Friday, December 2, 2011

Retracing 3000 miles back; Hello Portland

It's been a week since I left NY. I realize how much of NY is still in me, or perhaps how much of myself is still there. The car arrived to pick me up at 4am. I carried the two large suitcases, the same amount I arrived with and placed my worldly belongings in the car. I said goodbye to my lovely apartment that is no longer mine, but a replacement in someone else's future. The car ride to the airport was rough. It was cold, I was tired and weepy the whole way there. It seemed so surreal. Didn't I just arrive in NY? Did I really spend the past year and half in this crazy city, doing crazy things? The finality hit me. The driver asked me if I was staying in the states or going abroad. I suppose he assumed with such large bags, maybe I was going on vacation. I told him I was moving. He sensed the bittersweet tone in my voice; he said, "New York will always be here. Sometimes you need to go away to come back and be really successful'. If only the feeling of failure could be expunged through my tears.

I did not fail. I just didn't get what I set out for. I tried. I had fun.

I slept the majority of the 6 hour flight to San Francisco. I kept daydreaming of all the things that happened in NY, trying to happily close that chapter of my life. I arrived in SF at 10am, with my love picking me up to start our new adventure. Luckily for my sake, San Francisco is the one city besides NY that drives me crazy. I am in love and madly so. It has the wonders of NY but with the majestic beauty of California. It feels like home although I've never lived there. Home is not a place, but a feeling of belonging. 72 hours in SF and a 10 hour drive later laced with pitstops in the middle of nowhere, I arrived at my final destination.

Portland, Oregon

The good thing about Portland is that it has its own majesty. Nature abounds. The people are friendly, the rent is cheap and its great for artists. The bad thing is there is an amazing lack of diversity. Coming from NYC and previously Los Angeles, I feel strange being in a city with so many white young people. I can't help but notice it and feel it. It makes me uncomfortable and I suppose for now there is nothing I can do. I truly celebrate diversity and miss the different cultures ever present in LA and NYC. I know Portland is not permanent. It's an adventure, a pit stop. I enjoy it here for its quiet and stillness, but sometimes I feel spooked by it. The buzzing of NY contrasted by the silence here is eerie. Something to get used to. Also, friendly strangers talking to you! There is still so much to learn, discover and open myself up to. For now I am trying to get to know the city, find a place with my bf, and luckily I have found a part time gig for now. I yearn for creating again, but when you are wondering when your next paycheck will come, or where you will lay your head, it's hard to stay focused.

Another test. So many tests. A test of the will and character. A(nother) test of our relationship. Closeness circumvented by confusion. A lack of anything concrete, but a place full of dreams and desires. I will create a garden of our futures and plant our seeds. Mapping out past, present and future. Settling into time and place.

An adventure I must be open to. Opening myself up to possibilities and questions. It is frightening and exhilarating to not know one's immediate future-- to go with the tide, to hustle, to create flowers out of cement. My time will come and I realize I am blessed in so many ways.

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