Seattle part III: peace

I did it. I went to the place. I did the things, I’m done. Seattle is no longer on my list of things to do before I die. That city has been moved from the Not Dead Yet list to the Nailed It list. That alone feels satisfying. The trip in itself as I’m sure the readers of Mindless Peace know was far from wonderful, as I explain in part one and part two of this series. Even though the Pacific Northwest left a layer of grunge on me that was tough to scrape off I’m still thrilled I was there.

I don’t think Seattle is a bad place, I think Seattle is a bad place for me.-Genevieve Rose

It’s true that the majority of the trip was unfavorable but I did enjoy parts of it. Pieces if you will, microscopic fragments but they were happy fragments. First and foremost, I got to go with my best friend, which made the frustrations tolerable. I also rode the ferry in the rain, was literally sleepless in Seattle at the Westlake station despite never having seen that film and I saw Meredith Grey’s house. I ate great seafood and found out their coffee really is exemplary, this was experienced just from sipping what was available at the hotel. It was not Starbucks. I’m not certain of the name but it was branded as ‘Seattle’s best’ and I believe them. The hotel was modern yet comfortable. I enjoyed the mornings. I would wake up, play some soul music while Seattle’s best coffee brewed and I would look at the mountains standing above all in the background. I’d take a seat in this cozy brown, leather chair and drink it in. I’d call the hotel’s robot if I needed something delivered. I’d call even if I didn’t because I really liked the robot. She didn’t always behave though, sometimes she would get stuck in the elevator. Then I’d put on some shoes and walk the long hallway to the elevator with Teva and we would ride down to the main floor, walk through the coffee shop with the savory Top Pot donuts, past the apartments connected to the hotel and I’d walk him in some nearby grass, clean up after him and then we’d come back up to the room. I’d take off his work clothes, let him off-leash and give him breakfast. As he ate I would order room service for myself, crab cakes Benedict was a favorite. Then I’d finish getting ready while listening to a podcast. At that time it was an episode of Ask Iliza Anything where she had guys on her show talk about Bigfoot. Sounds ridiculous which it was but also hilarious. Room Service would arrive and after I had eaten I would spend some time reading the Bible because exploring a city I was unfamiliar with was a fearful undertaking for me. I read the Psalms to settle my soul and then Teva and I left for the day.

I liked the neighborhood of Queen Anne. Those on their daily walks were nice and so were the houses. It was hills galore but that’s where Meredith Grey’s house is so I had to stop there before going to Kerry Park. After watching the skyline for quite some time in the sun and the breeze, discussing Grey’s Anatomy with these people I met from England while the Space Needle stood tall in the background, I decided I wanted to go back to Dr. Grey’s house. This meant going down a huge hill. I knew I could do it but did I want to? Teva would be down for whatever, he always is. I walked near the top of the hill for a while, debating whether I should do it or not. There wasn’t really a sidewalk so I’d have to shuffle down the street. Teva and I sat down while I thought about it. Sunglasses blocked the light from my eyes. A man walking by approached us and said, “I just want to let you know there’s another step about ten feet that way.”

“Yeah, I can see,” I said as he pointed in front of me.

“Oh, okay.” He kept walking and I laughed to myself. I’ll give him that one. Girl wearing sunglasses with a Service Dog, I could be blind or I’m just wearing sunglasses because it’s sunny. Although I don’t take instances like those to heart, I know this is all I will ever be to most people, the girl with the dog who’s probably blind. That will be the first thing, the first label, the first judgment. Not always, thank God but far too often. What about the fact that I am a person? I’m a woman, a hilarious woman who usually makes an effort to look good in an interesting outfit. It would be nice to be noticed differently-said everyone at one time or another.

Can we talk about the fact that the guy thinking I was blind, didn’t say the direction the other curb was in? He just said, it was “that way,” and pointed. If I couldn’t see, how would I know which way? Maybe he was pointing it out to Teva thinking he would see it? How do seeing-eye dogs know what to do? Explain in the comments, please. Also, what strikes me when people like that aim to be helpful is you’re not really being as helpful as you think you are. Did he think I just appeared at the top of that hill? Obviously I traveled to get there. You may help someone who happens to have a disability in a moment but they live the rest of their life without you. You are not a saint for holding one door open. My Crossfit coaches get this. They help when necessary because they know how important it is for me to have the ability to help myself. To an outsider, particularly someone who sees the disability before the person, it probably looks cruel but in fact, it is helpful. Sometimes they don’t even let other gym members help me. I hate it and I love it. They do swoop in like the superheroes they are when I actually need them. My advice on this part of life that still is not discussed appropriately would be; try to see the person before the disability and ask them if they want help before you do it for them.

You may help someone who happens to have a disability in a moment but they live the rest of their life without you.-Genevieve Rose

I did go down the hill at a turtle pace with my trusty sidekick. It was hot, sweaty, and unsteady. “Are you okay?” Some woman called from her house that sat on the downward slant.

“Yeah, we’re good. I knew this wouldn’t be easy.”

“Alright,” she said. I did not get hit by any cars. That’s always nice. I coached myself with encouraging words out loud the entire way to vanquish the frustration.

“We can do this. We got this. My legs are strong. We’re not dying today, no way, in Jesus’ name. Keep going.” It’s a practice that comes easy being a dog owner and a person full of faith, encouragement keeps the light on. An Uber picked me up at the bottom of the hill when I completed the journey. A silver car appeared out of nowhere, drove down the hill and stopped at the corner. I love Uber. This trip was a phenomenal learning experience for me. It helped me reset my expectations. Dreams are not like reality but they do have a way of working out. It doesn’t matter if I don’t get what I want because it’s honestly only a feeling. I’ll keep my goals and dreams of course, how creative would I be without them? Now though, I have a better understanding of what ‘ideal’ turns out to be. I’m sure I’ll get to Paris but I’m no longer anxious to do so. I also don’t think I’ll feel unfulfilled if I don’t get there because accomplishments shouldn’t be my fuel anyway. I don’t care about career success, having all the tattoos I want, falling in love and raising tiny humans as much as I care about peace. I just want peace. I want those things because I want peace. I only truly want to live in contentment, the rest is circumstantial. It’s easy to buy the lie that selling the book and dating the hot blonde will bring me that, it won’t. No more than living across the street from a carnival, complete with a Ferris Wheel that distinctly reminds me of Neverland Ranch, will give me contentment. It makes me smile and it helps me imagine but it doesn’t bring peace. Peace resides within. I gained full access to that 3,069 days ago when I received the gift of salvation. Peace is an inside job. I certainly have it. What’s important is that I use it. Living by John 14:27 24/7 would make even the mundane feel like a dream come true.

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