Monday, March 3, 2014

Going to Portland

After a long and harrowing search, we have secured an apartment in Portland, Oregon. NE Killingsworth to be exact, a short walk from Alberta.


The journey begins.

We haven't seen the apartment yet, which is of course a bit of a gamble. But in a city with a 2% vacancy rate, if you find something you like, you have to be quick. We also have three cats, which makes the search a lot more difficult. The location couldn't be better, and it has two bedrooms, and there's nowhere in Portland that is really "bad." I feel very confident about this place. The fact that we've cut down our worldly possessions significantly also helps, and I don't think this will be nearly as bad as the move from Pittsburgh to Baltimore, despite the massively expanded distance. (We are also hiring movers. It will be the best $3,000 we ever spend.)

My mom said "you must be scared," and that's kind of true. We won't have jobs there waiting for us like we did when we moved to Baltimore. Of course that's scary. But life is about taking risks, about throwing caution to the wind to carve out the kind of life you want for yourself. When I moved from my small hometown to Pittsburgh in 2005 I took those same kinds of risks. I had savings, but no job. I didn't have any pre-existing friends in the city. (Something that is not true now, we know dozens of people in Portland.) Even though Pittsburgh was the closest big city to where I grew up, I knew virtually nothing about it, except that I somehow knew in my heart that my life would be better there than it was in Fayette County, and I was willing to risk my carefully hoarded savings and all of my security to make a big change for myself. And even though it wasn't sunshine and roses all the time (because what is, really?) I can definitely say that moving to Pittsburgh was the best decision I'd made up to that point.

Rob said he'd never have made this move without me. I asked if that meant I'm his manic pixie dream girl (although I've always thought of myself as more of a depressive sluagh nightmare woman, credit to Nick Mamatas). Although the truth is just the opposite. I'm tired of moving. I want to stay in one place for years and years, ideally the rest of our lives. We didn't want to do that in Baltimore, and Pittsburgh is kind of "been there, done that." We felt more at home in Portland in a week than we did in three years of living in Baltimore, despite all our friends here. It's just such a relaxed, calm place, so far from the rat race of the East Coast. We have savings, and freelance streams of income to shore them up. It's a risk, but a calculated one, and just like in 2005, I know in my heart we'll be okay.

And so, like the pioneers of yore, we set out in early April with our rented covered motorized wagon. My only regret in this is that we won't be able to see very much of the country, since we'll be taking the fastest route and traveling nonstop. (Cats. It's always cats.) If we were traveling alone we'd probably take a couple weeks to get out there and see a bunch of stuff along the way. But the destination is the important thing, and I am thrilled to be finally settling in the city I've wanted to live in for over a decade with my favorite person in the whole wide world.

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