I’m currently at the most dramatic crossroad of my life. I realize that I am so ridiculously fortunate to have such amazing options in life, but that doesn’t minimize the stress of having to make major decisions! I wish that life was more like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book, where you could go back and see where having taken the other options would have taken you. This whole linear nature of time is really cramping my style.
A wiser person than me once said “It’s easy to forget that one day we will look back on our life and say ‘I can’t imagine it could have gone any other way. Because how it went is now who I am.’”
So I’m trying to ‘sit with the tension’ and ‘be here now’ and all that jazz, while wondering who I will be on the other side of all of these options. I have exactly 4 days to decide if I’ll matriculate at Portland State’s MSW program this fall, or spend a year vagabonding before I take on a ton of debt. I have an MRI next week to determine if I’ll need a fairly substantial hip surgery, which would put me in a walker and out of commission for a while. And I’m waiting to hear whether I’ll be offered my absolute dream seasonal job with the American Alpine Institute, managing a hostel outside of Denali this summer. Three giant, looming things, and I’m not even sure which are mutually exclusive, and which I have control over. But it’s cool. I have like, four whole days.
Right now whatever has been going on with my hip (torn labrum? impingement?) is a real bummer. I haven’t been able to do any of my usual healthy, de-stressing activities, and being limited to only walking a few flat blocks is tough. If you have fantastic ideas for getting cardio via upper-body workouts, hit me up! I’m getting really familiar with my physical therapist’s office, and with the gnawing nuisance of chronic pain, which is a totally new thing for me. Sorry, promise this post won’t just be me complaining about stuff.
I had an awesome birthday that reminded me of what an amazing community of friends I have here in Portland. A big group of lovely people showed up to Basecamp Brewery- my favorite spot. And we were all so good at being present that not a single photo was taken to document the lovely evening of beers on the patio at sunset. I’m 27 now! Late twenties! Wooo!
Being back at JOIN is rad, and feels so comfortable. I love that work and I am a total idiot for choosing to leave again. This whole “saying ‘yes’ to the universe” stuff is difficult business.
(I love these people.)
Here is the list of goals I wrote for myself before leaving Ecuador, for my upcoming time in Portland. I’m proud of how well I’ve actually been doing!
-Be really good at my JOIN job.
-Buy a decent camera & learn photography. Ask Adriel and Ben.
-Practice writing. Get published. Write the JOIN blog. Street Roots? My blog?
-Join a writers group. Free online courses?
-Work on myself.
-Do not many any new friends. [failing miserably]
-Learn how to cook.
-Go backpacking alone. Be more of a hermit.
-Try to get dog/house sitting gigs.
-Make a cool work/travel plan that is more thought out than what I have been doing.
-Consider paragliding pilot class.
-Do my Wilderness First Responder recert
-Read a lot. Read like a writer.
-Learn metric and celsius so I look like less of an idiot to everyone else in the world.
-Volunteer doing something totally new.
-Lead hikes with Inner City Outings.
-Learn map & compass navigation better.
-Get my nose repierced.
-Go see more live music.
-Don’t feel FOMO.
-Listen to more podcasts and NPR.
-Take more technology breaks and embrace airplane mode.
-Save a lot of money.
-See a physical therapist for knees.
-Journal more often.
-Encourage family to visit! Go visit home! Go visit Seattle!
(Good morning waterfalls!)