I suppose i’ll begin where i left off last time. Sunday the 8th I went to the Zoo with Mom, Nina and Karl. Dan had left the day before for his motorcycle trip with his dad. It was rainy Sunday, but the rain let up just long enough for us to see everything we wanted to see, and then started to come down again the second we got back in the car. It was perfect.
Monday i spoke to Canright for scarcely half an hour before he offered me a job. Right then and there. He told me to take 24 hours to think it over, and so I wasted no time in beginning to panic. I talked to the people closest to me on the phone and went to Nina’s to try to distract myself, to no avail. How could i possibly just take the job without having even seen the place? I sent an email to Jim Canright and requested a few more days deliberation, to which he agreed.
Tuesday i called up the Student Travel Association and they found a wicked cheap plane ticket to Portland for me for the following day. At this point i thought i would definitely take the job if the place felt right. I couldn’t put my finger on a specific fear, but i was just scared somehow of getting stuck in a situation that wasn’t right for me, and i thought that that would have to do with the job rather than the city.
Wednesday i flew out to Portland, rented a car and drove to my brother’s best friend Ryan’s apartment in NW Portland. All by myself. I met his girlfriend and her mean weiner dog Pancakes who will lure an unsuspecting stranger’s hand by looking cute & innocent, and then lunge to bite his or her face without warning. I was warned, however, so this didn’t happen to me. She even let me pet her, eventually. Between the two of them, Ryan and Amy have two weiner dogs and one weiner/chihuahua mix who recently had her teeth removed (read: cutest freaking thing ever). I proceeded that night to watch Ryan’s “The Office” DVDs until bed time–again a necessary distraction from the huge decision i was facing.
Thursday i borrowed Amy’s GPS unit and drove down to Canright in SE Portland. The place was perfect. Jim is a really nice guy, and most of the few people who work there are women my age, extremely friendly. The neighborhood is artsy and bohemian and has narrow streets with cars parked on both sides, and the building was comfortably modern and painted an inspiring shade of light green on the interior. There were Macs just waiting to be used and a corgi dying for attention.
I had lunch with Kara, the accounts manager, and then talked to my Dad on the phone. He asked how sure i was that i’d take the job and i told him 90%.
I was driving around to look at a few apartments when things started to not feel right. It was all becoming very real. I realized i didn’t care about having to move all my shit across the country, wasn’t concerned about making new friends, wouldn’t have a difficult time adjusting to the new job. But Portland didn’t feel like home. I didn’t like the idea of disrupting my family in Iowa. And the thought of saying goodbye to Dan forever made me instantly burst into tears, despite the fact that i had thought i was ready to put my career first.
The truth is i’ve never cared about location or occupation nearly so much as the people i love. And it would be unfair not to mention here the fact that i dearly love my Dad and my sister, who both live in Eugene, Oregon. They’ll always be in my life and i’ll always be close to them, however physically far away. But to physically leave Dan to me meant to lose him, and i just couldn’t wrap my mind around that. I realize this about myself every couple of years when i decide it’s time to move away, and yet i need a more definite reminder every time. Last time was Rome. Before that i was going to transfer to the U of O. Before that i thought of starting college at U of O or the AI of Portland. Before that, high school at South Eugene. And on, and on, and on.
I lead a somewhat split life, having dreams and loves in two distinct locations, but at this point going to Oregon woudn’t be about returning, but starting anew. It will always be there if i some day decide i’m ready.
Friday i was able to spend some time with Dad and get a lot of good advice from him. We visited the Hawthorne district and the rose garden. After he left i talked to Dustin, Dan, Mom, and finally Jim Canright. Now is not the right time for me to take this job, i told him. He was sorry to hear it.
Saturday i flew back to Iowa and Sunday i reunited with Dan. Things still aren’t perfect, but i figure what’s already happening here is definitely worth seeing through. I’ve started the job hunt over completely. There are no freaking jobs around here, but i’ve got enough saved to probably see me through to better economic times, if necessary. I’ve got changes i want to make once i have income again. New glasses. More exercise. Increased appreciation for all that i’ve already got.