Archive for ‘Life’

February 23, 2013

Portland Oregon Sign


It’s been six months since I last posted.  I never gave you all a round-up of my deliciously fun Julia Child birthday dinner. I didn’t tell you about the Un-Turkey Day feast David and I served in our new apartment (we served brisket to our families the Saturday after Thanksgiving).  I haven’t told you of our new, beautiful dining room table (though now I have – see it below? I’m in love with it).  I haven’t shared with you my new burr coffee grinder or my discovery of carrots as a delicious mid-morning work snack (whole carrots, not the yucky baby ones).



Maybe it’s because when you move across the country like we did this past year, you rip up so many roots, realize what you’ve left behind, and spend a lot of time discovering all the wonderful new things around you.  Maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much energy on being in Oregon (yay!) and not with my friends in Boston (boo!) that I haven’t had the strength to log on here.

A friend of mine told me the other day about a pastor who traveled for a few weeks with a nomadic tribe in Africa.  One day, all the men in the tribe packed up their tents but instead of moving on, they just sat down on the ground refusing to continue.  Nervous he had done something to offend them, the pastor found out (through several translators) that they had decided they had traveled too far the day before, and had to wait for their souls to catch up.  So they waited.


Packing Boxes


I feel like my soul, or whatever you want to call that part of my being, took the road trip we didn’t have time to take, and then decided to extend it to include some sightseeing.  It’s probably in the Chicago art museum, or maybe it’s made it to Glacier National Park.  I’m not quite sure, but I know it’s not yet here with me in Oregon.

And that means, it’s been hard to blog.  I haven’t decided what I want to have my next identity here be. I wrote an entire Master’s thesis on the meaning of online identities but I have no idea what mine is yet.  I’m now working professionally in educational tourism, and while it’s a seemingly simple jump from there to culinary tourism, I don’t know what that would look like on this blog.  This site has gone from an unsuccessful attempt at crowd-sourcing recipes, to a journal of my Fulbright year, to a chronicle of my degree in Gastronomy, to a half-hearted attempt at continuing the blog through photography and various food topics. Now, I’ve suddenly lost my narrative.

So bear with me, as I wait for my soul to catch up and I find my virtual identity.  I promise, in one form or another, I’ll be back.

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.