This post is different than just about every post on my blog. I don’t have any pictures to describe such an intensely intimate experience. I don’t think littering this blog with pictures of everybody I saw would do the kindness of Seattle justice. I saw so many people from so many parts of my life.

I had some idea what I was rolling into town but didn’t have firm plans. I sent out some emails, text messages, and Facebook Messenger smoke signals and then let serendipity kick in. About 15 years ago, somebody wanted to ride with Homoto on one of our big flagship rides. We’ve traded notes every other year or so but have not seen each other in person since. He generously opened up one of his properties for me to stay in the center of Capitol Hill. Wow. Thank you.

As a gay man, I’ve never lived in the “gayborhood.” Of course, I have been to the Castro, but it’s not the same as living in the Castro. It was enlightening/empowering/overwhelming to have so much of the community around me. It’s not the experience I know back at home. It was certainly good to discover such an intense community in the heart of downtown Seattle. There is a part of me that will always be a product of suburbia – however I did enjoy really feeling the city’s heartbeat in the prime of summer. I’m sure Januaries in Seattle aren’t nearly as glorious, but I’ll take the great days I have now.

I connected with people from work on a purely social level. In a remote first office, I firmly believe nothing replaces face time with your colleagues – especially face time getting to know each other as humans. Every time I travel, I will carve out a small chunk of time to connect with my team if both of us have time. Extended periods over Zoom challenge long-term relationships. Even lunch with a colleague, builds demonstrable bridges across the team.

I connected with a trusted customer who moved on to a different opportunity. We used to ride motorcycles back in the Bay as we both enjoyed the same kind of motorcycling. He asked me questions about my career as well as where I came from, revisiting some challenging moments in my community’s past that I hadn’t revisited in three decades as a west coast adult. Always, always, review long-term beliefs to check in to see if they’re still valid. I am really thankful for the exposure and the chance to think differently.

A college fraternity brother of mine popped up in the Rivian community. Talk about a small world! We chatted about all things Rivian. He had the SUV; I drove the truck. He was way out in Ballard, and it was fun to see the neighborhood’s industrial, chic, and highly transitional environment. Throughout that lunch, I wondered, what odds would we cross paths like this after so many years apart?

A former roommate of mine shortly after college opened his home and allowed me to stay for the evening. He and his wife drive a Tesla and allowed me to confirm that the Rivian will work with Tesla destination chargers (the slow kind) overnight or in a pinch using the Lectron adapter. He and his wife are such fantastic people. I loved talking tech with him, nerding out on literary things with his wife, and meeting their three lovely children.

Somehow, my oldest friend from all the way back east settled in Seattle with his now wife. We were scratching our heads to see when we last met up. It’s been at least 15 years. It was great to see how much has changed for each of us in that span of time. We had a fantastic evening out on Lake Washington in a small sailboat (a Sunfish, I think?), a great hike through Discovery Park the next day, and wrapped up seeing the salmon ladder and locks (more on that later). We talked about many things spanning so many years across our lives. It was a grounding discussion about who I am and where I’ve been as a man.

Lastly, I connected with some relatively recent friends who moved to Seattle recently. While it was great to see old faces, seeing recent ones is equally lovely. We went to the locks (again for me, lol), had lunch at Ray’s on Puget Sound, and hit a few places on Capitol Hill.

I was humbled I had the opportunity to meet so many different people across so many other aspects of my life in such a short time. I can’t really put the love and intensity into words. I am humbled and filled by my friends’ generosity in staying in people’s homes and breaking bread with their families.

I am full; I am genuinely full.


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