Archive for May, 2012

May 25, 2012

On the Move and Daring to Compete

I’ve been quiet around here this past month and my twitter feed has been napping, but my offline life has been far from silent.  It’s screaming with changes, plans, uncertainty, and excitement. It can’t sleep because it’s whirring over lists and dreams.



You see, after ten years away, I’m moving back home to Oregon.  Oregon!  There are so many amazing things about Oregon that I can’t wait to take advantage of.  The Coast. Multnomah Falls.  The Cascades.  Fog and rainbows.  Silver Creek Falls.  Cape Blanco. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  The High Desert.  The Salem Art Festival. Family.  Friends.

When I graduated high school, I couldn’t wait to leave Oregon.  My college choices came down to one in Portland and one in Massachusetts.  I chose Massachusetts, and I’ve lived here for eight of the ten years since (the other two being in Germany on study abroad and then my Fulbright). I’ve been trying to get back to Oregon the moment I left it, but the timing has never been right until now.

It’s strange to think I’ve lived in Massachusetts so long. I still feel like a visitor of sorts.  I’m starting to know the local politics and the local worldviews (listening to WBUR really helps with that). But I still don’t know the cardinal direction of Hingham in relation to Boston, I’ve not spent more than a couple days on the very base of the Cape, and I’ll never understand why nobody smiles at each other in the streets or on the T.



On the other hand, Massachusetts has been my home for almost all of my adult life.  The other night, coming home from a late work function, I stopped over the BU Bridge and snapped some sunset photos of my favorite angle of the Boston skyline.  I am in love with this skyline.  I will truly miss it when I’m away.

I will miss the crew boats on the Charles.
The runners on the Esplanade.
My walks through Cambridgeport.
Sacco’s Pizza and Bowling.
Comm Ave —

Wait.  I don’t want to get carried away.  I don’t think I’ll miss Comm Ave.  Enough of this nostalgia. (Quick side-note: why do all the images of Comm Ave on Google show the pretty part of Comm Ave that nobody ever walks down? There is hardly a photo of actual Comm Ave, the concrete mess of cars, bikes, trains, and people)

Okay, let’s get back on track:

I’m going home to Oregon to pursue my dreams. Kind of like a modern Oregon Trail (via a direct JetBlue flight).  I have some plans, and I will say they will partly involve this blog, but for now I’m in the writing lists stage, the scheming stage to set things as straight as this elusive plan will let it be.



Who knows what will happen once I get there, but I know this: I need to be diligent and organize my time wisely (I’m much better with deadlines, and this plan has no outside deadlines like the ones I’m used to, other than trying to find a paycheck).  Quitting a full-time job with benefits to move across the country to a known unknown is not easy.  I’m quite frankly afraid.  But a couple phrases have stuck with me over the past few months that I keep going back to:

Dare to compete. Hillary Clinton told a story that in prepping for her Senate race she was at an event for girls in sports called “Dare to Compete.” A tall basketball player leaned over to Hillary and repeated the mantra, “Dare to compete, Mrs. Clinton. Dare to compete.”  Or, as my sister kept telling me in high school, don’t say “no” before you’ve even tried.

Fail Forward. I have this fierce desire to plan it all out – to be in control of my future, while at the same time I know that this is impossible.  When I can’t imagine what will happen to me in a month from now, or several months from now, I tend to worry.  I fear the unknown.  Mostly because I fear it will bring failure.  I read an entrepreneur’s summary of her experience with this, and she said the best thing she has learned is that failure is part of the process. Learning from failure is one of the better (if harder) ways to learn.  Yesterday, word was officially spread at work that I am leaving, and a coworker, excited about my pursuits, told me that if I fail at my current goals, nobody can take that away from me. Nobody can judge me for failing because I did it, and I will take that experience on to my next adventure.



And with that, I continue this screaming life of lists, packing, sorting, and moving. I dare to compete, and I will fail forward.



*Photo Credits: The first two photos were taken by me, the third (of Berley Lake in the Oregon Cascades) by my sister, and the last in Salem by David.