Hiking at Rattlesnake Ledge Trail. This was in the beginning of September when the wildfires were so bad in Oregon. Notice the dryness of the trails. I always assumed Western Washington was always wet. Nope! We are now heading into our wet season and today is a beautiful lightly rainy, crisp autumn day. I sure do miss the beautiful colorful leaves of Minnesota. P.S. if you love trees, Western Washington won't disappoint. This in the Snoqualmie Mountain area, which offers some of the best hiking outside of Seattle area.

I recently went home for a friend's wedding in September. It was great to catch up with friends and hang out with my family and see my adorable pets again! Oh how I love Sass (look at her Rita Skeeter glasses!) and my little boy, Basel (though I call him Bear). He's the whiniest corgi puppy and I need to steal him.

I've recently started volunteering with a local Greyhound rescue. The dogs are adorable and very funny. They'll just bolt across the yard and a second later stop and follow you. We're in charge of letting them outside to exercise in the evening. I'd love to get a Greyhound someday, so this is the perfect way for me to see if they're a good fit. I also get to transport them to their veterinary appointments or pick them up from around the area. It's a great organization.

Most recently, I've had excruciating lower back pain. The other night I bent over to pick up a full bus tub at the bar and froze in pain. It felt like my lumbar had been sawed off! I ended up buying a heating pad and a back brace, which have helped immensely. It's a deeper tissue muscle (no radiating nerve pain), so I'm guessing its the Multifidus or Interspinales.

While it's been a whole month since I've written an update, I've specifically put off writing because I've been very busy and I wanted to write out "the whole picture." Basically, I've been interviewing left and right and networking as much as I can (which can be difficult when you don't already have a network in your new location). A day after my interview, I got an amazing job offer! Given all my expensive bills for medical school applications, I was delighted to be able to finally have some financial responsibility. I love my new bussing job at the restaurant I work at. The pay is good, the work isn't stressful, and the people are really nice. I've had the worst luck finding affordable and nice apartments, but yesterday was my day because I move in October 1st and I only owe the first month's rent! As I'm super busy packing and testing mattresses, I'll update later!

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I suppose it's that time again...it's been several weeks since my last post simply because my life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. I've had a few mental breakdowns and times I've seriously questioned what the fuck I'm doing as I've had two promising interviews only to be told I don't have enough experience (then WTF did you invite me to a sit down interview after two exhaustive phone interviews!?) or for mysterious reasons. It's incredibly disheartening, especially as I've been on the brink of not finding long term housing as I don't have a job yet. My roommate graciously offered to sublet me her room so she could live with her boyfriend. My housemates are so amazing!!! I also love my neighborhood and have been looking for places nearby...so far I've looked into Magnolia (boring, but cute area of Seattle, perfect for retirees), and Wallingford. I've also had duds for restaurant interviews, as people have lied to me about the positions they were hiring for (who knew an expo and a wait assistant were the same!?) and one conveniently forgot to tell me after I sat in traffic for an hour that they already hired a person...after we had communicated just the night before!!!

So, I'm upset with the dishonesty and flakiness of employers but I know there are so many awesome people to work for. I'm still working hard at applying and keeping my options open. For now, I've been filling my time with visiting cool neighborhood beer pubs (love Chuck's Hop Shop with its HUGE variety of beers to drink and take away!) and biking around this hilly city. I've also donated plasma (boy is $200 "a lot" of money), which has killed my running endurance. I've been faithfully running around Discovery Park, my neighborhood, and Green Lake to build up my endurance and cannot wait to start racing again!!! I've really missed training.

I've finished applying to 95% of medical schools, made the decision to apply to some Irish programs and a Danish Masters program, done some exploring of my city and so much more...

While this month has been by the far most challenging bullshit I've ever experienced as far as stress, flakiness, people screwing me and wasting my time, I couldn't stop but reflect at how proud I am of the decisions I've made and the dedication I've put forth in following both my immediate and life goals. The older I get, the less fucks I give as far as pleasing people and worrying about what others think. Though it may not be so wise to move to a new city without a job or it's easy to give in to being super stressed about not finding a job, I remember it took me months of getting things right and interviewing before I found my two previous amazing jobs. Shit sucks but the more I put myself out there, the more I've been able to meet amazing people, opportunities, and jobs.

Other things I've accomplished/have been working on:

-my hobbies: painting (rather poorly!), reading! (I've finished Perfume, The Wall (by Sartre) and am finishing up The Trial by Kafka), hiking (Cougar Mountain today), making pizzas/baking cakes, upkeeping a small "garden" of succulents and roses, keeping up with my Swedish podcasts and Italian studies, and meeting friends and keeping up with old ones

-I've been working hard at maintaining good nutrition/trying out vegan protein shakes (hemp is good!), and eating more proteins (greek yogurt, eggs, cheese, avocados, etc.)

-I'm trying to get more involved with trading stocks, so per a friend's advice, I'm watching videos on Tastytrade

-I've also been looking into tutoring freelance through Craigslist and Varsity Tutors...it's been EXTREMELY difficult to plan due to my commitment to leaving a time slot for a full time job, but I love tutoring. Also, currently looking to volunteer with homeless youth and picking up greyhounds for the local rescue!

-I just bought new Michelin tires for my car and it made such a difference! I'm driving on clouds!

-Made plans to go up with a friend to Bellingham (where he went to college) and have long term plans to visit Portland again...and Vancouver!


-Love, and live authentically!

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Ahoy! I've been absurdly busy since I've moved to Greenwood in Seattle. To give you an idea of how nuts things have been, I've switched housing situations four times already and my cats have been complete troopers!

I broke my non-official sublet with my landlord because she lied about when I was supposed to move in and was shouting at me over the phone in broken english. As someone who has rented for four years and always has respectful relationships with my landlords, I couldn't endure that verbal abuse and stress...so I stayed at an expensive and sketchy Motel 6 for a night, found a last minute airbnb room in Tacoma to stay at for four nights, and lucked out with an awesome sublet in a 6 bedroom house near Green Lake!


Seattle's Craigslist page is chock-full of scams! I've signed fake contracts with people for sublets only to realize they were fake (luckily I never sent money). It's incredibly frustrating and disheartening, especially when you're living off your credit card and have no idea if you're going to have to make the horrible 24 hour drive back to Minnesota again...


So far, I've gone out for drinks with my roommates and new friends. I'm going to Elysian Brewing Company tonight and can't wait to try out some cannabis here ;). It's so weird to see cannabis stores all over this state when it seems every other person in Minnesota smokes pot at least occasionally, yet they never openly advertise it.

The sales tax here SUCKS. I've been paying 10% on items to furnish my house, like a used dresser, bookcase, lamp, and nightstand...it all adds up. Luckily, there's no income tax.

So far, I've been applying to medical school secondary applications left and right! Hard work DOES pay off and I'm almost done!!!! That's 22 schools done in only two months!!! Holy cow. I've also been applying and networking for jobs! I had a phone interview for a contractor and hopefully something falls through.

This weekend, I'm volunteering for a series of trail running races, so I'm super excited! I have been running a lot more lately around Green Lake and neighborhood. I even bought a hydration belt for my runs! 

Some general observations about this city:

-I miss Aldi! I shop at Safeway and Fred Meyer and wow, is produce at Fred Meyer expensive. Everyone seems to eat organic here...which doesn't match with my budget at all!

-The traffic is AWFUL, but you must plan wisely by leaving ahead of time/not going out during rush hour/walking and biking as much as you can.

-I thought it was going to be so temperate here in the summer...So far it's been hotter than Minneapolis, with temperatures in the 90s and it is SO dry right now. Can't wait for the "depressing" rain and chill ;). There's also no AC in Seattle, so boo!

-This city is filled with hipsters. Forget Portland, this place was way more "hip" than I thought it would be. Ironic t-shirts, self-righteousness, forced quirkiness abound. That's not to say there aren't amazing, genuine people out here but this holier than thou attitude annoys me.

-Lots of Bernie bros, organic, granola or bust people out here...lots of gamers and tech people, as it is the city of Amazon and Microsoft

-Driving through Snohomish Pass was one of the most amazing sights ever!!! It's right outside of Seattle on 90 and these enormous evergreen trees cover the sides of the highway. It's absolutely stunning.

-Amazing beer. JUST amazing beer out here. I'm impressed with the local microbrewery culture and how affordable it is!

-Very friendly people, but not so warm or fake as Midwesterners, which is totally cool with my direct attitude

-There's a compost collection in the city!! Love it :D


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Holy crap!

I can't believe I leave for Seattle in two days! Time has flown since I first made the decision to leave Minnesota over a year ago and embark on a huge road trip across the country to the beautiful Evergreen state. It's going to be a crazy year for me between applying for medical schools (including international programs in Ireland and Denmark), saving money, keeping in touch with friends and family, and balancing two jobs with my fitness goals. I hope I can finally get more into outdoor climbing (tonight I'm actually taking a lead climbing class), camp outside more often (instead of just in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area), cycle more often (hopefully enter a race for the first time!), get back into trail running (shouldn't be too hard with the jaw-dropping trail system in Washington state), and maybe even scuba dive in the PNW! On top of all of my outdoors activities, I hope to keep up with my Italian and Swedish language studies, and continue progressing towards A2 proficiency.

This will be a place I can share my thoughts as I learn more about myself, my passions, my career, and my new home. After I leave at the crack of dawn Wednesday, I'll be sure to document my crazy 15 hour drive to Anaconda, Montana with plenty of pictures of my cats, the beautiful scenery, and any other struggles.

Ciao!

I will certainly miss cuddling with these monsters! To the left is my Boston Terrier, Sass...it was her first time at a restaurant and she was feeling petrified!

​I will also miss hanging out with my busy friends, canoeing down the St. Croix, and trying new beers (The top left is from Canal Park Brewing Co. in Duluth and the bottom left is from Castle Danger Brewery in Two Harbors, MN). Let the adventures begin!!!

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