Phew – What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been. The exercise of condensing, packing, and shipping (still in transit) your stuff across the country, while you switch jobs, start to learn new things, and start to say goodbye to your old haunts and memories, happy and sad ones, is an exercise that is incredibly taxing to the heart, soul, and body. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is sometimes the best possible decision.
With all the work involved, I’ve been so incredibly busy, and I haven’t really had the chance to take stock of how I’m doing — today, I’m just OK, in fact, I’m a little worse than OK. But every day is different. I’ve had so many highs and lows over the last 30 years in the City of Portland. And trying to process those emotions as I start to explore and settle in the new city, each little action either sends me into a fit of giggles or i’m bawling like a fool in my rental car at a stoplight. I’m sure it’s great entertainment for others, but when you’re wound as tight as I am, or can be, it can be quite jarring. For the last eight weeks, I’ve convinced myself this is the best decision I could make. Something new, something fresh. And I am still convinced it’s right. With my trusty pup by my side, I know i’m going to have a great life looking forward, but my eyes are presently fixed on the rear-view mirror and all the things I’ve left behind.
I spent my last couple of days in Portland connecting with the many friends and acquaintances I’ve made over the years, saving the hardest for last, not because it was hard, but because I wanted to be able to spend the most time with this person. I’ve known this person for a lifetime, literally. We’ve had such interesting experiences with each other and have seen each other grow, become strong in the face of the hardest adversities, cried many rivers of tears, and laughed until we couldn’t breathe. We’ve always been a part of each other’s lives, even if it’s just checking in from afar, and I know that doesn’t change with me being across the country, but it does. Just a little. WE spent the last few hours I was supposed to be in Portland together, and as I turned down her street to drop her off at home for the final time, I could barely see to park the car, neither of us could say anything, neither of us wanted to say goodbye, so we didn’t, we just sat there, hugging and crying in the middle of the street. Just another awkward moment the rest of the world would have taken one moment to look at, shake their heads, and go on about their day. But just another moment where I knew that moment would carry me forward into the next chapter. Once I left, I cried for about another 20 or so blocks before I could get a grip. It was cleansing, sure, but it still hurt.
After dinner with my parents, and a last minute flight cancellation, the next day my trusty pup Sherman and I (the former under heavy sedation, the latter wishing he were) climbed aboard our red-eye flight and stole away under the cover of darkness from the City of Roses, to the Queen’s City. A couple weeks before I left, I created a Spotify playlist, called The Best of Nick – and that’s what I played, while in First Class, after consuming more than a few vodka-gingers, and faded off to sleep in the air, somewhere over the middle of the country. This playlist is my tribute to my time in Portland and is meant to be played in Shuffle Mode – which is pretty much how my life is sometimes lived. I hope you enjoy it.