A Year Out West

  • IMG_4244
    The Oregon coast is perfect

    A year ago last week, I wrote about lifting the couch and carrying it into our tiny new apartment in Portland, Oregon. I would’ve been completing this process in reverse, as we moved out of that apartment to a bigger one, which had been planned for months. But that didn’t happen. What sucks more than packing to move? Unpacking after not moving.

  • Since I’ve moved to Oregon, I’ve had three jobs: An insurance agent, an associate at Panera Bread & now an Adviser at a Call Center. Moving closer to my dream profession every day. (I do have some good stories though.)
  • It took me years and an MFA to call myself a Poet, but no time at all to stake a new claim in nonfiction. Poems were, for me, the most concentrated emotions and over time, I didn’t want to live in the head-space required to create them. When I write flash nonfiction I feel like the page is a meadow I have all to myself.

    When you meet a king in his palace all you can do is be humble and grateful
    When you meet a king in his palace all you can do is be humble and grateful
  • I stopped writing for my blog because I didn’t have anything interesting to share. I forgot about running my own race, about writing my own experiences. Luckily, I remembered.
  • With another writer, I created a workshop of five writers, all three genres represented. The first time I was workshopped since graduate school, it felt like coming home. There was criticism, but also joy over words I’d written, and the combination was life-affirming.

    Can we talk about this hair?
    Can we talk about this hair?
  • Relationships are work. Some days, I can’t imagine myself with anyone else but TJ and some days I think I’ll die alone amongst a pile of books and notebook paper.
  • Two months from turning thirty and I have never loved my body more than now. This lumpy, big-breasted shell has been the most consistent thing in my life, carrying me on size ten feet and sturdy thick thighs. I still drink too much, sleep too little and eat like I’m a freshman in college, but at least I know it.
  • A lot of the myths about Portland are true. My feelings about that change daily. But my love for beer is constant.
  • My 2007 Dodge Caliber is a few hundred miles from 100,000. Some of you will say — is that all? Together, we’ve seen a lot of road and hopefully, we’ll see a lot more.
  • A year ago, Mike Brown was killed by Darren Wilson. I will never forget watching the protests in Ferguson and wondering if I was witnessing a turning point. I still don’t know. But I do know that #BlackLivesMatter
  • Book suggestions? Okay! Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, Citizen by Claudia Rankine, The Martian by Andy Weir, One Plus One by Jojo Moyes, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  • If you’ve read this far, I have a request: hassle me about writing. Ask me if I’ve written recently. My creativity responds to well-meaning inquiries from friends.
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4 thoughts on “A Year Out West

  1. I can’t believe it’s been a year! I reread lifting the couch and laugh-snorted. I’m amazed and inspired by the adventures you’ve had. Your writing is insightful and has made me think from new perspectives about many things, both big and small, that in the past I’ve glossed over. Keep writing! ❤

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