Wednesday, May 7, 2014


So, a little over two years ago I met a lovely girl named Amanda on an OKCupid date. After about three months and an interesting series of events, Amanda moved out to Seattle to attend graduate school. As a final date, I drove across the country with her and her dog, and helped her move into her new house in Seattle. Then we bid each other a heartfelt, tearful farewell at the SeaTac airport and I flew back to Chicago.

Except it didn't end there. 

Those who know me, know that I'm not a huge fan of long-distance relationships, to the point where a few years ago, I angrily vowed never to date anyone outside of the Chicago area code. 

You can probably see where this is going. Amanda and I began to spend every night talking for hours. My roommate at the time, Matt, smiled when I told him about this. When I asked him why he was smiling, he said, "Dude, you guys are totally dating."

I was surprised. Not at his pronouncement; on some level I knew that Amanda and I had been continuing our relationship long-distance. What surprised me was that I was delighted, even giddy at the thought. A few nights later, I laid it out there for Amanda, saying (with my typical tact), "Can we just call this what it is? We're clearly dating."

Several months later, after numerous flights across the country, I decided to see what life in Seattle might be like. This wasn't a decision I made lightly. I really liked my life in Chicago, as evidenced by the fact that I lived there for nine years. Chicago is close to family, friends, and right next to one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. There is literally somewhere new to try for dinner every night if I'd wanted to. I've run this city's marathon four times. I had a great job I enjoyed at a pretty awesome non-profit publishing company

And yet, the more I thought about it, the more I knew I needed to go to Seattle. 

I suppose at this point I should go for the 'ooh's' and 'aah's' by saying that I was moving for love and that's why I needed to go. 

That's part of the truth. I was moving because I loved an amazing woman. 

But that isn't the whole truth. The whole truth was that I didn't want fear or comfort being the reason I stayed in Chicago. I didn't want to look back on my life and wonder what it would have been like if I followed Amanda out to Seattle. 

In the deepest part of my heart, I knew I needed an adventure. 

Not a 2-3 week jaunt to another country. I've had plenty of those over the years. I'm talking about an extreme life change, the kind I used to make every other year when I was in college, when I lived in Ireland, then Peru, then Chicago, then Costa Rica, ultimately leading me back to my job and life in Chicago. 

Whether Amanda and I work out or not (and I very much hope we do), I knew that I had to at least try to move out to the Northwest. 

First, I asked the Great Books Foundation if they'd be willing to let me do my current job remotely. They weren't, but to their credit, they did offer me an different position in the Seattle area. Unfortunately, the position they offered (and I can't stress enough that I was grateful for the offer) wasn't something I could see myself doing. Also, I knew if I moved to do a I job I hated, it would only hurt my relationship.

So I started applying for publishing jobs, guessing it would probably be months and months before I got a bite, and thinking that if someone was interested in hiring me, I'd take that as a sign that I should move. 

Within a week, I got an interview with the second place I applied, as a Production Editor at an amazing company called becker&mayer book producers.  Please take a second to check out their website. Note the Star Wars, Star Trek, and Game of Thrones products they've worked on. 

I took the job and, as you can guess, I'm kind of in heaven at this office. :)

In fact, I'm loving Seattle. There's a troll under a bridge here. There's a science fiction museum.

There's mountains. Lakes and forests everywhere!

All built around an amazing city.

So far, life is good! Amanda and I live in a pretty nice little apartment right by Magnuson Park along Lake Washington. I've done a lot of writing. I've sold a few stories. I've joined a pretty fun writing group, and I've started training for a half-marathon in June. All of which will get their own future blog posts over the next few months.

And that's where my life is up until this point. I expect to be updating this blog a bit more frequently in the near future. Feel free to drop me a line and say hello!

1 comment:

Robin said...

Congrats on the new city, new job, and all the other good stuff! =) Seattle's an awesome city! We get out that way for vacation often and have considered making the move. We are still Bostonian's for now. Good luck!