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‘Finding our community was worth it.’ What it means to find your place in Seattle

Seattle turns 165 years old on May 23. To mark the milestone, we asked you to help us honor it by reflecting on a pretty personal question: “What keeps you here?” A lot of you shared your stories (thank you!) and we’re sharing out your answers over the next several days… 

Feeling at home where you live can be a process. It can take time to warm up to a place, and to find the people, places, and communities that make it worthwhile.

In honor of Seattle’s 165th birthday this week, we asked you a question: What keeps you in Seattle? We’re sharing out your replies over the next several days, and today, readers Kat OvertonAnne Hilton, and Jennie Shortridge get into what it means to find your place:

“It is a goldmine for wonderful Ultimate frisbee players and playing opportunities. We play year round on turf, grass, indoors, and on the beach because the weather is (overall) so agreeable here. Seattle has the biggest Ultimate population in the country, and it is only getting stronger with its successful youth programs. It makes me so hopeful and gives me a sense of special community that I don’t think I could ever sacrifice. The photo I’ve shared [at the top of the post!] is from our Monday night Golden Gardens Beach Ultimate pick-up games. I love it because it has sunshine, friends, frisbee, sailboat races, the Olympics, and the Sound — it’s basically only missing the city skyline and Mt Rainier.
— Kat Overton

“I actually got really sick of Seattle a few years ago and went so far as to get a job offer in Boston, but when it came time to decide, my wife pushed for us to stay here. So we did. At the time, I wasn’t super happy with the decision, but sticking it out and finding our community was worth it. Part of falling back in love with Seattle was, cliché or no, taking the time to appreciate what we have, including the pieces of our city that are in plain sight but easy to overlook or dismiss because you’re too busy. I used to walk the South Ship Canal Trail every day at lunch (when I worked near Fremont), for example. My wife and I started being deliberate about planning nights out, taking advantage of community events, and becoming more civically engaged. It took a few years, but I’ve made my peace with Seattle, warts and all. We’ve got a lot of problems, but we’ve got a lot of heart.
— Anne Hilton

“It’s the best place to be a working writer. Here I have a stellar writing and reading community, a supportive book ecosystem with so many independent bookstores and literary organizations including the amazing Hugo House(about to move into its new forever home in Capitol Hill), and a nonprofit collective of authors (Seattle7Writers.org) with whom I get to hang out and give back to the community in myriad ways to support literacy. It may be expensive, it may be difficult, but I’m staying.
— Jennie Shortridge

Thanks to everyone who’s been sharing what keeps them in Seattle. Check out more of your answers here, read yesterday’s stories about family ties here, and stay tuned for more of your stories tomorrow.

By Mónica Guzmán
Mónica is the cofounder and editor of The Evergrey. She's been a Seattle journalist for a decade and adores this city.