Nathanial Garrod

Two Years in Portland

Remember that one time I told you about how impressed I was that I had lived somewhere for a year and that it is the longest I have ever lived somewhere?

I just made it to two years.

I remember sitting on the floor of my apartment in Oklahoma, packing up the last of my boxes.I drove them to the post office and shipped them halfway across the country, a leap that I had no reason to believe would pay off. I called every apartment posted on Craigslist that might possibly be a lead. I bought a one-way airplane ticket and, for a second or third, or fourth time (depending on how you look at it), jumped to a new place.

It was an adventure, a thrill, a rush. Finding resources, and people, and places. For months, every thing was new. Every person was a new potential friend or connection, every place was a new sight, every restaurant was a new taste in a new neighborhood that I had not yet seen.

My adventures were cataloged, recorded, organized, sorted. My photos shared, and my stories told.

At some point, I stopped cataloging the adventures, and it just became my daily life. A post 9-mile-run Car2Go drive to the Hollywood district to hear some friends from church play music at a bar featured a detour in the Mississippi neighborhood because I still get lost sometimes. It blurs together with the day I rented a ZipCar and started driving in a direction. All the days I have walked, driven, or bussed to work blur together with all the days I have walked or bussed home. Some of them, I am in a hurry because grades are posting, or I want to get in before my co-workers to finish up some projects before I get distracted. Some of them, I am relaxed and taking my time because I know I will have plenty of time to cook dinner and watch an episode of some show before reading my comics and falling asleep.

Sure, there are changes. My job became more permanent this year, my hair has grown out a bit, I wear glasses now, I have run three half marathons and am signed up for a random array of other races – including a full marathon.

I moved here at a time in my life when I was lost, when I felt scars growing over my wounds, when I was trying to have hope for my future. I moved here when my greatest accomplishment was just a shadow that I feared might be my worst mistake. Sometimes I get scared because I do not feel the pain anymore. Sometimes I worry that I have become apathetic and fallen into too much of a routine.

Then I remember that every day still is an adventure. Every day has new experiences, new challenges, even new people.

But the best part? The best part is that I have regular people. I have this cool network of people I love and appreciate, people who support me and tell me when I am ridiculous, and I have built this system of friends who randomly text me appreciation, dumb jokes, or selfies with a cardboard cutout of Biggie Smalls.

Every day is the longest I have lived in one place since I was 14. I remember this at least once a week and it represents one of my greatest accomplishments.

Someday, maybe I’ll move.

Probably not soon. I like it here.

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This entry was posted on June 18, 2015 by in Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , .