Drifting in Portlandia

So we’ve been here about a week now.

Here means just outside of Portland, Oregon.

It’s been a little rough, as I expected it would be.  I also suppose it hasn’t been as bad as my worst fears, so that’s something.

Brian and I both came down with the flu over Christmas (given to us by the movers who packed up our stuff), and that made for a pretty rotten holiday.  We made the most of it, but we were not able to do everything we had planned, and we were forced to skip seeing loved ones for fear of getting them sick, which really sucked.

We returned to our mostly bare apartment for one night in sleeping bags so that we could rise early, grab the cat, and make the 10 hour drive to Portland all in one day.

I have a love-hate relationship with this cat, and that morning it was definitely hate.  And pity, I suppose.  She refused to eat any of the sedative-infused food we offered her.  We had given her some a few weeks prior as a trial run, just to make sure she wasn’t allergic and to see how she would do.  I can only imagine that she remembered that experience and was like, “No effing way I am doing that again, you guys.”  We tried putting it in dry food.  We tried hiding it in chicken.  And then we tried just forcing it into her mouth and down her throat.  To no avail.  At this point we were behind schedule, so she got shoved into the cat carrier, hungry and unmedicated, and off we went.

Despite the struggles of the morning, Sadie (the cat) did pretty well.  She howled solidly for the first 45 minutes and then would pass out for 20 minutes at a time, only to wake up and howl some more.  I had to just emotionally detach myself from her in order to cope.  I kept telling her, “I love you, and you are safe,” which I think was more for my benefit than for hers.

The drive up was pretty damn gorgeous, and wonderfully uneventful (the cat howling aside).  We passed Shasta and saw a bit of snow in the shade in the mountains.  We stopped for lunch in Ashland, which was good to check out again.

We arrived at our new place after dark and I was just exhausted.  The cat was freaking out and had no bed to hide under.  We unloaded most of our two cars, ordered pizza, and then passed out on an air mattress.

This is the first time I’ve ever moved somewhere and not had something waiting for me on the other side.  We moved because my husband found an amazing job, which is awesome, and we are both thankful for that.  As for me, I am now left with the daunting task of trying to figure out how to get relicensed in this new state and how to find a job.  I know zero clinicians in Oregon, and so I am left to email perfect strangers to answer my questions.  We left the warmth and sunshine of California, and I can definitely feel that tugging at my wellbeing.  I wonder to myself if Oregon will ever really feel like home.

To sum up, I feel scared and sad, and somewhat stuck.  I am fighting it, but the energy only comes in spurts.  I am very, very thankful to have one good friend in the area I know from California, and of course my husband is there for me, as I am for him.

I don’t like moving and I don’t like change and I hate the unknown.  In my moodier states, I feel like I am on a raft, just drifting aimlessly in an endless foggy sea.  That just makes me want to curl up in a ball and wait until the raft bumps into something.

I guess I’d better fashion myself a friggin paddle.

30 responses

  1. Welcome to Portland! Isn’t the drive up here amazing? One of the best road trips I’ve ever taken.

    Adjusting to life here was pretty difficult for me, and I also wondered how the overcast nature of Oregon would treat me. Spring is just around the corner, and trust me when I say you will NOT miss California once it hits. It’s all the beauty (and then some) without all of the nasty pollution.

    Let me know when you’re settled, and I’ll try and organize a meetup for the bloggers in the area.

  2. So good to have you back, Lyssa! Missed you, for real. I’m sorry you’re struggling with the move, but then, moves are one of life’s big emotional buttons. You know that. Just the same, it’s all different when we’re in it ourselves. It’s a big challenge, and it will take time. When we moved here (4.5 hrs from you!) I took it very slowly. Didn’t race to make friends; I just took the time to take it all in and be alone for a while. I didn’t want to make “desperate friends,” who I wouldn’t like later. Those friends you fall into, because you’re lonely… Portland is on so many best city lists; I bet you will fall in love, over time. Remember, I am 4.5 hours away and have an awesome guest room. If you’re feeling a little lonely and restless, come visit! I’d love it. I would love to visit Portland again, so maybe we can get together there some time. You and Brian are forging a new life together, and that’s really exciting. My husband and I did the same thing, and it strengthened us in so many ways. Deep breaths, friend. It will all work out. I really believe that! Hugs, and welcome to the Pacific NW. :-)

      • Well I live on my sisters farm where we have 4 goats, 9 chickens, 8 Ducks, and 20 rabbits. and I spent the last weekend moving 5 trailer loads of compost, so that part is still a little shocking.

        But Stump Town itself, whatever you’re into you can find it here. The people are pretty laid back, if you really want to immerse yourself in Portland, I would spend a couple hours just walking the Pearl District, check out Powell’s City of Books and Voodoo doughnuts. I grantee you will have an adventure worth blogging about.

    • Absolutely, we are lucky to have this opportunity and we did wish for a move. That doesn’t mean that good things don’t bring yucky feelings. I knew I’d feel this way, and it’ll just be a process for me to wade through them.

  3. You could always start making jewelry now. ;D

    It can’t be helpful that you’re moving in the dead of winter too. I don’t really think of Portland as being a warm and shiny place, so it’s probably a little dreary in the winter. But do you know what I just remembered? Jen from Jen and Tonic lives in Portland! Maybe she can give you the hookup on some job leads?

  4. Hopefully, things pick up for you once you get yourself acclimated to the area. Other than outrageous house prices and a crappy basketball team, I don’t know anything about the city! Oregon always seemed really nice though. Good luck! Your bloggie pals will be here to help you.

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