As I approach my anniversary of moving to Portland and just coming off an incredibly amazing birthday, I have so many thoughts flowing. Summing up my thirtieth year is no easy feat. I’ve been challenged at work beyond what I thought I could handle (but somehow I did!), and I hit a brick wall with my business. I moved and then lost my roommate after 4 weeks (don’t worry, I found a great replacement, but am still trying to convince her to move back to Portland!), and on a more lighthearted note, I managed to sit next to TWO puking people during one day of flying (Reminds me- I have such good luck with air travel). Oh yeah, and I kissed a giraffe! Yes, the past year was full of excitement, both good and bad.
However, my year of thirty opened up so many unbelievable opportunities for me. In terms of business, I got my ass kicked by several folks and I found direction. I got not one, but two business advisors, and I found a community of entrepreneurs here (Portland is full of them!) to mingle in. I participated in my first startup pitch event for women… and I won! Far more important than winning was the fact that I got over my fear of discussing my plans for Amsha publicly. I’m not fearful of public speaking but if you tell people your plans, it means you might be held accountable. I found a sweet new place to call home in Portland, which came with a large office, a great location, and a yard where I started my first organic garden. I’ve never kept any plants alive in my life, except for a single gerbera daisy in college… and I eventually killed that too, so the fact that all of my tomato plants are alive and thriving have left me feeling triumphant.
The weather has been great this summer in Portland, and I have hiked, biked, and swam until my heart’s so full it could burst. I got over my fear of biking in the city and now that it’s summer, I bike most places except for work (since I have to drive for my job). I also participated in Pedalpalooza, which included karaoke biking and an awesome Bowie vs Prince ride. And perhaps one of the biggest changes of all, I started working four days/week. And I LOVE it! No really, I loooooooooove it. Attempting to strike that work/life balance, I now have Mondays off from my day job to work uninterrupted on my business. This frees up more of my weekend to go on adventures, hike, drink wine with friends, ride my bike, and go to the park every Sunday with some pretty fantastic kids. I can’t imagine going back to five days/week in an office and even now I have that creeping feeling of finding it hard to do four days…but that’s for another blog post.
My year of thirty only made life in Portland that much sweeter. Some of my family made the trek out from the east coast to visit which was fun. I have amazing friends, gorgeous surroundings, and…. not to be forgotten, I can WALK to a coffee shop. And to the grocery store (it’s one block away), and to a tea shop, a park, restaurants, the river, downtown… and the list goes on. When I graduated, I said my wish was to live in a place where I could walk to a coffee shop. The irony that I don’t drink coffee is not lost on me, but I do love coffee shops! The walkable aspect of this city, and the fact that I have actually started to buy furniture, just might be an indication that I’m sticking around for a while. And really, I can’t wait to tell you what I have up my sleeve for this year.
Dear 31, I’m ready for you.