Thursday, December 20, 2012


Too bad I quit blogging before I told you about the best London/Paris summer of my life.

I started writing the night before my 30th and lost patience with the inability to express myself.  I don't want to let what I did put together get lost in the shuffle of files on my Desktop, so thanks Blogger (new redesign, what?!) for being the journal I basically quit write in on occasion.  The thoughts of my mind will never truly be finished, so here's the snapshot on the last day of 29.

It’s not often I feel unable to express the thoughts and feelings and connecting threads of my heart and mind and gut. Tonight, the last night of my twenties, I feel inadequate at the task of compiling my feelings and taking a meaningful stab at portraying the goodness and wonder and un-believability of my life on the eve of my dive into the 30+ age bracket.

For as organized as I am, I’ve never been a long-term planner. I never had a life plan with milestones set by age which has probably allowed me to love the life I’ve been given and the route it took me to get here. The life I live is an accumulation of small scale goals, personal challenges, and blessings from above so rich in abundance that I still can’t quite believe this is my life.

Where my last year has been rife with change of the temporal variety, the last decade has been fraught with self-perpetuated personal change. While I’m fundamentally the same flesh and blood, I hardly recognize the girl I was ten years ago. I've worked really, really hard at refining who I am. I joke with my oldest friends, congratulating them on their high return on investment. Theirs was a long-term gamble whose dividends were hardly worth mentioning in those early years. 

My 20's taught me resiliency. Flexibility. Faith. I'm proud of who I've become while recognizing the difficult conversations, the hard inward looks and the patience it took to become a better version of me. The coolest (slash scariest) part is that the process is never really finished. What will I learn in the next ten years?

The first day of my 30th year is welcome; I can’t wait to see what happens next.

I will forever mourn the fact I didn't write a 29th birthday letter. I'll blame the packing my Boston life away for that one, but I regret not writing deeply.
Turning 28
Turning 27

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Coastal Memories

Not only is Memorial Day the official summer kickoff, it's also the first paid-vacation-holiday of the year... which means I generally try to get out and about. (See: checking out the Czech Republic, hiking the death march with Katie in Colorado Springs, visiting the Chinese cemetery in Baker City, camping at Acadia National Park in Maine, singing kareoke with sailors during Fleet Week in New York City, commandeering a beach house in Connecticut.) This weekend proved no different as a friend had a hook-up to a beach house at the coast here in Oregon.

Without a doubt, the long weekend proved to be one of the best of the year. It was colder than any of us would have preferred, but it didn't rain, most of us still managed to get into the crashing surf (even if forced because the losing volleyball team had consequences), and the sun managed to come out on Monday. Any trip where you come home with more color than you left must be deemed a success.

How many years of my life have I been the tallest person girl in my group of friends? Newsflash: I'm the shortie around here now. It's an alternate universe, I'll tell you what. These girls are my favorites:There aren't photos that capture what we spent the majority of our time doing, and that's eating. We brought groceries and foodstuffs for 25 15 and only ever had 10 people. Three full meals a day is 1.5 more than I normally eat, plus snacks, and two trips to Mo's and man oh man it's a miracle I didn't come home 10 lbs and/or two sizes larger than I left.
Perhaps my biggest accomplishment of the trip (besides being the first to bed every night... who am I anymore?) was that I got out running two times. Granted, I didn't go very far or very fast, but as someone who's never exercised on vacation, it was a crazy step in the right direction. I'm only sorry I missed the Insanity workout most of the other folks did... I'm running a dumb Half in less than two weeks, and surely you remember that miles are miles and they must be logged.
Though the pictures don't show it, we spent most of our time on the sand playing beach volleyball, inside the house playing games and laughing uproariously, or hip-shaking to the ghetto-thumper playlist we kept cycling through while playing, cleaning, preparing food, etc.

Getting back into the swing of things has been pretty gnarly, I won't lie -- who ever really loves going back to real life? I have a feeling this summer is going to be a good one...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

5 Months and Hometown Glory

The radio silence hasn’t been intentional, not at all. Until last night I thought it rather accidental to be honest.

Back Bay view from Storrow Drive
My grand epiphany came as most are wont to—one thought, then two, then many that appeared from nowhere while walking alone on brick paths reflecting the light of the streetlights, the cobblestones slick with the rain that continued to fall. Have I appropriately painted the picture of Adele’s “Hometown Glory*”? In this case, the description isn’t a cliché—it really happened wandering from work to my hotel; the distance between Seaport and the Back Bay just long enough to make sense of the jumble of thoughts in my mind.

You wouldn’t know because I didn’t announce it very loudly in advance, but I’ve spent the last week in Boston for work. [Enter mixed emotions I’ll try my darndest to explain.]

It’s been five months since I left and I’ve been quieter in the online world. My blog has lain mostly dormant and fewer Facebook photos, updates, comments, etc. have been posted as I’ve spent time bridging the gap between what I affectionately call my Old and New life. My Old life was comfortable and I was doing some incredible things in all areas of my life. I didn’t feel like my soul was in a rut; but the routine of my life most definitely was.

The transition to Portland has been thrilling. I’ve spent my fair share of time feeling anxiously queasy with nerves, attempting to navigate a new social, vocational, and spiritual scene—but I’m learning that those feelings are conquerable with the right attitude and willingness to fake it til you make it. I’ve proved yet again, that people are interested in you if you’re interested in them and that there are incredibly nice, good people everywhere trying to do the right thing. I’ve learned that the presence of hope is a powerful motivator and can be a sustaining force in the face of crippling nostalgia.

In my New life, I wake feeling like anything could happen.

Last night, with the rain and the quiet and the ability to hear my own brain making sense of my week in the City—the City that I still and will always love—I felt the closure I didn’t know I needed on a lengthy chapter of my life I thought I’d already closed. Call it luck or call it Providence, but I was able to spend meaningful time with everyone I wanted to in my brief time (and still manage to squeeze in that pesky thing called work). Relationships with the people I care so very much about were picked right back up and five months of time were erased as soon as hugs and easy-laughs were exchanged. Instead of feeling queasy social unease, I felt like a superstar. I won’t lie… it’s not a bad way to feel. But I’ve been gone five months, and I know how much my life has changed in the last five months and it felt weird that no one knew about it. It was almost too easy, slipping back into the habit and the routine of being here. Those five months could have never happened—but they have, and I like that they have.

I’ve never had doubts about my decision to leave Boston, not once. Outside of my own subjective view, it probably sounds cold—I had a gorgeous life there full of good people who loved and cared about me. (Still do, and are actively vocal about that fact—I’m a lucky girl.) Still, when I received two texts on the same day from two of my new Portland friends asking “When are you coming home?”, the gamut of emotions you guys—I’m incapable of expressing them. My trip to Boston was the round-trip ticket on my decision to leave. I didn’t know I needed to return to come full circle.

Subconsciously, I haven’t felt right talking much about my forward because I hadn’t fully said goodbye to my back. I hope I don’t ruffle any feathers when I say this and you might be shocked if you know how nostalgic of a person I am, but the last week has fully confirmed that there’s nothing left for me in Boston anymore. I will 1,000 percent cherish every memory I have in that place (and keep up the associated relationships that originated in the 617), but the era of my life located there has passed, and my heart no longer resides in Boston. My life is no longer in Boston.

Like I said, the presence of hope is a powerful motivator. And I’m ready to go home.

*Fourteen listens to write this posts.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

thirty-four days

There are evenings every now and again when I feel like it's all coming together. That I'm not on an extended reprieve from the life I'd known for so long and that a future with new plans and people is starting to coalesce. Of course there are also evenings when I feel like I need to take a hard look at the expectations I have for my new circumstances and readjust my thinking to better reflect reality.

In not so many words, things have been good. When I take the pause to count the days I've actually lived in Oregon (34 to be exact) I'm floored by the progress I've made in terms of people I've met (and remembered), social events I've attended, invitations that have been extended, and opportunities I've had to serve. Thirty-four days is a blink of the eye, so taking the time to reflect has been nothing but a good thing.

My writing might not make much sense--no surprise there, it's hard to sift through and categorize it in my mind. Explaining it becomes less important when I tell you that I'm happy, right?

In sad news, in the last 34 days I lost my dream home in a bidding war, housed a raging flu and bronchial cough that'd hurt your lungs to hear, traveled to San Francisco (yay!) while under the weather, worked some stressful weeks, said some things I shouldn't have said, didn't say some things I should have said, and have yet to exercise one time. To be coming out happy on the far side of that should prove to you that things are better than I'm letting on.

I haven't spoken/text/chat/emailed much with my Boston life. It hasn't been a conscious effort to leave it alone, simply a survival technique to focus on the effort required to move ahead. Thirty-four days doesn't accurately reflect the number of days I feel removed from the people and that place. In some regard, there's a chasm in my brain that separates my lives--but that chasm will be so easy bridged as soon as I come face-to-face with someone whom I love or I step foot into that city I adore.

I feel empowered by hope. Thirty-four days here has given me a pretty good (realistic) look at what my life will be like here in Portland. No, it's not what I imagined it would be during my planning--but I've discovered in this not so short and also very long time, that my success here depends solely on me. It's a bit daunting, and on more than one occasion has felt exhaustingly overwhelming, but if there's one person in this world I trust, it's me. Sink or swim, it's in my hands. I'm grateful that my spiritual faith is not only a catalyst for action but also a comfort in those moments when I'm paralyzed by fear. I have both a hope and faith that things will all work out in the end.

"Work out" yet to be determined, but it's going to be great.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!