So I have about a month left here in Pa. I can hardly believe it myself. As a matter of fact it's something that I have to remind myself often. I've been reflecting on my time here, and it's sad to say that I cannot think of one single thing I will miss, one good experience that I've had here, or even one positive thing to say about this town. This isn't sour grapes, it is just what my experience has been here. I honestly feel that I tried to find my niche, my part of this city where I could be happy. It just never happened. People here are closed off to new experiences, and people. I haven't met anyone else like myself who moved here from somewhere else. This is a town where people are proud to be born here, and to die here. The only time people have experienced any other places is possibly college, and if they go anywhere on vacation. I feel that it causes a kind of permanent high school situation. The jocks stay the jocks, the mean girls stay mean, the prom queens desperately try to hold on to their youth, big hair, and looks, and so on and so forth. I have nothing against this mentality, but it is very uninviting to newcomers. I have never really not felt like a newcomer here. It's very strange. It has led me to feel almost like I've been in solitary confinement the whole time I've lived here. I haven't felt free to really be myself in over three years, and I am exhausted. It's really been hard this past year, because I have really been focusing on my health so much, but it has been a challenge because in my heart I am so sad, and frustrated, and full of pent up opinions, and feelings. And once I leave here, if I see one more person wearing hunting clothes, I will probably lose my mind.
I guess if I am really digging for something positive to say about my experience here, I can say that I will move forward with my life knowing that racism exists in a way that I never imagined living in a warm, fuzzy liberal bubble like Seattle. Maybe I can at some point help someone else realize it's more of a problem than a lot of people understand. There is unfortunately no way that this is the only city in America where the N word flows like wine, and if you have a problem with it, well you just aren't a real 'Merican. It can be hard to breathe in such a hateful place. It's as if all the racist people here just assume that any person with white skin feels the same way, and I have been accosted with this hate speak in the weirdest places, like the laundromat, grocery store, public bus, waiting for the bus, etc. And trying to be polite, and giving a "No Thank You" when such conversations seems to have the opposite effect, it seems to fire them up, as if now they have to make you see the error of your ways.
I also have never been so timid about being a vegan. I have made so many mistakes in my life, and I have so many regrets, but being vegan is what I am most proud of . I feel like the day I decided to become a vegan was the day that I became me. My love of animals is part of my soul, the most important part. I feel like I have to keep it to myself so that I don't have to hear the I love to hunt argument, or the animals were made for us to eat, or any of the other million and one things super charming people say. Not to mention anytime I have brought food to work, I get teased, people stick their faces all in my food to get a closer peek, and it's just always a disaster. I know these situation exist everywhere for vegans, I've certainly encountered it before, but in this narrow minded, there has to be two kinds of meat on my plate always, racist city it just happens sooooooo often I could gag.
I hope that the funk of repressed emotions, and thoughts wears off after being back in Seattle. Right now, I feel like Pigpen with a cloud of funk over my head.
I truly hope that whatever the rest of my journey is, it never involves another place like this. I feel like I've done my time in solitary confinement.