There’s a warm rain coming down on Portland, and unseasonably warm at that. It feels like the first onset of what ought to be a warm and wet winter. I can only hope that it lives up to expectations.
Tomorrow I leave for Washington, which brings with it another bevy of hopes and expectations. The preparations for my departure have left me feeling winded. The uncertainty that accompanies a transient and seasonal lifestyle, one which I’ve only begun to sample, is the price that has to be paid by all of the seekers out there chasing the warm rock, the big waves, and the next round of powder. This feeling of being off-balance, of not knowing where you’ll spend the next week or month, can be a harsh one. It has at times made me depressed, angry, and doubtful. Shouldn’t the best life also be easy to live? It’s simple to say that one should have to sacrifice to have anything that’s worth having, as that seems to be how the world operates. We tell ourselves that we’ve worked hard to have the best things in our life, exhibiting a memory bias against our failures. What about that for which we worked hard but which never materialized?
I have, inexplicably, a faith that the world is inherently good, and that it rewards boldness, good humor, and love with a fine and rewarding life. But I can’t help but ask, if the world really is this way, shouldn’t satisfaction come more easily than discontent? Again, it’s easy to say that this satisfaction is there for the taking, but that we’ve been drawn into discontent by distraction and manufactured desire that make us believe that we are incomplete with what we have now. But at the same time, I feel driven on from where I am to somewhere else, and from who I am to someone else, someone better.
It’s just ingratitude. I am blessed to be surrounded by interesting, inspiring people, and to have won the “ovarian lottery” and been born into what may well be the most privileged group in human history. The reconciliation of where I am and where I want to be may well be the project of my life, and one which I’m not prepared to tackle now.
As the transition approaches, and the preparations start to fall in order, the doubt is slowly replaced by excitement and energy. I am grateful for those who celebrate and encourage my departure, and even more so for those who honestly admit that they’d rather I never left. The relationships that I’ve formed in Portland redeem any mistakes that I’ve made during my tenure here. The depression, the anger, and the doubt are just the cost of an experimental life, and the more that I move on from the places that I’ve lived, the more I find that community can be made wherever you’re willing to extend your hand. There are many good people, and the relationships formed in each of these brief communities can be maintained, and ought to be, as they’re the greatest possessions. They are those that encourage giving, and while receiving is having, giving is creating.