Jonny and I moved to Portland in July. Well, I should say we drove our uHaul and towed our car across the country in July, then we went on vacation to Hawaii, and then I flew back to Nashville, thinking I would finish the fellowship program I started the summer of 2015. THEN, I would travel back and finally live in Portland.
This is not how my summer turned out, but that is a story for a different day. The point is, we moved to Portland during the most magical season — the temperature rarely got above 80 degrees, and when it did, we scooted off to the Oregon coast, wearing sweatshirts on the beach and eating our weight in clam chowder. I was warned about the seasons to come, but I certainly wasn’t ready for the reality.
We live downtown. I’ve always lived in neighborhoods, so this is a refreshing change of pace. Literally (ha). I walk everywhere. I walk home from school about three times a week. I walk to my wonderful donation-only yoga studio. For awhile I even walked back and forth to the Safeway with our groceries, but I stopped that after my weeks of my shoulder aching from carrying canned black beans and grocery store wine (a novelty item for a former Tennessean). I walk to the Central Library, where I currently have 10 holds because I kept spending too much money at Powell’s. I walk to this diner around the corner that serves disappointing pancakes. I forgive the pancakes because the owner looks like Diane Lane with a chin-length bob and reminds me of Diane Lane’s character in Under the Tuscan Sun, except instead of writing and Italy, it’s pancakes and Portland. I even walk to the church I’ve begun to attend, First Unitarian, which is conveniently right around the corner. Sometimes I wonder if moving across the country boils down to a test of how many times I can walk home in the pouring rain without completely losing my mind.
Since I started this post, we have had two gloriously sunny Sundays, and my stomach twisted in a guilty knot both times — THIS is it! It’s NOT raining! Do something!
The first Sunday I slept for two hours on my sun-drenched couch, and then burst into tears when I realized I squandered the afternoon away. Today, I persuaded Jonny to stand in line with me at Salt & Straw because what better occasion to eat ice cream than a sunny Sunday in March? In other words, I did something I would probably do if it were raining (I love ice cream no matter the season or weather). Wasted again.
Back in July, when we first got here, the hardest part was the time difference. I remember waking up, checking my phone, and thinking that everyone else was two or three hours deep into their day and here I was, in bed, missing out. Now I wonder if that’s not a some sort of metaphor for what I feel like I’m going through with my career crisis. I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself to figure it out immediately. This season (maybe capital S Season) will pass. It will rain again, but it will also be sunny again. Maybe sooner than I think.