postgrad

The way things come together

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Since my last post it has been exactly 83 days. It was the hopeful start of this happy days project and the same day that I bought the rights to my own webpage and I was starting to feel like the cyberworld was truly my oyster. My head filled with ideas of a world in which I wrote everyday, practically spouting forth beautiful language and sage advice, gradually becoming more and more famous until I transformed into blogger and cheese-guru.

And then (in spite of these completely realistic dreams), life happened.

Things got busy, days and weeks passed, and the more time I put between myself and this blog, the harder it was to sit down and start writing again. The truth is, I love writing and I love taking photos and I love musing about things. Sometimes publicly, and sometimes just in my own weird brain. In a lot of ways, this blog has been an amazing outlet for me this year, but when I think too hard about what it is I am actually doing here, it feels a bit pointless. A bit without purpose.

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And so today, on a rainy Tuesday with time to kill, I told myself to get over it. To write because I want to write. To get back on the horse, if you will.

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In the past three months I have made some big decisions about my next steps. I’ve accepted that I will be moving somewhere completely new and that this is both exciting and scary all at once. I’ve been reminded of how many wonderful people I am surrounded by and how lucky I am to have that kind of love and support.

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And so life does goes on, in its funny way, and things pop up and things change. Today, I decided to embark on another baking project (on yes, a Tuesday afternoon, like I said I’m in a weird-in-between time folks) and I was pleasantly surprised, as I always am when it comes to baking, to remember the beautiful way in which things come together.

If I Could Eat Words

IMG_3526This morning I went for a run in Forest Park and I realized seven things.

1) The sun is out.

This is always very exciting for Portland. This is especially exciting this week because we are supposed to have sun for multiple days in a row! Since I’m only working part time right now it is really easy to snuggle down in my cozy bed when it’s gray outside and barely leave the house. The sun is an inviting reminder that yes, there is life outside, and yes, you should get out of bed and go DO something. Go be active.

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2) Running through Forest Park is the closest I will ever come to trail running.

After I came up with my brilliant idea to deviate from my normal run and go exploring in beautiful-green-jungle-land, I parked my car and started running.

It truly is such a magical part of the city. It is so wet and green and the sun was filtering in through the trees today in beautiful patterns. I love the feeling of running in cold air — your body is both sweaty and cold at the same time and I think it is some odd combination of these sensations that makes your nerve endings particularly alert. I felt everything. Every tight muscle in my calves, the pull in my chest, and the air pressing into me.

This ecstatic moment of true feeling turned against me after one too many hills when I had to start walking and, after a particularly low moment, lean up against a tree. For the remainder of my brief three-mile run, I alternated between running (on the downhills), walking (up the hills), and taking pictures for this blog post. I couldn’t help myself. IMG_3531IMG_3528
3) Sometimes we think we know what we’re doing and sometimes we know we have no idea and still other times, we are just snotty-nosed, running, and trying not to trip on all the roots and rocks that life (or the trail) throws our way.

Mid-way through my walk/run/photo-taking endeavors, I started laughing. I was so excited to get outside and go for a nice five mile run and here I was stopping every couple of minutes to breathe or take a picture.

I moved across the country thinking I would get here, find work in an adorable coffee shop immediately, and begin filling the rest of my days with volunteer work for inspiring creative writing organizations.

Needless to say, I think that my dreamer mentality might have slightly clouded my perceptions of what moving to a new city and searching for a job looks like. There have been a lot of moments of self-doubt and frustration, just like everyone at the crossroads of this transition point is experiencing.IMG_3521
I want to say that when I write things on this blog like, “You know what to do, so don’t be afraid and go do it,” I don’t presume to know everything. Not even close. I have been afraid many times. I question what to do. I worry. But by writing and dreaming and reaching I find a kind of encouragement. And that’s all I’m trying to share here.

Sometimes we have days where we realize we can’t run up the hills as well as we thought we could, we have snot running out of our nose, and there are way too many rocks on this path that we can trip on. I say, embrace the hilarity and run or walk or skip or stumble on dear readers.

4) A sandwich with melted cheese and tomato soup cures everything. IMG_3539
This is true. Melted cheese and some hot soup that you can dip your sandwich in are probably two of my most favorite things in the world. Not even just favorite food, I’m talking favorite things. Of all time.

So if you are feeling particularly discouraged on a given day, turn to the soup and the sandwich (more to come on this love affair in a later post). IMG_3536
5) If words were money and also edible I would totally live off of them. Off of them and nothing else. Except maybe grilled cheese. And tomato soup.

This was one of the last things I realized on my run this morning. I realized that if I am the kind of person who feels so compelled to stop mid-run repeatedly and take photos for her blog post then I should probably start taking this blog thing pretty seriously. Which is why I’m going to try and start posting regularly, three times a week. Which is why I also want to say thank you, to all of you for reading, following, and just generally supporting the wild whims and odd creative brain-firings of a 22-year-old, curly-haired, college graduate living in Portland. Truly, thank you.