Yesterday I woke up early in Manhattan. Well, early for a Saturday. This wasn’t the dreadful alarm-induced wake-up. Rather, I was pulled awake excited by the day to come.
Over the last years I’ve had a few large transitions in my life. These have always been marked by a plane flight. I get on a plane and end up somewhere very new, and very different. When I moved to Spain, and then to Connecticut, France, and New York, I always packed my bags, got on a plane, and started something new. I’ve also taken flights that are simply trips and don’t feel like long nostalgic voyages, but that’s besides the point.
Yesterday I got on a plane. This was a transitory flight. After my third summer in New York I was finally moving away. Yesterday I flew back to Oregon.
I was born and raised on a small Organic farm in rainy, beautiful Oregon, outside a town of about 10,000 people. There was exactly one high school – a small town kind of high school where punishment was centered around suspending people from their respective sports team. You see, if you failed your classes, or got caught with a beer, the dreaded penalty was always being forced to miss the upcoming game.
Yesterday I woke up in Manhattan, had brunch with a friend in a fancy French restaurant, did a few errands in SoHo, and then trekked to JFK Airport. Today I am in the small rural Oregon town where I grew up. For the last few years of my life it has often been back and forth from the fancy, cosmopolitan East Coast to a much shabbier Oregon.
However, yesterday’s plane flight was not of the visiting nature. It was the transitory kind, the kind that marks a new beginning.
After I graduated college I felt that having The New York Times on my resume should be enough to appease my ego and I should set out in pursuit of what I actually wanted to be doing, instead of simply working some job to demonstrate that I was smart and capable of getting some job, i.e. validating my ego. The only problem was I had no idea what I actually wanted to be doing.
A fortuitous rooftop encounter combined with doing well in French 101 led to a job offer that I wasn’t looking for. I didn’t want to live in New York, so I negotiated to work remote after a few months ramp-up. Despite having never met anyone at the company in person I signed some forms and accepted a job. A week later I was in New York.
Tomorrow I’m moving to Portland. At first I’ll just crash with family, but then I’m planning to look for an apartment and settle down.
For so long I’ve been doing things in pre-established time chunks. Fours years of high scohool. One gap year. Four years of college. Three month summer jobs. Every part of my life – until now – has had a fixed completion date. I always knew when it would end.
Tomorrow, for the first time in my life I’m beginning something that does not have a fixed end. I’m moving to Portland and that’s it. I don’t have a goal, or a timeframe. I’m just going to try and create a life and see how it goes. Maybe I’ll spend three months and move on, or maybe three decades. Either way is fine.
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