I’m titling this blog post “moving up” because it helps me view moving out as something positive, and a step up toward my goals, instead of away from a place I am so happy.
On April 29 I will spend my last night in my beautiful apartment on State Street. I’m a little sad, even though I’ll just be temporarily moving twenty minutes up the road to Freeport.
Because of the “sad” component of the move, my sister suggested I pre-commemorate (is that a word? I thought my first blog post should have at least one made up word) the event by making a list of Portland-y things I’d like to do before I move back home for the summer. 7 things, for 7 days.
This move, even though it’s a short distance, has had me all hot and bothered and acting out of character: eating everything all the time, on my phone all the time, online shopping an exorbitant amount… you get it. Whoopsie.
I think it might be part yes-i’ll-miss-this-beautiful-place, but mostly it’s-what-this-place-means-to-me. I wake up and can’t believe I get to live some place so homey and beautiful. I. Love. My balcony with the tall paint-peeling doors that swing into the house, the views of the West End and the bridge, the big beautiful windows, the hustle and bustle, the bright light. I love the simple beauty of my room. I love the first light in the morning, whether winter, spring, summer or fall; the pink colors on the buildings give me so much peace and joy in starting my day. I love when the fog rolls in, I love the snow on the rooftops, I love looking down at the blooming trees, and the foliage. I love living somewhere that I love.
I grew into who I want to be more here, all by myself. This part is silly, but it’s the first place I made cinnamon rolls from scratch. It’s the first place I grew a tomato plant and didn’t kill it.
And, while all the above WONDERFUL things are true, I think I should shine some light on the whole truth, so as not to romanticize the situation too much (bad habit of mine): it’s also a place that requires drag racing to the street parking spots, a five floor commute with grocery bags and recycling boxes, and a place where other people’s iPhones sometimes connect to your Bluetooth speaker in the middle of the night and blast classic rock.
It’s not perfect, but it was/is mine, and I love/loved/always will love it.
So sitting down to face the facts - I’m moving, I’m sad about it (even though the change is inherently good!) - has been helpful, and I wanted to share my ideas, because I truly think one of the marks of a beautiful life is vulnerability.
Doing one thing every day that makes the day feel special makes being home and my daily life feel like something I don’t need to escape from, but rather something I love. It puts me in a much better position to give from a place of abundance, not emptiness.
I needed a reminder, as I’ve been so bound to distracting myself, so I’m challenging myself with this plan. I challenge anyone who reads this to also face your own reality, and then let’s together put down our phones for a time and make our daily lives a little better through making conscious choices, despite whatever underlying sadness that might be hiding!
If by chance you’d like to follow along my seven days of seven Portland-y things, I will be low-key highlighting them on my professional Instagram stories @anniepaigephoto with much less fanfare than this blog post makes it seem, but highlighting them nonetheless.
Run Portland - my favorite loop that is more of a sight seeing tour is as follows:
State Street > Danforth Street > Western Prom > Over to Congress > Left onto Washington Avenue > Up to the Eastern Prom > Down to East End Beach > around the Trail along the Water to > Commercial Street > Up Exchange > Middle Street > Monument Square > Left down a side Street all the way back to Commercial > All the way to Becky’s Diner and STOP
Sunrise trip to Scratch Bakery and Willard Beach
Need I say more. One salt bagel, one packet of cream cheese. One coffee. Walk to beach and admire the sunrise and dogs, who we do not deserve. Tear, dip, sip and eat, repeat.
Walk to the Eastern Prom because I can
I believe there is a 1.5-2 mile distance between the West End and the East End. It’s fun to people watch and window shop along the way. Maybe stop at the Co-op. Maybe stop for dinner along the way. Maybe drag my dude along for the ride. Maybe not, but maybe.
Homemade coffee on the balcony
Get up early enough before work to brew coffee and sip it on the balcony in my pajamas and slippers. The ultimate luxury.
Walk to Rosemont for bread and fruit
One time I walked to Rosemont for the fun of it with nothing but a coin purse to see what I could buy and I bought a baguette, then ate half of it on the walk home. Recreate this vision.
Bake something new in my kitchen
Use up all that baking crap in my cupboards and make something really naughty and delicious for the weekend.
Farmer’s market? Standard Baking Co.? Walk there? Run there?
Buy eggs for the week. Buy a chocolate croissant and eat it and laugh evilly. Maybe run back so less guilt!
The common theme, I noticed, is walking (and eating), I think because it implies a slower pace, which is what I’m wanting: time to slow down so I can take it in. I don’t know when or if I’ll ever live in Portland again, and even though I won’t be far, I sense that seasons in life pass sometimes without us noticing and it’s bittersweet. I don’t want to miss ANY thing. I want to live my life all the way, which leads me to my next point: failing sometimes along the way happens and I’m learning to have grace with myself when it does, or when things don’t go as I plan. We can’t always live every day in the most magical fairy land ever, and that’s fine. One good thing a day is still good. Blessing another person counts.
I hope being open about my life will inspire others to feel comfortable opening up about theirs. We need more non-judgmental spaces in the world. I want my page and my work and who I am to embody acceptance. Sometimes I worry so much about it, that I embody stress and nerves - ironic - but I am human, so I wanna tell people that so they’ll know it’s not just them. I used to think it really was just me in the world, as teenagers I think we all think those things.. but it’s restoring to know that we aren’t alone in life.
7 things, 7 days, even if it’s just eating a left over chocolate Easter egg, be kind to yourself, you just have one life, don’t stop trying, you are doing the best that you can.