Seattle Always Welcomes Me Back Like An Old Friend

The interior of a coffee house with baristas and several customers
Redd Angelo / Unsplash

It started with bourbon in my coffee…which made me feel incredibly adult-like, cool and collected, even though I was nervous.

The bourbon at the airport marked the onset of my solo getaway, my first time jetting off to explore a city all alone, my “writing retreat.”

Seattle always welcomes me back like an old friend, with open arms, acceptance of who I am, and copious amounts of coffee. A latte at my favorite coffee shop, the barista whose name I remembered, the cigarette we shared on the street, the 1/2 lb pumpkin cookie I ate… my brain and keto body said it was all worth it.

That’s when I realized that the morning bourbon was really my “Felix Felicis”… my liquid luck.

Suddenly I felt like a much more brave, much more daring version of myself. The apprehension and nerves about taking this trip alone had vanished.

I met up with a fellow creative who I’ve followed and admired, but was nervous as I got ready. Like a blind date, or the first day of school… what if she doesn’t like me, am I pretty enough, will she think I’m cool? But we became fast friends. Talking, laughing, drinking.

Then, the kind of drunk I hadn’t been since I decided to rage two nights before getting my appendix removed. The kind of drunk where the world keeps spinning if you close your eyes. But also, the kind of drunk that makes you joyful and love each moment. I was drunk with a new friend, someone I had awesome conversation with, someone who, through everything she said and we discussed, inspired me to live a little bolder. 

Survival skills were tested as sobriety was bluffed while scurrying back to my hotel, getting lost along the way. Bourbon coffee, a latte, a cookie, and a shit ton of vodka were the only things floating in my belly. I walked fearlessly with purpose in brand new black suede boots and in that moment, it didn’t matter that they weren’t yet broken in, I was walking to safety, hand in my pocket, gripping my knife. When you’re drunk, scared and alone, you’ll walk through fire to find refuge. And that’s what I did. Hauled ass through downtown Seattle on a Sunday night with no one out except random groups of PNW characters hanging out on the street corners.

I smiled at everyone, talked to strangers, embraced newness, and the silence I experienced at dinner alone was comfortable and became familiar. I sat at my table reading Brené Brown’s “Daring Greatly,” reflecting on my wholehearted life. I gazed out the glass windows upon the busy street. I was a spectator watching people hustling home from work, cars driving by, people getting on and off the bus, the bright street lights reflecting off the asphalt.

Before I left, I stood at the bakery on the corner and she asked what keeps bringing me back to this city. I told her the truth: that Seattle inspires me to continue living an inspired life.

This new me? This girl who travels alone, chooses a book and notebook as her dinner companions, decides what to do and when to do it? I’m embracing her and she’s here to stay. Because she’s fucking awesome.

And who would’ve thought that all it would take to bring her to the surface was as simple as pouring bourbon in her coffee… TC mark

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