It’s 8:39am on a Sunday, and I am half-awake. My body still seems to be in early rising mode, so after a few futile attempts to force myself back to sleep, I give in, and decide to grab some coffee.
It’s a routine I’ve come to love, to expect, and to depend on. While bae is fast asleep, and will likely remain as such for a few more hours, I sneak off on a morning walk for a latte and some alone time. Recently, however, the walks have transformed from being a peaceful, pensive period to a hurried and annoying errand as my thumping head demands its daily dose of caffeine.
This morning is different, however. It’s Sunday morning early, which means that most folks are tucked away at home, asleep, or just waking up. Perfect for an isolated stroll through my neighborhood. At about 9:08am, I make my way out into the wild. It is calm. Peaceful. Cloudy, and cold, but not rainy.
There are two places I could set off to. One, with consistently better coffee, but as a result, with a more consistent stream of people. I don’t want that today. In my leggings, worn out oversized Urban outfitters military jacket (equipped with a ridiculous fur hoodie), and headphones connected to a phone that isn’t playing any music, I want to be unseen. Thus, I choose the less popular shop. And I choose the longer backroads to get there.
I had been needing a change of scenery these days. Something about my life doesn’t sit quite right with me these days. Maybe it’s my career. Maybe it’s that constant longing for a larger group of friends. Maybe it’s the weather? Maybe they’re all intertwined. Whatever it is, it’s been weighing heavy over me. Maybe it’s the unexciting routine I’ve set up for myself these days. Go to work, work out, come home, lie in bed the whole weekend, scouring pages and pages of online shopping and envying the lives of the bloggers and reality tv stars I flood my free time with. Either way, I do not want this morning to feel routine.
So I begin walking. This new, unfamiliar path somehow starts to spark the nostalgia within me—the nostalgia of walking the unknown for the first time. I am taken back to a morning very similar to this one, two and half years in the past. I guess it’s right around 2 and a half years that I’ve lived here, now. Curious.
I feel like I’m in the same place now than I was then. Up early before Ryan, cold and cloudy, surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers, yet no sunshine, in search of my morning beverage. Strolling past beautiful Portland homes, inspiring a sense of homeowner envy as I gaze upon the quaint and quiet porches around me. I think about the girl whose room we rented out that first month I lived here, and how I deeply admired her at such an unstable phase in my career. She had short, pin-straight hair, beautiful brown skin, and was sporting an oversized, white sweater. Her movements were sharp and quick, as she clumsily set aside a rack of her clothing to make space for our bags. She was headed out to New York shortly, and she would be gone for the month. Was she working on a movie? Maybe it was something fashion-related. It didn’t matter. She was off to jet-set and live a fabulous life, here and there between Portland and New York. Meanwhile, I was starting a lame, front desk museum job in a few days, and all I had to wear were the ugly pewter polos they had assigned me and some old, very out of date khaki pants. And those horrible glasses I had hurriedly picked to replace my favorite hipster tortoiseshell frames that I had recently lost.
Effectively, I feel like I’m in the same place now. Which is very much not true. I am at least better off financially, and I certainly have more of a career path laid out than I did then. Still, it’s hard to convince myself of that. I feel like I have just as many questions these days. I find myself stuck again in a spiral of fickle interests and ideas. One week I’m on CodeAcademy, ready to get down and finally do some programming. The next, I’m buying a copy of “The Principles of Beautiful Web Design,” which is inevitably destined to lie on top of the “HTML and CSS,” book that I will never open. The next moment, I’m taking embarrassing selfies with messy and unappealing backdrops, trying to make a fashion blog that I know isn’t going to happen, happen. The following, I’m searching for freelance writing clients. (That attempt, at least, has been successful! Maybe that should tell me something).
I guess the good news is that I’m doing something rather than nothing, even if it’s only bites at a time, and in many wavering directions. Eventually, something will stick, I suppose. And in the meantime, I know I will continue to lose myself in jackets and dresses and blouses, oh my! And in early morning walks with lattes and cold brews, oh my! And, while it’s difficult to know that there are still weeks upon weeks of this depressing weather to be had, I know that summer is gradually making its way to Portland; and when it arrives, it will be glorious and beautiful and will spark a sense of life that I have been missing for a long time. And I have to keep in mind that I am lucky that I can even have these kinds of career anxieties; that I have the luxury of even making these choices. So here’s to today–another day, another beautiful and cloudy and cold Sunday.