My summer in Portland is about to come to an end. Tomorrow morning, I will arrive at the Portland Airport, with all of my liquids carefully packed in my checked luggage (and all of the books I bought--why did I buy books again???--carefully placed in my carryon so that I don't go over the weight limits) and head back to the midwest.
K and C took really good care of me in my one week post-Institute. I've been having a good, restful time. I'm ready to go back because I miss J, and I miss my C, but I'm not totally ready to go back to all of the dealings of my regular, day to day life. My feet will likely move a little bit slow on the way to the gate tomorrow morning.
I like Portland--I love Portland. I like that on a mid-August day I might need a sweatshirt while I walk around the farmer's market. I like that people don't have to separate their recyclables. I like the rain, even though it only rained once while I was here, and I like that people ride bikes and public transportation. People buy organic food like crazy here, and the grocery stores and nice and clean.
I like Portland, but it doesn't really feel like home like it used to. I used to feel like I was less myself in Minneapolis, and while it's still true that there might be more essence of true me in Portland, there's more of me in Minneapolis than ever before. I used to feel like all of my friends were in Portland, and I was not. I still have really good friends in Portland. Friends so close I consider them more like family than like friends. But, it has been more than a few years and I've learned these friendship bonds are strong; strong enough to weather miles and time and reliance upon email and cell phone calls that happen all too infrequently.
A few years ago, I left Portland to go to school in Minneapolis. I wasn't sure what the future would bring, but when our car rounded the bend onto the first mile of the highway headed out of town, I remember thinking--I am leaving a place I love. A place that has been good to me. I may not be able to ever really come back again.
People tell me now, move back to Portland. You'll move back someday, they say. I tell them I might want to, but wanting isn't going to get me a job here. Things are moving in my direction in Minneapolis. I'm finishing my degree. I'm feeling a little more settled. I have a good feeling about where things are headed. There may be some changes in my short term future--good changes for me and my family.
There'll always be a little bit of my heart in Portland. I love this city, and I'm glad to have had the experience of living here. But, it's time to head home. The Twin Cities are home.Posted by chri1010 at August 13, 2006 1:02 AM