My time in Seattle has come to an end…for now

I came to Seattle a few years ago, completely burnt out on the idea of being a designer.

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In fact, when Amazon recruited me, I was freelancing to make ends meet but was saving up to go to med school. I got the call to come in for an interview, and eventually got an offer, and so I took it. I figured that this was going to be my one last shot I would give design, as a profession, before I swore it off completely. I rationalized with myself that I could always quit if I still found it awful or boring. I didn’t know a soul, and I figured that it was half of the fun of coming to a new city. I flew in the night before I was slated to start my job, overslept, and nearly missed my new hire orientation the next day. I think I drove to the office that morning and forgot what parking lot I had parked in, and spent the better part of that evening checking all of the underground parking lots in South Lake Union.

After my first week in Seattle, I knew that I had finally found somewhere that I belonged. Over the course of the next few years, I learned a lot about myself and what it meant to me to be a designer. Each quarter, as I reviewed my professional goals at work, I always made it a point to list out a few personal goals for my own edification. They included things like, “move on from the boyfriend who doesn’t treat me the way I deserve,” “go back to grad school and finish the damn degree,” “solve real problems,” etc.

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I’ve spent the better part of three years in Seattle deconstructing my identity and rebuilding it in the image of the person that I thought I’d grow up to be: someone who would put others above herself, someone who would give back more than she took, and someone who prioritized people over artificial/created problems. I can say with a clear conscience that I unabashedly gave myself to my work, my craft, and my tribe.

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A lot of people have asked me about what my greatest accomplishment was during my time here. I had launched quite a few products and helped on projects across a lot of different teams. It’s easy to define yourself by the traditional markers of success — what you launched, how much you made, etc — but for me, success is a little different. What I consider my biggest successes are the three people I helped mentor in to new roles and positions. Of all the projects I worked on across all of the different parts of the company, I found that helping these three specific people achieve their goals was singlehandedly the most important thing I could’ve ever done over these past three years.

I leave Seattle knowing that I’ve done my best, in all aspects. I left no stone unturned. I’m looking forward to coming back to what I’ve already dubbed as my forever-home in the near future. Until then…

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Looking forward to what’s next!

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