Well, missing parts of Seattle, that is, particularly the wealth of historic buildings, which I’ve always appreciated. If only the City of Seattle didn’t have so many other aspects (already hashed to death in precious posts, so I won’t rehash them here) which I just can’t stand.
And that’s the rub: I’ve never really found a city that I can truly love wholeheartedly. I thought I had, back in my twenties, when I moved to Seattle. Eventually a long-distance romantic relationship opened my eyes to all the ways in which Seattle is just plain dysfunctional, things that had been grating on me but which I had accepted.
By then, I was in my thirties, and thought I had found another place I could love, Portland. I even bought a home there. Then discovered just how hellish a place it is in May and June when the grass pollen levels go through the roof, and just how difficult a place it is to find a good job.
All in all, I’m glad to be out of Portland and have absolutely no intention of ever moving back there; it suits me even less well than Seattle does.
Bellingham would be ideal, if I could find a good stable job there. But that’s an awfully big if, and past experience has taught me that a good job can degrade into an intolerable one quite easily as people come and go. Jobs are so scarce there that that would leave me with the dilemma of either moving yet again (possibly taking a bath in the real estate market) or sticking it out with a bad work situation.
Which pretty much gets me to where I am today, deciding that better access to nature matters more than most of the urban amenities of Seattle. Which, in general, it does — but an evening walk through the Madrona neighborhood reminds me that there still will be things I’m giving up that, all in all, I’d rather not.