Stream of Consciousness: Welcome to Portland

I’m here, I’m doing it.  Finding the quirks and the gems that make this city’s heart beat.  Diving into another lesson on loneliness and taking chances.  Daily practices of hope, positivity, and productivity that I’ll land my perfect job.  Reasurring myself that opening up to vulnerability allows a deeper discovery of self and an evolution of strength.  Reminding myself that minor frustrations are temporary, and also putting focus towards how good I feel when I walk  these streets.  Taking in the beauty of the roses and lemon verbena that seems to line every sidewalk.  I can smell the air.  It’s fresh, it’s sweet.  I’m a constant stranger and somehow everywhere is my home.  Portland is my home.  What new discoveries await…

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Everything in Its Right Place

Getting to Portland posed a bit of a dilemma for me, rather moving all my s*** was difficult to pull off.  I sold my car about a month ago and prior to deciding I wanted to move more permanently to the West Coast, I more or less lived out of a backpack for 2 years (unless I was back East where all my belongings stayed).  Once I had to be responsible for giving all my things a home (although I was surrounded by beautiful objects, familiarity, and my creature comforts), I’ve realized it’s a real big pain in the ass, given my lifestyle I haven’t yet wanted to give up.

Last year, I packed my Subaru as full as I could and brought it to the Marin Headlands of Sausalito, CA where I lived for a few months. I stayed in a ginormous bedroom  that needed to be filled, so I went on craigslist and bought a cool coffee table.  Well, my job, along with the housing that was offered with it, was only temporary, so 4 months later I had to move it all out.

Next, I went to go work and live on a farm.  This time my accommodation was more creative and I moved into a ginormous tent, along with my cool coffee table, a tempurpedic bed, a rug, and a tiny bookshelf.  Oh yeah, gypsy life was really suiting me now.  You can imagine how cool I felt when I invested in a sheepskin.  This lasted for about 4 months.  Then my English boyfriend’s visa ran out, and I thought I was going to suffer the cold for another month or so, but the very next day he left, the zipper to the tent broke.  Solution:  camper!

The camper was kind of on its last legs, but definitely an upgrade as far as space and warmth were concerned.  I had to say goodbye to the igloo oasis along with the memories of the beautiful English guy that maybe I’d see again one day.

A month later, I went on a hiatus to Southeast Asia and I was happy to live out of a backpack again for 5 weeks.  Not long enough though!  When I came back, my car broke down a couple weeks later; I sold it.  I already had it set in my mind that I was going to move to Portland, and when I decide something, it’s just the way it’s going to be.

I offered a friend’s dad payment on top of gas there and back, and he was more than happy to take me.  The 10 hour drive was long, and I wanted to stay awake and keep him company for as long as I could, but I couldn’t help but catch a snooze here and there.  Driving just hypnotizes me.

We got fish and chips at a seafood joint he frequents and he encouraged me to order whatever I wanted.

“Hey, it’s your money anyways.”  He joked.

Later on he told me at least twice how happy it made him to buy me dinner and have company at a meal.  My heart melted a little.  I realized how nostalgic this trip was for him once he told me he would travel that route up to Washington with his late wife all the time.  He talked about her the entire way there.  Out of all the anecdotes, I know that she died, “July 22 on the john at 10 minutes to 12:00.”  Yes, that’s on the john.  He told me it’s actually pretty common for the elderly to die that way, and was quite frank about the whole thing.

We pulled into a pit stop where he and his late wife would stop for a hot pork sandwich.  Attached to the restaurant was a gift shop and he insisted I pick out a mug for him to buy me.

As we pulled up to my new abode in Portland I asked him what he was going to do on the way back.

“Buy a hot pork sandwich.”  I laughed and hugged him goodbye.

Now I’ve got a new place for all my things.  And I realize I have too many clothes, and what sane person who travels this much has 4 boxes of books?  Alas, I have my perfect writer’s nook.  Everything in its right place… For now.