I just passed the two year mark for living in Portland. While it may not appear on the surface to be a groundbreaking statement, it is for me. The adjustment from living in New York City to moving and living in Portland has not been easy. When I knew I was moving, I convinced myself that it would be great and that all of the pros I imagined about living in Portland (cheaper cost of living, more space, the ability to save, beautiful landscape) would help me adjust really quickly. For someone like me, who struggles with change, I subconsciously knew it would not be that simple but I was trying really hard to not dwell on the potential effects of moving cross-country. For me, SO MUCH of my identity was tied to be a New Yorker that it has taken these two years to even BEGIN the process of knowing who I am without “New Yorker” as a descriptor.
There are SO many positives to being in Portland AND I’ve missed New York terribly – all at the same time. The move really pushed me to begin the process of defining my identify without any sort of environmental crutch. I really had to dig deep to figure out who I was without New York, without my school that I LOVED teaching at, and it was scary. It was much easier to rely on the construct I had built around myself than to examine who I was without all the extras accoutrements. This process pushed me to start this blog, really define what contributions I wanted to make in education, and who I was, irrespective of my environment.
I resisted it, pushed it away, and after awhile finally faced it head on, mostly because I was tired of feeling sad. But it is a daily fight – some days are great and I love being in Portland, and other days are not like that. The most important thing I’ve learned in these two years is that it IS a daily battle and to face it as such. Nothing will happen overnight and it takes purposeful thinking, daily gratitude, and projecting into the future with hope to move forward. So, in that spirit, here’s a round up of my favorite snaps from the past few months in Portland.
Summer 2017, Cove Palisades
Summer 2017, Painted Hills
Summer 2017, 4th of July
Summer 2017, Cape Horn