It’s a bit like you’ve lost something and you’ve decided the object is in this room. And once you have decided this, then you have already fixed your parameters; you precluded the possibility of it’s being outside the room or in another room. So you keep on searching and searching, but you aren’t finding it, yet you continue to assume it is still hidden somewhere in the room!
Portland is a fantastic, liberal, nature haven of a city with a passion for bikes, books and beer. They happen to have a relatively troubled economy with a surplus of vagabonds and homelessness. Which is why many had concerns when I quit my well paying West Hollywood advertising sales job in search of a better life. So it is quite a blessing that I was able to find a decent paying job in a lovely city with the lowest cost of living on the West Coast after taking such a risk. Not to mention that I had to go through 5 intense interviews just to beat out the other more qualified candidates (suckerrrs!).
I came to Portland with the intention of finding a city in this United States of America that I could perhaps identify with. For years I have been battling with the dreaded European Longing disease and a bad case of Traveling Fever. Portland, on the surface, seems like the perfect remedy. It would allow me to live on the same continent as my family, has a walkable downtown, decent mass transit and crappy enough weather to replicate the distant, desolate place of my dreams.
I’ve even managed to scam their out-of-state tuition fees and could hypothetically start school here in a matter of weeks to pursue a career as a kindergarten teacher or some other less soul-sacrificing occupation. It seems I have found the perfect solution to my inner turmoil which will allow me a vast number of more opportunities by living in my native land, speaking my native tongue and all the other beautiful benefits that come with being a “non-immigrant”.
Quite the perfect fairy tale ending if you ask me!
There is only one little issue with this happily ever after. It sucks! The job I should be so grateful to have is driving around Oregon (in the rain), selling freaking uniforms and cleaning supplies to businesses. Yeah sure, I would get great benefits, a car package, a computer and the opportunity to wear shoulder pads AS MUCH AS I WANT. But this just in: I don’t like sales. I don’t like driving. I don’t like capitalist bullshit. And I certainly don’t like America.
Portland, you are a fantastic band-aid town. Really, you are great. But it just so happens that the wound I am attempting to bandage is deep and slightly infected. This just isn’t going to cut it. I need the antidote.
So thanks but no thanks PDX. I am going back to the land of snow and sorrow to go to FREE school, follow my passion in life (music), and be around people that I feel I connect better with (not that your handle bar mustaches aren’t great and all).
I’m not lost. I’m not wandering. I’m trying different things, doing what feels right and slowly finding my way through this thing called life by listening to what my inner voice is saying. Who cares if it is naïve, idealistic or potentially wrong? At least it will shut up momentarily.
So what’s next?
Packing (again). Letting a lot of people down (again). Breaking my poor mother’s heart (again). Leaving this beautiful city behind (again). Temporarily living in a boondock town. And finally selling my god forsaken automobile in order to get back to where I want to be.
If I fail, I will come back and join your rat race. I promise.
Back to North,
P.S. I’m keeping my plaid shirt.
Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it serenely and with to high a spirit to be encumbered by your old nonsense.
-Ralph Wald Emerson “Self – Reliance”