You know in romantic comedies where there is an (annoyingly) quirky woman who is frequently running into things, falling down, dropping all their shopping bags? You think, yeah right, that never happens. Move along.
Well, apparantly it does happen. To me.
I was bike commuting to work this morning (FYI, I live in Seattle now), as I have done every morning for the past 5 weeks. Cruising around a corner, I started pumping my break, only to hear a pop. My brake cable snapped and soon I was heading straight towards a bench in front of a Starbucks. Not only did I hit the bench and tumble off my bike, but I hit the bench and fell of that too. It was like the wreck that wouldn't stop. When you fall (publicly) sometimes the worst thing is the humiliation. "Oh no, I'm fine!", you exclaim. Only to realize an hour or so later that your knee is swollen, bruised and aching.
Oddly enough, Mathew McConaughey was no where to be seen.
It's been a good 8 months since I last posted here and figured it's time for some updating.
The end of September I packed up and left Portland, it was was one of the only times I drove away from a city feeling no sadness. I'm not sure why (who am I kidding, it was the hipsters) I didn't mesh with that town, but either way I'm gone. I spent a couple weeks in Port Orford before flying to Lake Havasu for a little over a month. It was glorious... until it wasn't. I was plagued with the plague and horribly sick for 10 days with strep throat and abscesses (lovely, I know).
In early November, I embarked on another journey to NYC. I spent three weeks there as my sister awaited the birth of her son. It was such a special time and I'm so thankful to have been a part of it. My mom flew out as well and we all spent thanksgiving together. It was a lovely trip back to my old stomping grounds and ended with the greatest thing of all. My nephew!
After NYC, I raced to the airport just in time to make my flight to LA. Is it weird I felt safer knowing Jimmy Smits was on the plane?
Rainy days in LA followed by snowy days in Big Bear for Wojtek's 30th.
Next, we piled in the truck and drove south back to Lake Havasu. We were joined by a German visiter and Wojtek's brother and explored the desert before we all got sick. Again.
After Christmas, we all headed north to Port Orford....where I got sick again and decided to stay to recover for the month of January as the rest of the gang headed north. In February, I packed up my bags and moved to Seattle! Wojtek and I found a temporary place overlooking Lake Union and I fell in love with this city all over again. I've been here for the past few months, took classes, pursued a possible career chance, and lived to tell the story of a nightmarish recovery from a tonsillectomy. And there you have it, my past 8 months in a nutshell.
I have some exciting and scary changes.
Deferred graduate school for a year.
Put in my two weeks notice at my job (today!).
Not renewed my apartment lease and must move out at the end of this month.
I'm hitting the road for several months (2? 6? 9?) of travel and I couldn't be more excited (and of course slightly terrified).
Sometimes I wonder if I'm crazy to quit a job in this economy, to opt out of graduate school when so many are trying to get accepted, give up my apartment and my security. And yet, all signs point to "yes, do this!" It is hard to live in the moment and not stress about the future but I'm at a time in my life where I have no children, no health issues (knock on wood) and no ties. Why not run off and explore the world?
I really miss the desert.
Maybe it was my mother's love for Arizona that instilled in me a need to visit, but ever since my first trip to the southwest I have felt at home. Spending the last fall in Arizona was a dream; warm weather, open space and glowing orange light. I have a mind inclined towards claustrophobia and the desert, with all its space to roam feels peaceful and free.
The Pacific Northwest is my home. Oregon is in my blood and I really do love it. New York is exciting and active with the feeling of anonymity a luxury to me. But the desert is where I truly belong. I really think that in the end I will wind up in this dry, rocky land.
It's been fun exploring my new city. Sometimes it's hard to shake yourself of the northwest drear, but once you force yourself outside you soon realize that things aren't so bad. In fact, I believe there have only been two days of rain since I moved here a few weeks ago.
Luckily, we live near Forest Park, the biggest city park in the country and have explored the area a few times. Most recently, Wojc and I drove to the top of the hill and checked out Pittock Mansion.
The mansion was built atop the hill in the very early 1900's by The Oregonian editor Henry Pittock and has been used in many films. That's about all the history I know, but I do know that it's a beautiful building with an even more beautiful view of Portland.
On a clear day I'm going to come to the top of the hill and hike down one of the many trails winding through the park. It's pretty exciting that there is so much to discover here and everything is so accessible. In New York, everything seemed so exhausting with subway travel that having a car for exploring feels like such a luxury.
After my depressing post earlier the day took a turn for the better after a strong coffee and phone chat with my sister. Wojc, J and I decided to explore the city a little and headed out to the car only to see the whole block shut down with smoke billowing out of an apartment building down the street. Pretty intense. Turns out some guy left incense burning, took a shower and came out to an apartment on fire. Luckily, no one died but a whole building of people are out of their homes for awhile.
We got the car out and drove to east Portland to search for a building for sale that looked promising a few weeks ago. We couldn't find the building but we did find the delicious Produce Row Cafe. I love this place. It's the type of restaurant where you feel comfortable and welcome and want to spend the whole day in a comfortable booth. Not only is the food fantastic (get the beer bread!) but the people seem more genuine and nice than in many of the hipster haunts throughout the city. To top it off, our waitress was so adorable you kind of wish she'd sit down and hang awhile.
Next we headed out in search of Voodoo 2, the offshoot of the famous Voodoo donuts, in our typical fashion we forgot where it was and after driving a few blocks gave up and came to a Vacuum shop and museum. We decided to stop and check it out, kind of a strange place, but we walked out with a vacuum! Yes, it was one of those random days but now we sit in a dust free apartment complete with clean rug.
After our east side adventures we headed home where I plotted my cupcake of love concoction. After finding all of my supplies I got home ready to start baking when I realized that we had no measuring cups or spoons. Luckily, we had a math major in the house and I was able to finagle my way through the recipe. Shockingly, the cupcakes turned out delicious. Happy day of love!
I've worked at my new job for three days and it's less than stellar. There are no big red flags and everyone seems pretty nice, it is just not what I expected. The hours are long and the duties are not what interests me. I know complaining about a job is pretty snobby these days, but isn't life more about being happy than toiling away the majority of your life in a position you dread? I'm going to give the job a few more weeks to see if things improve and in the meantime I was scheduled for a second interview for a position more related to my field of work, here's hoping everything works out in the end!
In other downer news, I got sick my first week back in the job world. Not necessarily a great way to spend your first weekend but I'm starting to feel better. Luckily my brother came to town for the weekend which boosted my spirit considerable. We explored Sauvie Island yesterday and hiked along the Columbia River and today will hopefully find something fun to do as well. That's about all for my update today, cross your fingers for a better work week.
"The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it" -Eckhart Tolle