Written at Floyd’s Coffee Shop, NW Portland
I am having an amazing week (and you thought this post would be about only two days – ha!). My personal taste in blogs include bloggers that write about their daily routines, who find awesomeness in the mundane (a word, which comes from the Latin root mundos, to mean world – worldly bloggers!) and who share their own personal stories with the world. I also accidentally took a bit of a hiatus from Growing Up On OM so this post is intended to help me play catchup. Without further ado, the following is what made my week amazing:
Last Saturday, my roommates and I went to a lovely farmer’s market and Grocery Outlet (a winning combo) to stock up on goods for a combination of our housewarming and my 23rd birthday (all one event). The party was a total success and fused together college friends and Portland AmeriCorps friends. By the end of the night, I was thoroughly pleased that I have made a life here for myself, filled with really awesome people (most photos courtesy of roomie A).
We all went for a great brunch at Cup N Saucer, me and J’s new regular place now that we can’t pop over to Brew Bakers at the drop of a hat. Afterwards, I did some much-needed post-party vegging out at home on the couch. I broke out of my couch potato reign to explore a new part of Portland: Mississippi Avenue. Mississippi is home to adorable coffee shops, coffee specialty stores (where I was finally able to find the right filters for my Japanese pourover – yes, you can hate me after saying that), thrift shops, food carts, street art and the amazing Rebuilding Center where J is volunteering and with an outside of the above photo. I could not believe that I’ve lived in Portland for over three months and still hadn’t been.
The day started off with my new yoga class at Unfold Studios on Division St. The class ended up being a private because the studio was waiting to advertise it, but I was struck yet again by how – just like it says on their sign – “unconditionally welcoming” Unfold is. I am honored to be able to teach a weekly class there – it’s every week so if you’re reading this and are in Portland, COME TOMORROW!
So on Tuesday, I actually turned 23. And on this day where I worked extra hours at the school because of a parent’s meeting, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Like, I could – and did – cry at the generosity of everyone in my life on that day. I woke up bummed out that there wasn’t a Taylor Swift song for my new age and hit the pillow at night filled with unbounded gratitude.
My special day began at 7am with gifts from housemate J: a plethora of the things I swore off in my budget (for extremist budgeting, it is helpful to have friends who are excellent listeners): packs of gum, 85 percent dark chocolate, NuGo Dark protein bars, heaps of magazines and Taylor Swift’s album 1989 (wow, I am still in awe of this generosity; J, thank you!).
I then walked over to Starbucks to get my free birthday drink with my gold card.
At the school that day, I thought something was a bit suspicious. No one said happy birthday and I did not expect them to, but there was still an air of people keeping a secret from me (I liked the mystery!). At the parent group meeting that night, all the mamas that make my heart swell surprised me with flowers, cupcakes, a card they got what felt like everyone in the school to sign and more renditions of feliz cumpleaños than I knew existed. I teared up and unfortunately my subconscious chose that moment to have me lose my Spanish out of emotional overwhelm; I still do not know if my thank-you made sense, but I tried.
My birthday finished off with tacos and pomegranate margaritas with the roommates at Por Que No?, an amazing taqueria on Hawthorne. When I got home, I was about to hit the pillow (I thought this amazing day was over!) when my other housemate A knocked on my door to present me with this, a piece of home that she created having never visited it. I burst into tears for the second time that day. Hanging above my bed, I have a piece of my Laughing Lotus hOMe in PDX. It feels so right it too makes my heart swell.
Fast forward to today and I am sitting at Floyd’s Coffee Shop writing other things until I am pleasantly forced to write my novel at a NaNoWriMo “write-in” that will take place here shortly. I began my day early with a “Kick Your Asana” yoga class with the phenomenal Jessica Garay at People’s Yoga. Jessica is a teacher I discovered just yesterday and my body feels exhilarated with new challenges! I then went to a neck of the woods I so rarely am in: the Northwest. I walked in the rain to the place I first arrived in during my first trip to Portland a few years ago: the river. Next to the river, the Saturday Market was taking place (it occurs on Sundays too) and I looked around an artisan market that lasts all year long just after having a conversation with my sister about how I’ll be missing the Union Square Holiday Market this year. The thing with Portland, though, is that it is a city that doesn’t make me feel like I am “missing out” on urban life the way Middletown did. I don’t feel like I need to go back to New York for dire reasons besides the people I love there. NYC has a holiday market once a year…Portland has one year round. And it includes Ethiopian food trucks. So ha!