Seattle


Sorry for being MIA for so long. Our internet was down for a week (grr) and then the blog was down, and then we left out of town, then we had to prep for three showings. . . you get the picture. Needless to say, I have SO much to say. Please allow me to be scattered, that’s how I am these days.
Last Monday we found out we matched. Sigh of relief. One of the 12 places we applied would take us. (I wasn’t too worried about this one, but it’s always good to know.) Then we just had to wait four more days to find out where. I’m not patient. I had been a bit of a mess-case the weekend prior- I felt like I was going crazy- my thoughts were looping always returning to the same question: Where are we going to move?! My thoughts were something like this: I should really sell the stuff we’re planning on getting rid of…  well what are we planning to get rid of?… it depends where we move. . .but I don’t know where we’re moving so I can’t. I should do some packing.. . What should I pack. . . It depends on where we move. . . but I don’t know where we’re moving so I can’t.. . I should look for housing in the place I think we’re most probably moving. . . Utah- then I’d waste an hour or two looking through the new homes that came on the market. I was pretty confident we were going to Utah. They had sent Tom a glowing e-mail of how perfect he was, they weren’t that presitigious or competitive a program (None of the “top candidates”  Tom met during interview season were interested in going there.) And mostly, Tom is the most attractive, intelligent, kind man I’ve ever met- who wouldn’t want him! I was planning on it. But I couldn’t be sure- so I kept looping. Finally, after I missed several appointments (the joys of stress) it became apparent that I needed to try another technique than obsessing over something I had no control over. I took my sister’s technique and tried emotional detachment. It worked great. I forgot about the match entirely and filled my days with teaching, cooking, visiting friends, and playing with Scotland.
Thursday evening rolled around and Tom and I went out for a fancy pre-match/Valentines day dinner at Flour. (Tom’s idea was that this was our last day in ignorance, better splurge now before we know better!) It was a remarkable meal- Tom and I both agreed it went down as one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. We have a running list of our most incredible meals- our three course dinner at Flour is now on it. It was a beautiful night, one we will likely never forget- the last step before the cliff. 
We were all restless that night, I don’t think Tom slept a wink. The day had finally arrived. After a quick doctor’s appointment for Scotland we headed to Case Western for the reveal. We met with Tom’s other med school friends and milled around for an hour as we waited for the designated hour 12:00. As the crowd counted down to noon you could feel the tension, energy and stress build in the air. At noon the railings were removed and the students were able to pick up their envelopes. Tom and I had planned to let Scotland open it on a little platform up a flight of stairs where we would have a little space and quiet. As a result Tom was one of the latter students to open. As he worked his way through the dense crowd we heard and saw shouts of cheer and squeals of delight as people read their letters and hugged parents, friends, spouses. Meanwhile, Tom, smiling, slowly worked his way through the crowd. When he got back to us he sat down on a stair and with Scotland on his lap helped him open the envelop. Slowly Scotland tore the envelop, pulled out the letter unfolded one flap revealing the ABA logo and then opened the second flap. Tom looked down and then in shock said: “We’re going to Seattle!” “What?!” I replied. He repeated. “We’re going to Seattle.”
And there it was, the whole course of our lives, changed. One moment we were 98% confident we were moving to Salt Lake and then suddenly Bam- Seattle. I cheered and laughed, and we laughed some more. Crazy! Part of me was exstatic to be knocked of my rocker. I love an adventure but so rarely inniate it. Seattle would offer the big city experience I had craved since I was a little girl dreaming of living in NYC pursuing the Broadway stage. Seattle would force us to rethink the way we live our life, raise our family- because the space we are used to simply wouldn’t be an option. Seattle would mean mountains, kayaks, vietnamese food, and coping with rain. I rode this line until I called my sister Sabina. And then I bawled. Suddenly the future I had imagined in Utah flashed before my eyes: the sisters’ weekends, the late night creating with Brigette, the cousin playdates, the visits to grandparents and aunts and uncles, the home, the yard, the ease and stability of it all. Gone. And what did I have to replace it- an unknown, unresearched, undreamt of something. When Tom saw I had been crying he was devastated and immediately took the blame. Despite the fact that Seattle is a superior program to Utah in most ways in regards to his career path, the fact that he had not gotten into his number one spot was disappointing. Had he fallen short? Was he to blame? Now his wife was crying . . .  I tried to reassure him that I was grieving and would just need a bit of time. The rest of the day passed in a blur.
Saturday morning we awoke early and headed to the temple in Columbus. We couldn’t have filled our Saturday in a better way. The drive to and from, made longer due to an hour backup on the freeway, gave us ample time to talk, discuss our feelings, and start to realize our new future. We made a new game plan. We expressed our disappointments but more importantly our excitements and in so doing “the unknown” started to materialize. I thought of the sisters’ weekends- this time with my two younger sisters, shopping trips with my Mom, conversations with my Dad, I remembered all the things I loved about my visits to Seattle as a girl- building size rhodedendron and azaelea, the crocus in the lawn of the temple, the little old theater I saw Phantom of the Opera in, Pike’s Market, the Aquarium, Sequim- we’ll go to the lavendar festival and the tulip festival. We’ll climb Mount Rainier and Mount Hood, We’ll go skiing, and visit British Columbia. We’ll take Scotland whale watching and salmon fishing. We’ll live in a verdant little neighborhood with curbless streets and foilage so large you can’t see the houses, we’ll live in a house so small and lotless that we’ll be forced to make the city our “living room” and as a result we’ll meet all kinds of interesting people, and try all sorts of new things, I’ll take Scotland to watch ballet classes at PNB like I did as a young ballerina, we’ll ride the monorail and marvel at the views from the space needle, we’ll swim in the pudget sound, and watch sailboats from the shore. We’ll take up biking and I’ll be able to run all year round without freezing. I’ll find a hairstyle that looks good wet and dry, buy a pair of bright Hunter boots, and a stylish bright raincoat. 
Slowly but surely the lack I felt was filled and the excitement soared. We’re on an adventure! 
We hypothezied on the “meaning” behind it. Are we meant to go to Seattle? For what purpose? What does Seattle hold for our family, that Utah doesn’t? I laughed that I had tried to move to Utah once before when I applied for college, but it wasn’t to be then either. We wondered if and how God handles these things. Was it just that someone else needed Utah more than us? Or was it that we didn’t need Utah. Regardless, we both felt that Seattle is where God wants us to be. And so we feel at peace. If I could describe the temple succinctly I would say “A Place of Peace.” This time was no different. We realized that we’re grateful we put Utah first. Now even when things are hard in Seattle, I won’t think if we’d only placed Utah first. Likewise, it means a lot to me that Tom put our family first. He told me several months ago, “If I was a single man I would rank Seattle first.”  But knowing that Utah would offer me the support of older sisters, and an easier lifestyle he placed Utah first. The fact that we aren’t going to Utah, but rather to Seattle means to me- the Lord expects more of Tom, and me. 
So, we’re moving to Seattle. I’ve been overwhelmed with feelings of love and appreciation for all of the people who have come out of the wood work to offer advice, help and encouragement. I already feel like we have a huge community of friends in Seattle, and for this I am very grateful. 

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3 responses to “Seattle”

  1. Congratulations to you guys — I’m so happy for you! I wish I could live in the PNW again. Kjirsti, I loved this line from the end: “But knowing that Utah would offer me the support of older sisters, and an easier lifestyle he placed Utah first.” What a sweetheart! Never let that guy go — he’ll get swept up quickly if you do!

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