From the Blog

I Totally Forgot: I’ve Been Here A Year

January 21 was my one year anniversary of moving to Portland. A year!

In December 2007, I had just gotten back from a short-lived relocation to the Big Island of Hawaii. I spent a month in the Los Angeles area, visiting friends and staying at my parent’s for the holidays. The plan was to pack up when everyone got sick of me, and hit the road.

There was a temptation to stay in California. I could have probably gotten a good paying job at one of the studios, rented an apartment in west LA somewhere, and essentially resumed the life I had before moving to Hawaii. My sister was around the corner. I had a network of really great friends. My parents were out in a quiet suburb not far away. There were 100 reasons to stay. I could have even just stayed for a year, as some friends advocated, just to get reoriented and plan my next move.

But I knew if I delayed, I might not have the momentum to pull up stakes later. And it was the comfort that I was essentially trying to avoid. That gooey, alluring, dream-delaying comfort that is so easy to slide into. Years had gone by while I was fairly “comfortable.” I made enough money, but I was doing soulless accounting work (not my fault!), I had okay jobs, but a couple of crazy friggin bosses that made me feel mentally ill. I had nice apartments, but I could never hope to afford to buy my own place. I had relationships, some great, and some not so great. I could have very easily stayed, developed a routine, and been comfortable. Perhaps it’s crazy that that’s not what I wanted.

I had a bit of coffee shop money left over from Hawaii, but I borrowed from a friend so I wouldn’t end up living under a bridge. I drove to Portland from Southern California over the course of two days. I wasn’t under any sort of deadline to arrive. I had no job or apartment waiting. I didn’t know a single person in Portland. I stayed at a scary Motel 6 (how was I supposed to know?) and scrounged for wireless internet at coffee shops while I looked for jobs and apartments. It took about a week to find an apartment, two weeks to get a job, and about three weeks for me to meet the guy who is now my fabulous boyfriend.

Doesn’t it sound adventurous? It was! It was crazy! What the fuck was I thinking? I wonder about it now, and it freaks my shit out. I’m sensible, not reckless. Doing the same thing now, a year later, I don’t think I could manage it. It’s not just the current economic instability that makes it seem scary now. Right now, it feels awfully nice to be comfortable.

But Portland is a magical place and moving here solved everything!

Comments

  1. yeah – that was pretty damn gutsy to do what you did, but it really worked out for you! this is sort of the kind of story i need right now – about doing things that are scary even they are not comfortable. good things (can) happen when you push beyond your self-imposed limits.

  2. Hotdamn. Well, congrats for making it a year. I think I’m happy with Portland, myself (and I only moved here 6 months before you).
    I linked the same Onion article in my own blog a few months ago… heee. ^_^

  3. Yes, not many people would have done that, and you pushed through. I do believe we go through waves of instability, uncertainness and unfortunate circumstances but manage to come out on top. Then if something like that happens again, it’s easier, because you know you can make it. You did last time and you’ll be ready if there is a next time. Congratulations on being comfortable!! You deserve it!!

  4. I’ve been stalking you since you moved to PDX.
    You sound the happiest I heard you over the past few months.
    I’m glad you moved to our neck of the woods.
    Congrats on the year!

  5. Welcome home.
    Michael

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