Goodbye to a place I love

My friend tells me that border security will punch a hole through my drivers license when I pass the border.

I am aghast when she tells me this, because my license is a piece of my identification as a canadian. It’s silly, it’s a piece of plastic, but it’s my identity.

It’s like I am leaving it behind, in Canada. Have you ever moved countries?

You know how some robots look almost human, but not quite human enough? This is Seattle. It’s still the west coast and it looks almost like Vancouver, with a mountain in the background (in the photo above), but I know better. I have no friends here.

The point of this is that I am now realizing the gravity of what I have to give up, to pursue my next job in the states.

Is it worth it? I don’t know yet.

I will be getting a new ID card, a new identity to define me. I might have to be less nice, in the USA.

I read that I will be considered a minority race and gender in Seattle.

I research the mountains where I can go skiing or mountain biking.

I have been browsing the American news sites for the past month.

This is a chance to start fresh, to make my mark, to not let my past define me. I will always be me inside, and no hole punches can take that away from me.

Goodbye for now, Canada.

I wrote the above when I was expecting to move. Now that I have finalized everything, I wanted to share a bit more about what happened.

I view 14 apartments in 2 days. I arrange the appointments so I tour the city in a circular shape and leave 15 mins between each one.

However, I drive into Seattle by accident and wait in 45 mins traffic on a highway to drive back to Bellevue (a small city to the north).

I put in so much work to optimize my route and did not account for human error. But, Bellevue is such a small town that I complete all the Bellevue viewings in one day, so I only had 4 viewings the next day.

There is nothing in Bellevue. There’s no nature, no interesting restaurants, nothing but highway and houses.

I end the day satisfied with myself, and disappointed in the plain city.

The first American cheque I ever write is to pay a parking ticket. The streets are arranged in monstrous shapes and at some point I’m driving towards another car head-on.

That’s not why I get the ticket, though. There are these 5 signs on a pole and I skim through them while I’m rushing to the SSN office and one of them says I have to be a food service vehicle to park there. I’D ALSO PAID FOR A LEGITIMATE STREET PARKING TICKET. 

I’m a nobody in the USA without an SSN but apparently I can still pay money.

I pick a cave in a quiet city with blue cabinets. Navy blue is one of my favourite colours. There is a hot tub and the lobby is still under construction and smells like chemicals.

I’m excited about the apartment. I already know where I’m going to put a piano when I get one (to the left of the window).

“You can have my bike,” Kat says. “I never use it.”

“We were thinking you could own plants!” Marinah says.

“You guys could help me decorate,” I say.

“You could go hiking since you’re so close to the trails,” Marinah says.

The excitement is contagious. I had a really rough few days looking for housing, and there were so many hoops to jump through.

A lot of services are more expensive or not available to me since I don’t have an SSN yet.

That’s actually a huge deal since the Canadian to US dollar conversion rate isn’t the best, and I’m racking up a lot of extra fees on my Canadian credit card. 

I look at my hands that are bleeding from moving my boxes: I only budgeted for one year of travel and then the visa delayed for almost 5 months, and now I’ve racked up those charges.

I don’t always know how to ask for help. I am scared to ask.

But this is me asking for help. 

I started a Patreon.

I’m running out of funding and I haven’t been able to play piano for the past few weeks… since I don’t have one yet.

A Patreon is where you can donate as much or as little money to me each month so I can keep playing and teaching piano.

I will put some exclusive and more personal content on the Patreon. The updates will have more behind-the-scenes. I am also going to play more piano for you once I get my digital piano, and you’ll see more stuff I’m working on.

I would be grateful if you decide to donate any amount of money. This is not required at all and I would still be grateful if you stick around.

The main blog will always be free, since I believe in an open, inclusive music community, so there’s no pressure to donate.

So here is the Patreon link.

I’m in a tough place but I’ll get through this, and I’d be grateful for your help.

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