Friday, March 27, 2009

Go West, Young Woman! Seattle. Fine.

So I reserved a Penske truck from Chicago to Seattle. When I left Seattle in August of 2007 (a lifetime ago) I (a) never expected to return and (b) promised my husband that we'd be moving on a fat corporate relocation package when I graduated. Ha. Wrong on both counts.

I grew up east of the Cascades and can count on one hand the number the number of times I traveled west across the mountains before college. New York City was actually the only city I knew very well. Summer vacations to my grandmother's east side apartment and Sag Harbor home stood in stark contrast to the scrubby, off-the-grid existence I experienced for the remainder of the year. I started college in the Berkshires, thrilled to finally live in "civilization". But the New England charm quickly wore off and a semester at a college on the upper west side quickly wore me down. So after a succession of unexpected events, I found myself a college dropout at the height of the dot com bubble cleaning houses for newly minted Microsoft millionaires and delivering pizzas to frat boys in the U-District. (In Seattle.)

Ironically, if it weren't for Seattle I would never have gotten an MBA. I finished college in Portland and decided I had found my home for life and had about as much education as I could handle. Unfortunately, my husband couldn't make a living in Portland and back north I went. I don't know why I dislike Seattle. It's not a proper city (Chicago, New York). It doesn't have the edgy, charm of Portland. But the scenery is fantastic. I'm perfectly fine with the weather. (In fact love the weather.) It's clean and affordable and has decent jobs (normally) and doesn't frown on ambition like Portland. And, in fact, there aren't many cities I would choose to live in over Seattle. But when we moved north, all I could think of was getting out and an MBA seemed like my ticket. Transformed from MBA hater to MBA lover, I expected to end up in New York, London or Hong Kong post-degree.

But there is also a sense of relief. It's an infinitely practical solution in an increasingly puzzling world. So fine. Seattle it is.


Anonymous said...

Have enjoyed reading your blog for the past two years...your honesty and realistic point of view truly sets you apart. I applied to Booth (well, still GSB to me) in early 2008 and was dinged, but consider myself lucky given what happened in September. Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for everything you've shared...we've never met, but I look forward to your postings as much as I enjoy emails from old friends. Best of luck to you, your husband and the kids in Seattle - be sure to drive up to Canada to Okanagan region for some fantastic (and reasonably priced) wines!

The.Grey.One said...
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MaybeMBA said...

Anon, thanks so much for the kind words. Many times over my MBA life (particularly in those moments when I had nothing but bad things to say in the first year) I thought perhaps I should stop blogging. So it's so great to hear it wasn't for naught! (And man do I feel fortunate to have applied before 2008.) Cheers.