I can’t believe three months have passed, and I’m already halfway through a fourth, here in Washington. I feel as though I have lived here six months, and I have to remind myself that it’s only been three when I get frustrated with myself that I still need Google maps guiding me or I’m not fast enough when making drinks at Starbucks. So much as happened since my first post… I have much to update you on.
I work at Starbucks and genuinely enjoy it. I work with a great team that is constantly encouraging one another and thanking each other for little things like refilling cups or for taking out the trash. I love that is a norm here! I have made some friends at work, and their idea of a good time is bowling and wings (which is awesome). Many of these new friends are 21 or younger, an age group I love being around, and until recently when I finally confided my age, they all thought I was 23. I still don’t know how to make frappuccinos, but I’ve picked up most things pretty fast, and I’ll get there. I still have questions when I make cold and hot drinks, but they trust me enough to make them for real customers occasionally.
I tend to work 20-25 hours a week there, so I have picked up a second job as a dog sitter. It’s a pretty great second job and has been a big help to my bank account. It has allowed me time to write – both this blog and a book that is in progress – and forced me to get to know the area better. I have also made some friends through it, which has been an unforseen bonus. I dog sit through Rover.com, which a friend of mine does in Atlanta, and it’s similar to online dating – but for dog sitting. Pet owners can search nearby and look at a variety of profiles and prices, then message the dog sitter they want to meet with. A few messages turns into a meeting, which turns into a booking, and then the service. I have been extremely blessed to have so many people contact me, since I am unable to self-promote. I think God knew I needed more than Starbucks to pay the bills and eat in one month.
That book I mentioned earlier? Yes, I’m really writing one. I have been talking about writing this book, a collection of my roommate stories, for five years and I’m finally doing it. I have no idea how it’s going to get published, but my first step is to write the stories. One of my roommates, who has quickly becomes one of my close friends out here, has been encouraging me and keeping me accountable to writing it. I have two friends who have offered to help edit it, but I could always use more experienced editors. When it’s written, I will worry about the order and how to publish. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about publishing, would you?
I have also found a church. It took longer than I expected, and without one I felt extremely lonely and disconnected (espeically when I didn’t have job, too). My church is Rain City Church and they have a heart to reach people who have not grown up in the church. They make the gospel and big topics accessible and easy to understand. They also have a huge to heart to serve the community, without strings attached. I love the honesty, vulnerability, and the transparency of not just the leaders, but everyone in the church.
Is my life what I expected? No, not even close. But am I happy? Most days. I have my own room, roommates I like, money in my account, friends from a variety of networks, a church I love, two jobs I enjoy, a gym I’m comfortable working out in, and a big goal I’m pursuing. I’m surrounded by new people, friends, coffee, and friendly dogs every week, and both Target and Trader Joe’s are nearby. I sometimes feel like I’m not making a difference and wonder why I’m writing a book and if anyone would read it, but overall my heart is light and happy. I feel closer to God, pursuing him instead of trying to make everyone around me happy and hoping to catch some of their happiness. Sometimes starting over is the best thing for you.