. She hands to other half to her husband.

In some ways by February of this past year I had felt that I completely reinvented my life. New job, new apartment, new work neighborhood (and with it new stores, coffee shops, and restaurants to try), new colleagues, and moving in with my lady and her cat. And those highlights were some of my favorite moments of this past year. But the majority of my laughs, unique moments, and interesting conversations happened while I was standing in line for a movie, or walking to the store, or driving across town, or over dinner before a play at the Seattle Rep or simply, while killing time in the Ferry Terminal, having my newspaper stolen. May no one projectile vomit in your kitchen and may your 2014 highlight reel be a great one. Happy New Year!

Nick

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