97 days in -- 268 day's to go. I just completed week 14 of this 365-days after graduation challenge and this week was really...a challenge.
It was spring break without the actual spring break. Obviously I wasn't dying to get a break from homework and professors etc but when the University has spring break...so do my kids.
When we found out back in January we would be moving to the Portland area, both the hubs and myself thought it would be wise for me to take spring break and utalize it in coming accustom to the Portland area, learning the MAX, maybe finding a place...etc etc you know all the "adult" stuff that comes with being, well, an adult.
Both of my kids had other plans for this week, so I trekked out here to Portland by myself in hopes of all of the above, and what I got myself into was a roller coaster of realizations.
Straight up I will tell you I did not practice a single word of Italian, except the occasional "bravo". I did not work on my bodies of artwork other then doodling in my sketchbook. I did not spend anytime with my kids as I am away. I didn't master chocolate soufflè nor did I get on that airplane yet. This week was a different set of challenges...something else I've come to learn I should have put on my list..."Be Brave and Try New Things!"
I can say that I have ate what I've wanted. I have drank coffee like a Greek Goddess. I have read...and almost am done with a book! I've spent time with my hubs every single night, which has been glorious. I've surly laughed...but I've also cried my bloody eyes out. And though I didn't make a tape deck worth playlist, I found and bought tape decks for my drive back home (yes my car is only 10-years old and it's a donosaure apparently!)
Something that has come to my attention is that I have been blessed with a slew of people who would never let me get lost, or fall too hard. I am someone who is socially awkward, have ZERO sense of direction and really has no plan past the next 2-years. When it came to this week, because we're all graduated and adulting now, my husband still had to work this week...and I was left to figuring out the city, the MAX and the bus, the people and everything else...on my own.
Tuesday was blissfully spent, after 2-hrs of trying to figure out the MAX, at the Portland Art Museum, Powells (without having to chase kids...like oh my goodness HEAVEN!) and then I ended up at ACE hotel for coffee and sketching. By this point my phone was dead in the water from having used it so much for a map. This is the day Heather learned, one must ALWAYS carry around a charger. It also was the day Heather learned that she needs a better rain coat, to trade a purse for a backpack and to remember that Oregonian's (or at least the Portlandian's) 9/10 X's are like Canadians and nice as all freaking get out!
However, Wednesday was a whole other story. Currently my husband is staying in one of the suburbia's of Portland and it's where we're looking at moving too (cheaper and we've got kids...don't judge!) But after a huge mixup at UPS that's been going on for a month, a wrong order on a company's fault I was at the Washington Square mall in tears. Almost every person in there was a suburban mom. Now, please do not take offense to this if you are one. I was raised by one and love my mama more then ANYTHING. But being a young mom, who has tattoo's, went to art school and has no desire to stay home 24/7...I've gotten more judgmental comments and looks from this category of women then any one else.
Everyone around me (so it seemed, I get that it was surface deep and that I was judging) felt superficial and ten times richer then me. I ended up buying pretzel bites and sitting at a bench secluded and alone. I did nothing after this but go straight to the house a lay in bed crying to both my mom and husband. On Wednesday, I couldn't believe what I was moving to. I truly did not believe that I belonged, and was 100% for certain I was going to get "sucked into it". (Gosh I'm so dramatic when I'm upset...I'm sorry!)
But then Thursday came around and it was filled with sunshine. I got onto the right MAX line, got onto the right bus (after three tries), and made it to Hawthorn on time to meet with my first clients in Portland at the cutest bakery with to die for bread and coffee. I found adorable finds at back to back thrift, antique and junk shops and fell in love with Coava coffee. The day ended withe the hubs meeting me at the coffee house and us going to the Toffee Club for some killer fries and a cider before heading home.
Last night I felt uplifted and encouraged. I never once felt out of place on Hawthorn, was able to talk with everyone...from the bus lady to the barista. And it came to me that though we are beautifully and equally made...how much more alive we feel when we are authentic to ourselves. How we feel the beauty more so when we dress the way we want, and surround ourselves with honest good people.
This week has been a learning curve for sure, and being authentic to myself and trusting myself have been the two biggest things this week. But now is St. Patty's and I'm about to go venture downtown one last time for a wee bit and end it at an Irish pub.
So as the Irish say "there is nothing so bad that it couldn't be worse."