We lived in Seattle for three and a half years from January 2015 through June 2018. It was an adventure, a struggle, a joy and a heartbreak. My husband and children transitioned beautifully. Me? Less so. I did not want to move to Seattle, and I made no secret about it. I cried countless tears leading up to our departure, and I think I shed just as many once we were new Seattle residents. I was lost both personally and professionally.
Yet, a funny thing happened during our time there: I enjoyed it, not right away and not all of it, but I fondly look back on a good part of our time in Seattle. We explored a beautiful, historic city and the surrounding area (including the coast, the San Juan islands, eastern Washington and Whistler), we lived in a charming craftsman style home on a street the wonderful neighbors, I made several friends in the fashion industry, and I worked at a charming boutique in Madison Park, while returning to Dallas twice a year to assist my styling clients.
Speaking of style, another unexpected thing happened, as well. My style shifted quite dramatically. Gone were the mega high heels and the fancy clothes. Those were so “Dallas” and not very practical for the climate and topography of Seattle. I happily layered for the cooler temperatures (I have always loved jackets, coats and blazers), and most days I wore jeans, moto boots and a cozy sweater. It was a simple formula that worked beautifully. I didn’t miss having to try so hard to look perfect. The change was easy and comfortable, and a lot of the time I was still the most dressed up person around.
However, my Dallas style was not gone entirely. I felt a strong urge to keep some of it in the mix, like my signature red lip, statement jewelry and pops of bright colors. Those were the things I brought with me to Seattle. Now that we are back in Dallas, it is surprising to me how much of my Seattle style I am holding onto. I am slowly wearing heels again, but, quite frankly, I now prefer flat style shoes or low, block heels. Jeans and a sweater are still my jam this time of year. I am also not “fixing” myself as diligently as I did when we lived here previously. A lot of mornings, I leave the house for school drop off without makeup, and many days I simply comb my hair without restyling it. I don’t look sloppy; I just look more relaxed and natural. (I get the makeup on after drop off!)
I started this blog mostly from a desire to be better understood in a new place. Now that we are home, it is remarkable how much of Seattle remains with me, both from a style perspective and a personal one. I am a different, better person for the time I spent away from familiar places, people and things. It was painful, but I would not take it back for anything. Thank you, Seattle, for being a part of my journey. More to come.
Seattle photos of me by Jenna of Styled Out West and Dallas photos of me by Peg of DogMomDallas.
Glad you are truly home. Happy Holidays
Sent from my iPhone
Oh, thank you, Constance. It is good to be home. I wish you a wonderful holiday, as well.
So enjoyed your perceptive and insightful reflections! A very good example of blooming where one is planted! You weave your feelings so nicely within factual narrative. Your writings are spoken from the heart and mind. They read easily but are not trivial or shallow.
Ann, so kind of you to say. Thank you. And thank you for taking the time to read the piece. I hope you have a blessed holiday season.
Love this Bethany! Very well said and also relatable to me, also southern in Seattle. Miss you in Seattle but happy I still have the chance to see you when I’m visiting Dallas!
Yes, I am so happy we won’t lose touch because Dallas is home for you, too! Thank you for reading this.