Sunday, April 28, 2013

Home Sweet, Portland

I will be the first to admit that I never anticipated transitional anxiety about moving to a city as familiar as Portland. New job and co-worker anxiety? Sure, whatever. But PORTLAND anxiety? Never ever saw it coming.

But it hit me like a freight train. I settled immediately into my new job, my boards, and my social life, but for some reason my hometown of Portland felt intense.  Within two weeks of me moving here, I was in need of a yoga studio. I dated around and read all kinds of reviews, and despite the god awful name, I found my safe haven in a small studio on Hoyt called YoYoYogi--and thank goodness I did! It became my transitional sanctuary. There were times I felt that I was downright hiding while I was in practice, but it was mine.

When moving to a city, you cling to things that feel like yours (despite the fact that literally hundreds of others share this place with you.). I instantly clung to my yoga studio, my route to the streetcar, and the coffee shop on the end of my block.

I love being here.
Oh my gosh, I love being here.

My new job is good, but there is a pretty strong office divide between Program staff and Development staff. This is something that I am not used to. At my old office, we were lively, energetic, and danced a lot (.....and watched a lot of dumb YouTube videos). My new office is very toxic in the sense that I feel lots of negative energy headed my way for being the new kid. I am not sure I was ever given the benefit of the doubt in the beginning with the program staff, and I am frequently set up for failure. It's not the most supportive environment--but instead of confronting them and saying "Hey. Y'all are being assholes", in the most Melissa fashion,  I just put my head down and work really really really hard. My achievements and my successes are my silent "HA!" to them.
I'm totally okay with this system. Because--you know what? I'm good at my job. Like, really good.

As silly as this is, I was blatantly disrespected by a co-worker right before I got off the clock last week, and  on the street car ride home my iPod shuffled onto Brother Ali's song Forest Whitaker and I laughed as I mentally sang the lyrics:
"I'ma be all right, you ain't gotta be my friend tonight (you ain't gotta love me)
I'ma be okay, you would probably bore me anyway (you ain't gotta love me)"
And if you know the "la-da-da-da-da-da's" that go with that song, you know how oddly satisfying those "la's" are to sing. You simply just don't give a damn.

I feel I've got something to prove in PDX.
A desire to stand tall, be present.
A desire to ground myself and use a little less sarcasm and give a lot more high-fives.

On a side note:
There really isn't a local place that I am drawn to yet for climbing, But spring is here, so we Oregonian's can climb outside again. Though I did climb with my dear friend Adrienne and her main squeeze, Steph recently--and you know what? I was terrible!
My arms were all shaky and wimpy and my endurance wasn't so hot. But holy crap, it was fun.
I laughed humbly at the terrible climber that I had become. I stepped away from my old 5.10's and hung out with the 5.8's (some of which were even exhausting), but I was electric. Never once did I compare to the others around me, and while the three of us all were climbing on different levels, we encouraged one another on a united front. Speaking of--Adrienne--you're a damn beast. You go girl!

I am 9 weeks deep in this new adventure. My feet are finally planted. The anxiety is finally gone. I feel present and connected with my new digs.

It's already been a crazy ride.
Bring it on.

Welcome home.

Monday, April 15, 2013

As my heart goes to Boston, my anger rises

I don't like that my first entry in Portland is this one, but I am worried.
Soon I'll "publish" the other posts I've been tinkering with the past few months, but the moment is now wrong.

The bombings that happened in Boston this afternoon are jarring.

When my friend called me from Boston a few hours ago to tell me that she was safe, I was thoroughly confused. I scrolled around on NPR as she told me that two bombs had gone off near at the Boston Marathon finish line, but the news wasn't on the web yet.

Moments later the headlines switched and so did my anger.
I immediately thought of the race that I finished just yesterday in Portland.
I thought of Adam who's completed nearly 10 marathons and runs almost daily.
I thought of myself and as a cheering supporter- beaming with pride as I watch people cross the finish line.

This is unacceptable.
These shootings, these bombings, these cries of anger and revenge.
I can't tell if our world is getting worse, or if I am just getting older--It's likely a fusion of both.

I also don't get it.

Below are 2 tweets that really stood out to me this afternoon:

via @tomgoom: "A marathon is a collection of amazing people that have worked hard, sweated & sacrificed. Why them? #bostonmarathon"

via @NBCSN: "Reports of Marathon Runners that crossed finish line and continues to run to Mass General Hospital 2 give blood #PrayforBoston"

If by some chance anyone from Boston is reading this. Please--open your hearts, homes, and veins.

I on the other hand will lace my Nikes back up tonight despite my sore legs.
I will hit the sidewalk with the attempt to balance respect with disgust.
I will run as far as I need to in order to regain my own personal level towards the acceptance of humanity.
If you are a runner, I'd encourage you to do the same.