>The Power of Now

>It’s weird that I haven’t tried to live in the moment for the past 7 months or so; in fact, I had completely forgotten about the practice.  As I was sitting on the couch in Wojc’s brother’s house as they were loading the last of our suitcases in the car I started to stress.  Who am I kidding? Even the cat was nervously pacing as we packed all of our belongings.  I sat on the couch and my mind started to go to an anxious place where I began to worry about leaving for Portland tomorrow and looking for an apartment and what if I didn’t like any of the places and so on and so forth.  All of a sudden it hit me: right now, right this very moment everything is fine and I’m happy.  If I could learn to live in the present moment then my life would be different.  If you truly live in the moment you really can’t stress; all of my anxiety and stress stem from worrying about what will happen a day from now, a week from now, a year from now.  Because of all this stress I often let days pass without fully enjoying them.

“Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now.
 Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.”

Eckhart Tolle provides me with an excellent meditation that I really hope to incorporate in my life as often as possible.  I think it’s like a muscle, the more you exercise it the stronger it becomes and the more I practice living in the moment the easier it will become.  When I had this epiphany it was like a cement block lifted from my shoulders.

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>Home is where the heart is.

>Y’all I’m getting serious about this apartment business.  Wojc and I have pretty much agreed on Portland and so we will be making yet another drive down on saturday to really truly look for a place.  I have about four appointments set up thus far all in the Pearl area and the Hawthorne area. If any Portlanders know of good neighborhoods I should be checking, please let me know! I really don’t know the city that well yet.
Anyway, back to “settling down”. My last home was my apartment in Harlem over 6 months ago.  For months I have lived in a tent, a truck, under the stars, an empty vacation home, my mom’s house, my boyfriend’s parents’ house, my boyfriend’s brother’s house, a shack in northern Washington and too many friends’ floors to count.  I realized the other night that I haven’t been alone in a house for over a month. And  wow, for a person who needs ample “alone time” this has been an adjustment.
Within a week (knock on wood) we will have an apartment.  My nest egg will be slightly smaller and reality will have finally set in. As I approach this permanent move I find myself feeling deeply nostalgic for New York City; because, oddly enough, it is my comfort zone. When I’m not tearing up over NYC skyline footage, I’m getting that old familiar urge to hop on the first plane to India.  Aww, the joys of being a commitment-phobe. This is the end of an era. New York was unexpected and three years passed in the blink of an eye, all my memories feel like a dream and I think, “did that really happen?” With the end of traveling, reality is sinking in that I am no longer a New Yorker who can proudly gripe about rent prices and subway rides. And with this sudden turn to melancholy, I will only look forward to a slower paced, less expensive, happy daily existence.
I desperately long for a place to call my own and know that after the initial stress I will love the stability; however, staying still has never been my strong suit. So now, I push away that urge to roam and settle back in my beloved home state, Oregon.

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>A Year In Review

>As per usual, I’m a little late in the year in review/resolutions post. Better late than never, right? Minutes before pulling alongside James Lipton, I awkwardly asked a car full of people as the last few minutes of 2010 ticked by, “if you had to use one word to describe your year what would it be?” Apparently people weren’t feeling introspective as I was met with a change in subject, but I thought about my question and realized mine would be unknown. 2010 was full of adventure, excitement, stress, dread, joy but the most common theme was the unknown, both good and bad.
I was preyed upon by two guys with guns and ski masks in February. This caused so much stress, anxiety and fear and was the final push I needed to plan my escape from New York.
I quit my job in June.  One of the most difficult and yet best decisions I’ve made in some time.
I packed up a truck and fulfilled a life long dream of driving cross-country in June and July which turned into one of the fondest memories of my life.
I spent my summer and fall traveling happily between Arizona, Oregon and NYC.
I stressed more days than I care to count about where to move and wondering if I will ever get a job.
2010 was filled with some of the best times and some of the worst times but not a day that I regret.
In 2011 I hope to continue my adventures but with a little more stability. I am so happy to be on the west coast again within driving distance to almost all of my closest friends and family that I already feel like I’ve succeeded in 2011; however, I am not without resolutions.

In 2011 I hope to decide on a city to live in, find an apartment, get a job and travel overseas. And apply/get accepted to graduate school. The End.

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Salt N’ Pepper Revisited

A few days ago on one of the only sunny days on the southern Oregon coast the family and I embarked on a visit to Salt and Pepper beach south of Port Orford on 101.  My mom, sister and brother-in-law hadn’t been yet and they needed to see such an outstanding place.

 The day couldn’t have been more perfect for a December coastal day.  Trailblazing down the hillside, slipping down the mud and tripping our way through blackberry vines quickly warmed us up.  With the sun shining it felt like a perfect sunny day.

 I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is the most spectacular beach I’ve seen.  As you walk down the final grassy hill and look down upon the beach you can’t help but feel part of a mystical place.  There are no buildings, electric lines, roads; there are no sounds other than the boom of the waves crashing on the rocks. It’s as out of this world as I’ve been while staying right here in Oregon.

When I’m on Salt and Pepper beach a feeling of peace washes over me.  Maybe it’s my brain waves syncing up with the tide.  Maybe it’s the memories I have as a child splashing through the waves.  The sun rays peaking through the clouds and the glow of the blue/gray ocean balance and calm me. I want to do yoga, sleep and run when I come to this place.

It has been such a good week down in Port Orford with my family.  We haven’t been all together for several years and this time has been memorable.  I wish we could all stay here for at least another week, and yet real life awaits.  My sister and bro-in-law will fly out shortly, I’ll be heading to Portland and my brother off to where ever the wind takes him.  It’s sad parting ways, I only hope we’ll all be together sooner than it took last time.

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Happy Festivus To All!!!
Christmas morning was magical.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful day regardless of what you celebrate! 
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How Lovely Are Your Branches

A week ago I hopped on the train from Seattle.  My sister and brother-in-law got on a plane and my brother took his car. We managed to coordinate our arrivals within a half hour of each other in Portland.  Shockingly there were no delays.  We then proceeded to make the 5 hour drive south to Port Orford where we have spent the week lounging and making the most of family time.

A couple days ago we woke up to a gloriously sunny day and knew it was the perfect day to find our christmas tree.  Throughout my childhood we spent hours and hours driving the logging roads in search of the “perfect” tree; of course, this rarely happened and we could never agree on a tree.  Usually the search would end in desperation as the sun dropped and the rain fell and we were left with a scrawny Charlie Brown tree. Honestly, the tree doesn’t really matter; it’s the adventure and tradition that means the most.

We all packed into the truck and began the drive up China Mountain.  Not ten minutes passed when my brother spotted a nice tree on the side of the road.  We inspected it and knew it was perfect.  Luckily, my conscience was eased when we noticed it had a disfigured trunk and was growing a steep hill not suitable for survival.

Utku got down to the business of sawing it down with our less than sharp blade.  With such a small trunk, the tree came down quickly.

 The speed in which we found and cut down the tree was unheard of so we spent the remainder of the afternoon seeing the sights and going to the beach.  It’s times like this when I so happy to be an Oregonian.

Later that night my sister and brother put up the tree and we all decorated it.  Not the greatest picture, but believe me it is one of my favorite christmas trees yet, made even better with the smug satisfaction of finding the perfect one deep in the wilderness. 

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A Day In Birch Bay

A few weeks ago, Wojc and I drove up to Birch Bay north of Seattle to check out a possible temporarily home.  We had some friends from Lake Havasu that offered their cabin until April.  We were pretty pumped to check it out and figured it would be the perfect place to hole up for the winter and write and apply for jobs.

 Unfortunately, the cabin was slightly more shack-like than we had imagine and sadly we marked this off our list of possibilities.  It was fun to take a morning run to Birch Bay State Park and see the quaint little town and I really liked Bellingham; it just wasn’t meant to be.

 And so we drove south back to Seattle to continue our search for the perfect place.

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