I’ve been in Portland for three days and am having a blast. I’m staying in a charming little hostel on the Northwest side of town. Staying in a room with five other random people is interesting, but it hasn’t been too bad so far.
Every morning, I wake up and have my tea and breakfast in the hostel. And I write. I’ve been journaling prolifically, actually. I’m trying to catalogue all my experiences, but I’m also seeking to uncover the roots of my idiosyncrasies and explore my next steps: how I can live my dream life on my own terms.
I’ve been doing lots of yummy yoga, visiting parks and rose gardens, eating at food carts, and talking to lots of new people. Yesterday in particular was a great day because I got to eat at Prasad, which I’ve been dreaming about for months.
Chili Bowl at Prasad
I also *finally* got a tattoo! I’ve wanted the ‘Om’ symbol in tattoo form for awhile, so now I have it. A lot of people have asked me what it means. It’s a sacred hindu symbol and a chanting sound often used in yoga and meditation. According to the Upanishads, whoever knows Om, “obtains all that he desires.” It represents the omnipresent and the source of all manifest existence. It’s essentially the symbol of the universe and the sound of life: the past, present and future all rolled into one.
The cherry on top of my sundae yesterday was seeing my brother-in-law Matt, his beautiful wife Karla and their adorable daughter Liz. Liz turns 3 in a couple of weeks and I haven’t seen her since September, so there has been a lot of change. She’s gotten a lot bigger and is talking up a storm. Her personality is already so huge! Matt and Karla treated me to a decadent Peruvian dinner and the great conversation that I’ve been craving. I think Matt and his business partner are going to take me to the Willamette Valley wineries tomorrow and I’m so excited.
Me and beautiful little Liz.
So far, I’m feeling great. It’s nice to finally find some breathing room in my life. It feels good to finally realize that the things in my life that I assumed were important were in fact obscuring my view of what’s beyond them. It’s nice not to feel overwhelmed for the first time ever. I’ve realized that I don’t need things in my life to be happy, but beautiful experiences and memories instead. A bigger, busier life isn’t necessarily a better life.
I’m still a bit scared of what lies beyond this trip, but I think things will fall into place nicely. I’ve already begun to line up some options for work/projects for when I get back and I’ve started to think about how I’ll carve time out every day for other, more creative work to fulfill me. I think having a nice, long break will refuel the ambition that has been sapped over the years.
It’s likely that I won’t be able to blog again until Seattle next week, so adieu until then!