Farewell 4313 4th Ave

Tonight is my last night in Seattle and I thought it only fair to give this house a proper good-bye blog post.

I have never lived in house that had so many things go wrong in just 1 year (roughly in the order I remember it all happening): leaking roof, broken dryer, serious bathroom mold, broken thermostat, water gushing from pipes, broken oven, no fridge light (but the freezer was fine and we tried changing the bulb), leaking water heater. These things, and the untimely attention from the Landlord, I will not miss.

I also will never miss the wanna-be rockstar upstairs neighborhoods who moved a drum set into our garage, played guitar at all times of the day and night and had the worse singing voice I’ve ever had the misfortune to hear repeatedly.

But it wasn’t all terrible.

I will miss the convenience of having a bar with a great happy hour just around the corner. I’ll miss the sundry restaurants within walking distance to chose from. I’ll miss the differing atmosphere’s of Seattle’s neighborhoods. I’ll miss my proximity to bodies of water and the beauty of the city.

Even more, I’ll miss having Doug and Megan so very close. I love them both dearly and I am still devising a plan to kidnap them both and make them come with me to Connecticut.

And of course, I’ll miss my roomies. Chris and I have been great friends for many years, and while living with him added new challenges to our friendship, we shared some very fun memories in Seattle. And Rebecca. Well, I miss her already. We’ve been best friends since middle school and lived together for four years  in Bellingham prior to our adventure in Seattle. I know these two will remain close friends, but I will miss seeing their faces on a regular basis.

But if I can be completely truthful, what I’ll miss the most is my independence. I promised myself when I moved out at 18 that I would do everything in my power not to move back in with  my parents. Not because they’re awful, but because I wanted to do it on my own. And for the upcoming months, I’m dependent on others to house me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the family that I am staying with and I am so so grateful that they are opening their homes to me. But it feels like I’m taking a big step backwards before I start taking even the tiniest steps forward. I just need to cherish the time I have with my dad, and then with my aunt, and remember that it’s temporary.


To my house, so long.

To my friends, see you soon.

To my family, thank-you.

And to my future, nice to meet you.


The Post-Birthday Post

I’ve been meaning to write all week. But I found it so hard to spend time in front of my computer when the weather has been so beautiful and I had merely days left to enjoy Seattle. I hope you’ll understand, my small yet wonderful audience.

So I had a birthday! And if the sweet memories accumulated during the birthday celebrations are any indication of the year to come, then I am in for a truly great year. A quick recap of the weekend:

Saturday- work, shop with Megan and Rebecca, eat an AMAZING sandwich from Jimmy John’s outside picnic-style with the lovely ladies, doll ourselves up, pick up Derek from work, dance party at the Tulalip Casino (sort of a work get-together), M&M mcflurry from McDonald’s for the car ride home

Sunday- no work!, shop (again 🙂 ), eat another sandwich from Jimmy John’s (so good), wine taste with Derek’s parent’s at Chateau St. Michelle, change into my favorite dress, dinner at a pasta bar with Doug, Mego, Rebecca, Chantha and Travis, Dad and Heather and Derek, cupcakes at Mego’s, drinks and pool in Fremont ( I actually did really well– at least for the first game), sleep

Monday-sleep in, lazy/cuddly morning with Derek, eat yet another Jimmy John sandwich (I just love them), work, hang out with Jakey and crew for a bit in Ballard, sleep

So, you see. I’ve been busy. And so so happy. Derek and I never got around to our hike- I overestimated the time we would have on Sunday and staying out til 3 on Saturday put a kink in the plans. But it didn’t matter after all. I had a perfect birthday weekend without it. Derek’s parents are lovely people; I really enjoy their company. And it was nice to have dinner with Dad, Chan and friends. It was all just perfect.

But now, as I come down from my birthday high, I must pack up what’s left of my belongings and move them to my Dad’s house in Puyallup. Derek and I are going to spend the rest of the week in my empty room on an air mattress because we’re not quite ready to leave Seattle (and we have a lot of food to try to finish). And, I’ve decided to give away even more, so we’ll also be driving to Rainier this afternoon to leave it with my mom. It’ll be a busy day. Maybe the busy will keep my mind of the change that is rapidly approaching. I think I’m ready, but I have my fears. And I feel like I have a lot to do to prepare. Let me list, it’ll help me put things in perspective.

Major To-Do’s Before East Coast Move:

-tell current employer that I am leaving mid-September (not looking forward to this talk as they are adding responsibilities to my job in preparation for a promotion)

-secure new employment in Connecticut/Massachusetts/New Hampshire (hey friends, this is the time you might share any connections with  me)

-edit down the quantity of stuff I own to 1 Kia-sized car load (accommodating for my grandpa and his small bag of clothing)

-come to terms with the fact that I will no longer see some of the best people I know on a regular basis (how do you do that!?)

And then there’s a whole lot of little stuff. Like getting new contacts ordered, deep cleaning my car, etc. etc. Eek! I’m taking it one step at a time, which means I have to tell my boss soon. If you have experience with this type of conversation, please share your wisdom.

Darlings, my alarm is going off so I must begin my day. Hip! Hip! for another day of packing and moving.

Living Out of Suitcases

The family came. The family went. And with them, they took a truck-load of my belongings. Including my desk, so I suppose I should temporarily change my blog title to something like “From the Bed of Arikka N. Hall” or floor, or couch or dining room table.

As I expected, they left later than planned and ended up sitting right smack in the middle of Seattle rush-hour traffic. Perhaps not the best start to their visit, but I think all was well once we started grilling. My tiny kitchen was rather crowded, but I loved every second of the madness. Being a one of nine in a split family = familiarity with chaos.

The girls went through my closet and happily took all unwanted clothes off my hands. We went to Doug and Megan’s for darts and scattergories.

In the morning, Mom and Ross made a full breakfast of strawberry waffles, eggs and bacon. After I scrambled to finish packing up things I no longer wanted, we headed downtown to Pike Place Market.

Jaime and I had a caricature of the two of us drawn. 

The girls and I visited the gum wall (adding a new piece, of course).

After we’d had enough of pushing our way through the mob at the market, we ventured back home to load my boxes and furniture into Ross’ truck. It didn’t take long, which is good or they would have had to sit in traffic on their way home too. It all happened so quickly I barely had time to process the change.

Wednesday morning I awoke in my fully-furnished Seattle room, exactly the way it has been since I first moved in. Thursday afternoon, the mattress/boxspring I’m borrowing from Derek for two weeks is sitting directly on the floor and I have only the necessities left. I can see a lot more carpet. My walls are mostly blank. And all my clothes are in suitcases.

It’s eerie; I feel like I’m a visitor in my own house. But it’s going to be like this for a while- I won’t really settle in anywhere for a few months. The next stop is Dad’s house in Puyallup. Then Aunty Sharon’s in Woodstock, Connecticut. Then (hopefully) a place of my own (location TBD).

All these stops along the way give me the opportunity to adjust slowly and spend some time with loved ones, but part of me just wants to get on with it. It’s weird to be living in a transition period for a couple months. I’m still here, in Washington, but my head is focused on the East Coast. I’m excited. And a little scared. But mostly just ready to jump in and see what life has in store for me. Patience has never been my forte.

I have just 9 days left as a Seattle resident and I’m trying to make the most of it. Today I went to the Bite of Seattle with Doug and Mego. Soon I hope to do a sunset kayak tour of Elliot Bay with Derek. And next Sunday, for my birthday, I’m filling the day with fun: hiking, wine tasting and dinner at a new (to me) restaurant.

So cheers to summertime, Seattle and life changes on the way.


Packing Party: Prologue

Tomorrow my mom and step-dad will buckle my three youngest sister’s into their big, red truck and venture out of my country hometown to Seattle to help me pack up my bedroom. I’ll still reside in Seattle for a few more weeks, but after they leave on Thursday I will live with a lot less stuff. It’s Step One in the process of downsizing for the cross-country move. And I couldn’t be happier to have their help.

However, it’s tough to think about the enormity of how my life will change in the next few months. Although Seattle was not as welcoming as I had hoped, I fell madly in love with my neighborhood and my house. I’m not usually a very nostalgic person, but I feel myself wanting to hold onto this home even though I’m confident in my decision to move. I have sweet memories of my home in Seattle and it’s hard to give them up for something unknown.

I have plenty of experience moving- 4 times in Bellingham, down to Eugene and back- but it always stings a bit to say good-bye. I’m glad I won’t have to be doing it alone; my little sisters will provide a pleasant distraction from the reality of my move. And I’m excited to show my mom and step-dad around town.

If you’re near Seattle stop by tomorrow evening for a bbq with my Rainier family. I won’t ask you to pack boxes or load furniture.

I’ll end with some “before” photos:


I'll miss my bedroom.




And my walk-in closet.



When I grow Up

In three(ish) weeks I will turn 24. No big deal, I thought. Until I realized that meant I would be a mid-twenty-something rather than an early-twenty-something. The “early” part of my age bought me some time. Time to decide what I was doing with  my life. I don’t think that I’m old by turning 24,  I just thought I would have had more figured out by now.

I’ve been trying to determine what I wanted to be when I grew up since I was assigned an 8th grade project on the topic. And while I have ruled out many options (like teaching and working in the tuxedo business), I don’t feel like I am much closer to having a solid answer. I don’t have a dream job. I have talents and interests. I have likes and dislikes. But no dream job. There isn’t any one particular career that I want to work towards. And as a obsessive planner I find this lack of direction very discomforting.

I think that my move to Connecticut is definitely a step in the right (and by right I mean grown-up) direction. My goal is to find work that challenges me and offers room for growth (intellectually, creatively and hopefully financially).

This simple requirement opens so many possibilities for me that I seem to get lost in such an expansive job search. I’m not just looking for employment. I’m looking for me, for my professional self- Career Arikka.

While I don’t know if the new environment will help me decide what I want to do, it’s refreshing to have a new job market to comb. I just couldn’t find a good fit with Seattle opportunities. Maybe a change in location will bring a changed sense of direction.

So my dear friends and family, I need your advice. How did you find your professional identity? And if you haven’t yet, how are you coping?

Big Move to the East, FAQ edition

Sometime around February of this year I started considering a big change.

Sometime around April I was definitely ready for change. I decided to move to the East Coast.

Between then and now I have told various family and friends about my decision.  I’ve collected some of the more popular questions I’ve been asked into this introductory blog post. Enjoy. And please comment if you have an unanswered question.

OMG, Arikka!  Seriously?! When are you moving?

Gramps Anderson and I will begin our trek by way of my Kia Spectra at approximately 8:37 am on September 18, 2010. Time is subject to change.

How cool! Are you going to stay with your family?

Initially yes. My aunt and uncle in Connecticut are gracious enough to let me stay with them as long as I need to get established. They have a beautiful home right on the lake. It will be quiet (except for the two rottweilers) and I will feel loved.

But I am thinking that the Boston area is where I would like to create my own home. We’ll see where life takes me.

Oh… How does Derek feel about you moving? (the boyfriend always seemed to find his way into the second or third question)

He’s actually quite happy. You see, he’s been accepted (with full funding) into a phD program at the University of New Hampshire. So my move to Connecticut puts us much closer together than if I had stayed in Seattle.

But, no. He’s not moving for me. And I’m not moving for him. It just worked out perfectly for both of us.

Do you have a job lined up?

Not at all. But I’m working on that. Or at least I will be. My aunt (see above) knows some people who know some people, so I may find a job through that network.

For some reason, I’m not too concerned. I’m a smart girl and I’ve worked hard- so I feel like something great has to be right around the corner. But if you know of any employers in my (soon to be) neck-of-the-woods who might be looking for someone with my talents, please direct them to the resume section of this blog.

What are you going to do with all your stuff? (Ok, so no one actually asked me that but I need a place to plug all of the things I’m trying to sell)

Well, I discovered I can fit three suitcases and a few boxes into my car. And that’s (more-or-less) the quantity of the stuff I’m going to keep. My sisters are happy to raid my closet and take all would-be abandoned clothes. But I am looking to find a new home for the following items (an abbreviated list):





-whole bunch of  kitchen stuff (dishes, baking pans, pots, etc.)

-beta fish tank (fish not included)

– old TV

If you want stuff, let me know.

Until next time,


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