I’m pretty sure (about 97%) that I’m moving to Portland. Oregon.
As in, not New York.
Which makes both parents want to murder me (if only to keep me here I suppose). Doesn’t matter that I lived abroad for a year and saw them a grand total of 3 times. No, apparently there aren’t as many “opportunities” in the Pacific Northwest. Wtf?
Here’s the thing: I’ve always assumed I would “end up” in New York. I mean, it’s New-effing-York. The Big Apple/city that never sleeps/land of good and plenty, blady blah blah blah. Maybe it’s because I grew up in an NYC suburb or because all the women in my family are crazy successful awesome ladies and New York is apparently the place to be if you’re going to be an independent woman with a snazzy career and briefcase to match.
U.S.A. vs Everywhere Else
I’ve seen more of the world than the United States. While I was living abroad in 2007 and 2008 I realized this weird and crazy fact, that is also mildly depressing. How could I not know anything about my own country? My globetrotter parents were adamant their kids would see the world and we totes went on road trips in big cars with fold down seats. I hated them (the road trips, not the seats. The seats were cool). Meaning that my memories of Yellowstone and the Southeast and Canada are not my fondest – apparently I have sleep tourettes. But only when I sleep in a tent with 5 other people, three of whom are smelly boys. I really wish I was kidding.
With that in mind, I thought the world revolved around New York. Both my parents (who I love and adore and ardently respect) worked here at big important jobs meeting big important people. New York was really my first experience with a big city. Then I moved to London and fell head over hells in love. A year later and I vacationed with my bestest friends in San Diego and fell in love again. And I’m starting to realize I don’t actually like New York, never mind love.
Things I Will Not Miss and Things I Currently Do
I miss nature and greenery not confined to a park. I’d be more than happy to get rid of the crowded streets, noise, the smell of urine, the smell of “meat”, dirty/run-down/rat-infested public transportation, scowls, feeling like a bitch all the time, being surrounded by bitches all the time and did I mention noise? I know I can’t do country living as I get bored quite easily but I need a city that’s a little more hippy and outdoorsy than the Big A. New York does indeed have everything and I know there are groups here that drive up to the Catskills but I need it to not be such a trek. I need something slower. Let’s brash and painfully obvious (i.e. pretentious).
Over the past six months I’ve learned to seriously rely on myself and trust my instincts but I’m nevertheless letting the doubts of my parents influence how I think. Will moving out of the Center of the Universe ruin all my hard work? Can I handle leaving all of my greatest and oldest friends and start off brand-spanking new? Can I even afford a move across the country?
Can I Do It Anywhere?
The beauty of freelance and social media work is that you can do it in New York or in a tiny cellar at a farmhouse about 10 miles south of Tikrit. It can’t be that difficult to find clients in Portland, right?
I interviewed Jane Friedman (based in Ohio) for a Digital Book World post and wrote: “She says her Midwestern location makes her feel a little removed and makes it much harder to keep up with the rapid changes happening in the industry. On the other hand, that distance also gives her a great perspective which, coupled with the job itself, means she’s not biased about which direction publishing goes in.”
So as of right now the plan is to head over there in March or April to scope the place out. Meet with people in publishing and social media, check out the bakeries, maybe tour a culinary school… If I love it, then hopefully I’ll be able to move out there in 2011. We’ll just have to see. If anyone has any advice, knows people in Oregon and/or has done something similar, pleasepleaseplease, advise away.