What an incredible journey the last few years have been! Up down, round and back again, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I am really capable of in this time period. Ain’t gonna lie…it’s been tough, I’ve struggled, I’ve felt lonely, I’ve felt isolated. Living in the same place for 30 years ensures that you probably have a great network of people around you, I did, I abandoned that comfort to follow my husband’s tech dreams here in the “Silicon Forest”. I was ready, I wanted to try to see what the world had to offer outside of my O-town. I had backpacked through Europe for 45 days, I could move outta state right? I figured that all the people in Portland, OR, were liberal, friendly, hippies, with the same world views as me and that moving here would put me in a community of people who would love and embrace me instantly! Growing up, I was made fun of, left out, and was the “Weirdo”. I wanted out of the “Zion curtain”….and figured that Portland was Berkley in the 60’s. Boy was I wrong! I felt like I got hit by a Mack truck, I was disoriented, confused, had a headache from all this new oxygen, confused by all the options I had. I lived in a brand new home with all the amenities and moved to a house that was 100 years old without A/C and only 1 bathroom! I was spoiled, spoiled with family, spoiled with friends, spoiled with familiarity. The people here didn’t all say “Hi” when I walked by…in fact they didn’t even notice me! It was tougher on Ava, my daughter….and I think any parent can understand the pain felt when watching their child struggle. For some strange reason…to cope, I started to watch youtube how to’s about dying your hair neon colors, it was gray outside, I wanted some color, so if i was going to be invisible to people, I figured I would at least brighten up the landscape.
My friends and fam thought I had lost my mind….and maybe in retrospect I had, but I needed to…they say when a woman drastically changes her hair she is on the fringe! As time has gone on…I’ve realized that life is a series of trade offs….I do love Portland, but perhaps I will never have the network I had in my hometown, or have family to rely on in driving distance, I get to drink the best coffee and beer in the country, but can’t go there with my mom and sister on the daily. I don’t see the sun as often as I used to…and now I don’t really notice. I’ve learned that there are assholes everywhere, that people in mini vans all drive like maniacs, I’ve had strange opportunities come up, I’ve experienced the super highs of “almost” getting to achieve my dream just to have it escape me the next day…I’ve interviewed at Voodoo doughnuts…I ate some voodoo doughnuts. I get to pick my daughter up at school next to 45 year old skateboarding Dad doing his best impression of Tony Hawk. I’ve made a few new friends and learned to not let other people affect how I feel about myself. I’ve learned what it really means to be a “Stay at Home” mom….I’ve done karaoke like a “Glee” cast member, then vomited on myself. It’s been a fucking painful, pleasurable, ironic journey….and I can’t wait to see what’s next…Ben Folds sings “My redneck past is nipping at my heels”…I never really understood that till now. The city is my muse, in all it’s industrial beauty! I feel more motivated to express myself then ever! I can walk and get basically anywhere, eat the best food….from a cart!I get a new perspective on the world, and I really have more drive then ever to succeed at whatever I damn well feel at the moment! I do hate hair bleach though…so I guess the “neon” was a phase! I’m currently back in black and don’t plan on going back to the blondeside ever again. Ava is thriving…reading, writing, loving school and her new friends! Ari can walk, do a lil’ talking and jumped in the water at cannon beach…life is a beautiful journey and I’ve took the road that I was supposed to…now if only I can talk Jarom out of wanting to find a job in Bejing! Cheers….live in the moment, choose to be happy, we humans are amazingly adaptable creatures.