I think Seattle is a stressed city. Like, everybody’s worried about something.
The "Land Use Action" notices that seem to be popping up everywhere and always signal yet another condo building in place of a historic home.
Rising rent prices.
Traffic getting worse.
Amazon changing even more of the cityscape.
Pursuit of better jobs, more success, more days off, enough money to put food on the table.
It is a young city, a city of transients and transplants, a city caught in between the drive for financial success and the urge to get out into the mountains and have a day off. It is a city where the hunger of the homeless is matched by the high cost of coffee; and where the $15 minimum wage is not even close to a living wage. It is a rapidly changing city. There are more building cranes in the cityscape than in any other US city.
There is so much to love about Seattle, but I do find I’m more stressed being here. I feel the push of the city rushing forward, and the pull of those who don’t want things to change too quickly. I too see new buildings going up and think “everything’s changing.” And not all change is bad; gentrification has made some neighborhoods safer and brought in businesses. But not all change is good either, and when change is primarily driven by money, it will be voracious; it will never be satisfied.
Already I feel myself more driven by success, more insecure about my accomplishments, more anxious about change than I have ever been before. But I don't want to be driven by the desires of this city, controlled by its mores, or in pursuit of its successes. The challenge is how to enter in to the life of the city while holding myself - my heart - separate; letting God hold my heart and set a different standard of success.
As a newcomer in this city, I'm still trying to make sense of Seattle culture, what the people and city are like. This is the first of an ongoing series on my observations of the city. I'm not trying to define anyone, just make sense of what I'm seeing and experiencing.