Regardless of who knows me and who doesn’t, I have come to realize that I am an optimist, an idealist, and a dreamer. Every day I am becoming more and more comfortable living in my skin, embracing the adventure of where the day takes me, and calling myself an artist, valuable, and my ideas brilliant. I realize that I may make the people around my uncomfortable at times but in the end I am responsible for myself and I have set out to do the best I can, with what I have, in that moment. Tonight I was reminded that I need to raise my expectations.
I believe that I have the ability to change the atmosphere when I walk into a room. I believe that I am a powerful person. I believe lots of things that at times can seem like just ideas or “theory” but tonight the switch was flipped.
I was invited to an industry party tonight by a new friend and was excited to go be a part of the greater creative community in the city that I love however I had a feeling that I might be attending this party alone. Driving up and parking down in South Lake Union brought “first dance” nerves as I didn’t know what to expect and was in a bit of a funk because I only knew one person who was going to be there and so while I was excited I also felt that I could potentially be in for a long and lonely night. I stepped out of my car into the crisp evening air and heard a very familiar sound…a marching band. Immediately I felt at home. It felt like a Friday night football game and I was transported back into feeling like a 16 year old football player. As I walked toward my final destination I decided that I needed to raise my expectations for the night. It was a blessing just to be invited, I felt honored to be included, and I should expect something wild to happen. “Be prepared for something amazing” I told myself as I walked past Soundwave (the Sounder’s marching band) who was greeting people out in front.
Was it all roses and ecstasy when I walked through that door? It was not. I didn’t know anyone. I don’t really drink so the open bar wasn’t really my thing. It seemed like everyone there came with someone else. I just couldn’t pull the trigger and just walk up to a small group of friends (strangers to me) and just start introducing myself. It wasn’t that type of night. Should I leave, should I stay? Where am I anyways? That’s when the beauty began to unfold.
This gathering was held at the beautiful Museum of History and Industry in South Lake Union and as I began to walk around the main floor I began to see some of the most inspiring and encouraging statements I have seen in a long long time. Innovation in Seattle was being highlighted, people who have chased their dreams were showcased, and I was immersed in the beauty of their stories that surrounded me. Signs displayed statements such as “Innovation is Messy” and “You don’t have to operate within the pie chart you’ve been given. You can create your own pies (Dawn Tredeau).” All that I love about my city was laid out in all it’s beauty within the building that is MOHAI. It was inspiring. It was encouraging. Forget the party, I just was able to spend the night on a date with myself and was encouraged beyond all measure. I could have spent hours exploring that place and I will be back with a notebook in hand.
Was it what I was expecting? No. Was it what I needed? Yes. It awakened something inside of me. It reminded me of all the ways that I love my city. It reminded me of my dreams, goals, and ambitions and why I do what I do. It was inspiring. It was encouraging. I felt like a kid in a candy shop.
On the way back to my car I looked out and saw the space needle lighting up the foggy skyline and said to myself “I love my city.”