Saturday, August 18, 2012
Yesterday was a really good day. I went to the Columbia River Gorge and went swimming/frollicking on gigantic logs. I also got a call for a job offer working at a nonprofit childcare program. You'd think I'd be feeling pretty good by the end of the day. But as evening settled in and I found myself, once again, eating at a restaurant alone, I became quite melancholy. I didn't understand why, though. I'd had such an amazing day filled with beautiful and promising things. Feeling sad and mopey, I did what any mature, nearly 30-year-old woman would do-- I called my mommy. My mom has a way of knowing when something's up even before I utter a complete sentence. This is probably due to the fact that I wear my heart on my sleeve so much that, when I'm sad, I can barely utter a complete sentence without the tell-tale quiver in my voice. Anyway, I cried a little and spent some time processing what I think the cause of my melancholy was with her and then we talked about what was going on in Colorado. It reminded me a lot of when I was an exchange student in Denmark and I'd call home out of homesickness. Homesickness is a little different this time around, though. When I was 17, homesickness was about missing your favorite restaurant or riding in your parents car with your best friend. With age, homesickness has a lot more depth and is more psychological. It's also more complex. I don't miss any particular places or moments in Colorado. I miss being able to go to my parent's house when I had nothing to do and was feeling lonely. I miss knowing that I could see my best friend Julie in a matter of hours instead of weeks or even months. I miss going to Julie's house and just lounging there for hours, feeling completely comfortable and at home in her home. I miss old friends that I felt comfortable crying and confessing my feelings to. I miss the stability of having a routine and a place that I identified as home. The truth is I came here for a life of instability. I wanted to make myself uncomfortable because there were a lot of things about my comfortable life that I wasn't happy with. However, I didn't expect things to take this long to settle in. So, I'm beginning to understand that Portland is my lesson in patience. I expected Portland to be about adventure and it is-- just not the adventure I expected. I expected crazy long nights out with punks and dumpster diving and ridiculous camping trips. Instead, my adventures seem to be happening in the development my identity. I am coming to understand things about myself that I never thought I was or could be. It's a tougher adventure than I expected, but there's also this comfort with who I am becoming that is something I've never quite felt. I feel like myself now more than ever-- erratic emotions and all. The other adventures will come. In fact, they are already beginning to. I am going to "Trek in the Park" on Sunday with my friend Kristin (google it or watch Portlandia-- it's awesome). That will definitely be an adventure! My crush and I also plotted some new adventures like hitchhiking up and down the coast and camping on Larch Mountain. There will be plenty of adventures to come! But for now, I'm learning to settle into the version of me that I've always wanted to be. Also, I've included some pictures from yesterday's shenanigans in the gorge and a package that I got from my friend and fellow zinester, Jonas.