We moved. And I wanted to write something special about our move to Portland. It was going to be beautifully written and paired with a rebuild of the website and the newest video coming out and an outpouring of journal content. But its not that, its just an honest “this is how we got here” kind of talk because wishful thinking doesn’t get us anywhere.
Our first step was to end our trip with money still in the bank, enough to get us through on a budget while we planned for what was next. The decision to move to Portland was the right one and came together rather quickly. Having put Nick’s resume in front of companies for a few months before we even started packing up the storage unit, the job was available when we arrived. We have wonderful friends that hosted us in the few weeks that it took to find the apartment that we now live in. Thankfully, we had been planning for this eventual move for so long that the steps were in place and we were ready when the time came. The initial fears have been replaced with comforts because of practice and determination.
The past two years have been full of some breathtaking highs and extraordinary lows. Through trekking and fighting and driving and asking and never being satisfied we chose to build roots and now we often find ourselves wishing for those over-spent nights out in the open spaces, hidden off of rarely used forest roads and beside bubbling creeks in BLM land. I remember a few years ago the anxiety of not finding a spot to sleep at night used to create some reasonable idea to just keep driving through the night. I don’t recognize that fear anymore. It didn’t phase me for a second when we made a last minute change to camping plans and just got into the car to head out to Mt. Hood for a long weekend camping with no reservations on Memorial Day Weekend. But somehow even in that secret, quiet, hidden space that we found… we were kinda bored with regular camping. We’ve challenged what used to scare us and found footing. So we keep testing our boundaries.
Isn’t it funny how we crave those moments that, while we were in them, we were so bent that we almost split into two epically frayed parts? Its as though our never-satisfied self actually craves skirting rock bottom in order to fully be awakened. So in that comfortable time where everything is going pretty well, the time we wished for when life was splaying us apart, we seem bored and wish for another challenge to come along.
Swing back to the epic windstorm in Alabama Hills, CA. In the calm and glorious day that preceded the night of thrashing winds, we made the decision with finality that we would move to Portland. Why Portland, especially after all of the beautiful places we had visited; the fun and vibrant towns nestled in the valleys of mountain ranges and after about 10 years living and working in sun bleached LA? Its because there is both grit and polish, sunshine and rain, people and space in this city. Its because we have worked hard to overcome our worry of becoming stagnant and want to reward ourselves with a home that doesn’t try to steal exactly every penny we earn. Its because we wanted to put down roots in a place that was also growing with us. Its because we can make a last minute decision to go camping on Memorial Day weekend and still find solitude and a place to put a hammock in view of a mountain. Its because we’re so used to making decisions that are life altering and life giving.
I feel like Kevin in Home Alone going out to my sidewalk to shout “I’m not afraid anymore”, only when the neighbor looks at me they see that I still am a little afraid. I’ve got my toothbrush and I can buy my own groceries but while Nick goes to work every day, I look for a job of my own and feel the weight of being a grown up in the space where the worry of what comes next has always been. I don’t know what comes next for me. I didn’t know what came next after the road trip, but we’re living in “next” and its been good! So if the math stays true, my “next” will be good and life will continue to challenge those fear based boundaries until there are none left.