Homeward Bound

Tomorrow morning, I’m flying home to Seattle.

Or maybe it’s just back to Seattle. I suppose Minnesota is technically my “home” now.

Or maybe it’s not? I still haven’t gotten a new driver’s license, which technically means I’m not a resident, right?

I should probably get on that…I’ve just been waiting until I return from vacation in Mexico. You know, so I can be tan for the picture.

Yes, these are the things I think about.

Anyway…my family still resides in Seattle, and I did grow up there, so I guess it will always be my home, regardless of which state my driver’s license is from.

It’s a comforting thought, yet a strange one at the same time. If Seattle is still “home” am I just on an extended vacation?

An extended rural Minnesotan vacation? Who would intentionally plan such a thing?

Katrina with a mustache.

Oh yeah…I would. Would you believe me if I said the mustache made me do it?

The trip to Washington is work related. I’ll be attending An Event Apart, a conference for web designers that is absolutely fantastic. I made it to the event in Boston last year and pretty much had my mind blown. It’s one of those things that makes you realize why you love what you do and inspires you to produce great creative for the rest of the year. They also serve copious amounts of bacon at breakfast, which is obviously just as important.

I’m also going to be working back in my office for a few days, (I was allowed to keep my job and work remotely when we relocated). This is another huge treat as I really do love where I work. And I love the people I work with. I’m pretty stoked for a “face to face” reunion with all of my coworkers.

(Yes, I just used”stoked” in a sentence. And no, I’m not sorry.)

Add to this the fact that I’m going to see my siblings, my parents, and all my wonderful Seattle friends, and you have a recipe for a pretty magical nine days.

Which is exactly why I’m worried.

I’ve genuinely fallen in love with Small Town. Sure, I don’t have a ton of friends yet, and we still aren’t even finished unpacking…but I truly think we’re going to enjoy our time here. I mean, I’ve already adjusted to a life of getting my coffee from Caribou, and shopping at Wal-Mart. And guess what? I actually kind of like it.

But what if this trip reminds me that I like Seattle more? Do I like Seattle more? I honestly don’t even know the answer to that question.

What if I’m reminded of how much I miss shopping at Nordstrom and eating at swanky restaurants in the city?

Or being able to take the bus? (I never thought I’d miss such a thing.)

Or being surrounded by people who will appreciate my Tory Burch shoes?

One thing’s for sure…I’ll definitely be reminded of how much I miss my coworkers, friends and family.

On the other hand, I’ll also be reminded of the things that I don’t miss. Horrendous traffic on I-5, the high cost of living, and obnoxious hipster parents at Whole Foods, to name a few.

Good and bad, Seattle certainly holds a very special place in my heart. Which is why I’m growing more and more concerned that going back so soon will make our choice to move away even more difficult than it already was.

Is it strange that I keep envisioning myself going back to Ballard, standing outside of our old condo, and just crying dramatically?

Wait…don’t answer that.

Luckily, the old condo was across the street from a cupcake shop, so I’d be able to dry my tears with frosting and sprinkles.

I mean…if my little scenario were to actually happen.

Which it won’t.

I mean…It probably won’t.

Alright, alright…there’s a fifty-fifty chance. So if you’re passing through Ballard, and see a girl shoving lavender cupcakes into her mouth while violently convulsing, now you’ll know why.

What I’m trying to say is that this entire visit just feels bittersweet and surreal.

I want to go and have a productive work week, a wonderful experience at the conference and some quality time with the people who are important to me.

But I don’t want to leave feeling sadness or regret.

I don’t want to start bawling at the airport like I did when I moved to Nebraska.

I dont’ want to spend the three-hour flight back to Minnesota thinking about how much I miss Trader Joe’s. (I really loves Trader Joe’s. Everyone wears Hawaiian shirts! And bananas are 19 cents!)

I don’t want to feel like we’ve made a mistake.

And I don’t.

But what if the bright lights of the big city change my mind?

Not gonna lie, I’m kind of hoping it rains the entire time so I can find comfort in the early Spring Minnesota has been enjoying.

But I also want sunshine so I can wear the new dress I bought.

Don’t laugh at me.

I guess I’m just trying to enjoy the best of both worlds. Sunshine and rain. Nordstrom and Wal-Mart. Starbucks and Caribou.

Which led me to a very important realization: I don’t want to choose between being a country mouse or a city mouse…I want to be a “citountry mouse”.

Which is basically a mouse who buys salad dressing from the dollar store and carries a Louis Vuitton bag.

A mouse who eats sushi and tater tots.

A mouse who listens to Garrison Kiellor and KEXP. (Who am I kidding…Scott is the one who listens to KEXP. I listen to KISS 106.1. Don’t you dare judge me.)

A mouse who is actually afraid of mice, but is willing to “become” one for the sake of this analogy.

A mouse who has two homes that she loves very, very much.

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