Life Updates – New City, New Job, New Opportunities

A view from the park in downtown Bellevue, WA. In the foreground, a long waterfall is flowing into a large reflecting pool. In the background, skyscrapers, trees, and a crane are visible. The sky is grey and cloudy.

I have been in Washington for three and a half weeks, and I have been so incredibly busy. Life has felt like a whirlwind since I left California… meetings, volunteering, starting work, trainings, appointments, coffee dates, exploring… I’m absolutely loving it!

I’ve already hit the ground running at my new job. On my first day of work, I was in the office for 11 hours! Since I’m working in the emergency management and community risk reduction field, I am attending various trainings and community outreach events after hours and on the weekends. I’m currently getting trained as a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member, and soon enough I’ll be CPR certified and will have worked my first fire department open house at an active fire station.

It hasn’t all been peachy – I’m a little squeamish when it comes to injuries and emergency medical procedures, which are topics that come up quite frequently in the fire department. However, the good things I have encountered in my new role have far outnumbered the uncomfortable ones. I’m very tired when I get home at the end of a long day of work and training, but I’m also grateful to have so many opportunities to learn and get involved with my new department.

I also love working downtown – I wasn’t sure how I was going to adjust to working in the cubicle-filled city hall, but I actually quite like it! I love looking out the office windows and seeing downtown’s skyscrapers and the surrounding naturescapes. I love getting to stop for coffee at cute, local cafes on my way to work, and I love being able to walk to a wide variety of restaurants on my lunch break. I could do with a little less rain and a little more warmth during the day, but I’m sure I’ll adjust to the autumns and winters here eventually (just maybe not as quickly as I’ve adjusted to life in a real metropolitan area). 

I’ve also embraced the cliche “say yes to whatever comes my way” mentality, and so far things have been working out well for me. I’ve said yes to meeting up with old acquaintances. I’ve said yes to playing video games with a group of people who live on Capitol Hill in Seattle. I’ve said yes to canvassing with a nonprofit organization in a South King County swing district. I’ve met a ton of new people, made new friends, reconnected with old ones, and have figured out more of my own likes, dislikes, and strengths. It can be hard to put yourself out there when you move to a new place, but I’m happy to say that so far I’ve been able to do it and that I’ve been met with positive results.

Well, that’s all for now! Stay tuned for more life updates when my work schedule calms down in a few weeks – I’m just dying to share more about my experiences volunteering (I found some great opportunities, y’all!) and some of the challenges that I’m going to be facing in my job (like not passing out during a disaster medical simulation).