Discussion of news topics with a point of view, including narratives by individuals regarding their own experiences

The Goodbye is an occasional series about women leaving a place behind. Are you moving and feeling nostalgic? Fill out this form, and you could be part of the series.

The Emerald City was not what I expected.

A newly minted college graduate, I moved there in 2015. And instead of Los Angeles traffic and the desert heat, I was met with lush greens and the Puget Sound hugging a quirky, growing city.

Everyone kept telling me how great Seattle was – the romantic rain, the great coffee, how they composted. But I found the rain too somber, the coffee overpriced, and the composting... well, that was fine.

The truth was I missed Los Angeles. After all, it was where I went to school and the city that raised me from a country girl to a city dweller. I missed my friends and my community. I missed the sun and excellent Mexican food. It didn’t help that I decided to move into a basement studio in November. That basement flooded twice and my heart truly, never adjusted to the gloom. Coupled with the Seattle freeze and the melancholy that follows those who move, I was over it.

I was convinced that I didn’t like Seattle, and Seattle didn’t like me. Or so I narrated.

But within a year, I had moved out of that basement and into a new home in the Central District with great housemates. I started volunteering with Young Women Empowered (Y-WE) and met a stunning network of incredible women I called friends and mentors. I left behind a string of jobs to focus on journalism. That year, I landed my first byline and my first cover story.

The Pacific Northwest showed me that water can make things grow, including a person.

Three years later, I’m leaving to continue my own personal growth. I took a job with a local NPR station and will be living in the Yakima Valley now. I’ll cover anything related to central Washington, from immigration to wildfires.

But frankly, it’s a little terrifying. I’ve moved almost every year since I was 18, and that pattern doesn’t seem to be slowing down. I have few roots. The ones I do have grew in Los Angeles, only to be replanted in Seattle, and now those too are resettling.

I am nervous for change but I am confident in metamorphosis.

Seattle, our relationship has been tumultuous, but I know you loved me because you gave me the best part of my new life: A community I could count on (and the ability to shine in rainboots half of the year).

I will miss you, you strange and beautiful city.

Goodbye to Seward Park

Seward Park. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)
Seward Park. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)

Your green was the first sanctuary I knew in this city. Despite the gray, your trails brought comfort and walking them brought me the greatest peace possible. I wrote many poems in Seward Park and learned to ride my bike again around its old growth trees.

Goodbye to the quaint coffee shops

Cafetal Quilombo. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)
Cafetal Quilombo. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)

Cortona and Cafetal Quilombo became my two favorite coffee shops, despite my previous complaints. Your coffee was divine, but your people are why I came back every time. Cortona was near home in the Central District, and Cafetal Quilombo in Beacon Hill also had some of the best tamales known to Seattle.

Goodbye to the corner of Westlake Ave. and 6th Ave.

The corner of Westlake Ave. and 6th Ave. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)
The corner of Westlake Ave. and 6th Ave. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)

I will always remember how proud I was to work downtown that first fall. How cool I felt taking the bus during rush hour thinking, “I work here. I live here!” One day, I will come back just to walk the streets a la Carrie Bradshaw again.

Goodbye to Alki Beach

You taught me that a beach doesn’t need to be in southern California or Florida to be beautiful. I’ll miss the lovers holding hands and the tourists with their cameras. I’ll miss the incredible view of the city across the Sound. A Seattle summer truly is a sight to see.

Adios to the Salvadorean Bakery

Every year, I faithfully bought my birthday cake at the Salvadorean Bakery. Now where will I get it? I hope your pupusas always stay fresh and your prices always stay low.

Goodbye to Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)
Capitol Hill. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)

I will miss the rainbow crosswalks and the incredible street style in Capitol Hill. I will miss getting dolled up to dance at Neighbors or R Place with my friends, only for us to end up at the pizza joint across the street.

Capitol Hill. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)
Capitol Hill. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)

Goodbye to Young Women Empowered

Young Women Empowered. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)
Young Women Empowered. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)

I thank my lucky stars that a community found me and took me in with so much trust. Mentoring and volunteering at Y-WE were fundamental to my formation as a woman and feminist. I hope I can always reach back and connect with you powerhouses.

Young Women Empowered. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)
Young Women Empowered. (Dakota Lynne for The Lily)

Goodbye to the Chateau

My last goodbye is the hardest – a sweet farewell to the Chateau, where I lived with friends that made you a home. You were not just an old house. You were a haven for travelers, artists, students – and me. And because of that home, I am a better writer, friend and human. I hope I gave more than I took and I promise to carry that spirit wherever I go (also, please don’t ever change the WiFi password).

Going somewhere? Check out other installments from our travel series:

I’m saying goodbye to Los Angeles. Here are 8 places I’ll miss.

I spent 14 years pursuing my dreams in comedy; now, I’m no longer seeking validation

I’m saying goodbye to Amsterdam. Here are the 7 places I’ll miss.

I moved to Amsterdam to follow love; what I found there were pieces of myself I had lost

I’m saying goodbye to Seoul. Here are the 7 places I’ll miss.

This dazzling city of contrasts became home sweet home