After the better part of a year in Seattle, I find myself back on Whidbey Island and finally able to catch my breath. That’s the strange thing. I feel as though, my 10 months in Seattle was a long held breath. My partner and I were constantly working. We were constantly clamoring for money to pay rent, pay bills, pay for car repairs, pay for a date just to treat ourselves.
Now, in the country side we finally have a moment to sit and take a breath without feeling as though we must get back to work or else…
Funny how that works. Cities offer so much. There are people, shops, events galore, and constant constant constant traffic. I enjoy cycling in the city, but I enjoy cycling in the country a lot more. I enjoy the social spaces of cities, but I found myself always searching for a neighborhood coffee shop that is readily available on Whidbey. When I came back to the island on the weekends now and then I’d release my held breath and feel as though everything had slowed down and I could be aware of my actions in a more meaningful way than when I was in the city.
Here I can drive anywhere without getting frustrated looking for parking. I don’t have to pay for parking. I can cycle to work and only have one or two cars pass me. Kyla and I can sit out on the deck and have a drink as the light wanes and we don’t hear sirens or the honking of cars.
When we visited LA we took a Lyft and the woman said she’d always wanted to live in a smaller town. Someplace not as crowded. But, she said, what would she do? Like, for money. And at that moment it dawned on me how lucky Kyla and I are with our work situation as freelance writers. Small towns, big cities, we can live anywhere and adjust our work load to how much money we MUST make.
There is no worry for us when we move, because one of our jobs always comes with us–and it’s commonly the most lucrative one as well. Sure, when Kyla is in school again she won’t want to spend the little free time she has writing more, but it’s always an option for us, while it’s not for others.
Though Kyla loves cities, we both acknowledge now that a smaller town is more in the offing for our preferred way of life–and that’s what we’re both trying to understand. Our way of life together.