Today I sat in a faded, teal, velveteen chair at a charming little cafe in downtown Gresham and drank easily the best vanilla chai I have had in my entire life. They played The Black Keys, Vance Joy, Fitz and the Tantrums, and other artists I am quite familiar with. And even though they failed to play Arcade Fire, I was not disappointed.
I felt finally at home. Snug and secure. In my happy place. I can’t express the joy that comes with realizing the ease of fitting in. Or the lack of needing to fit in. Last Sunday I was hesitant to say I felt good living here. Don’t get me wrong, Portland is perfect in every single way and I do love it. In a ridiculously large, probably unhealthy, amount. But when you move solely yourself and begin to start a process of building up your new life, it’s very difficult. I can remember my mom telling me how hard it was going to be, this transition. At the time, I just couldn’t see what could be so hard about it. I pictured headlines reading: “Cat-Loving High School Graduate Seeks Adventure in Outskirts of Portland.” I completely glazed over the fact that everything was going to change. It wasn’t until I got here that I soon came to realize how difficult it really is. But after this week, I’m okay with the difficulty. When I focus on the fact that I am doing this out of obedience, I can rest knowing that the Lord will provide everything it is that I need. As cliche as it may sound, I’m convinced this place was made for me, or rather, saved for me. I enjoy all it has to offer. The people, in all their weirdness and uniqueness, the environment, the trees, the hustle and bustle, the character, the life changing vanilla chai, and even the traffic.
This process of starting afresh and learning to make choices on your own is, no doubt, liberating. And regardless of me sometimes not wanting to own up to myself and make decisions, it’s necessary and key to growing up. Growing up is, I’m sorry to say, not a trap. As badly as I would love to agree with that, it’s just not true. Yes, growing up is scary, but one day we will be 34 years old, married, with two kids and we will look back at these moments in our life and all we will be able to do is laugh and wonder why we were ever so afraid.
The beauty of it all is rooted in the idea that change isn’t easy. If it were, we would all do it. Some days are harder than others. Some days are easy. Today was easy. And I’m thankful for more easy days to come.