Today marks our two-year birthday as Portlanders! I should have gotten a cake or something to celebrate. What a slacker.
Two years. Kind of hard to believe.
In fact, I still consider myself as “new here” and “just moved from Philadelphia”. At the same time, I definitely consider my house here in Portland home. But I still say I am “going home” in reference to trips back to Philadelphia.
Clearly, I am confused and suffering from a slight identity crisis.
I once described the word “home” as a feeling vs. a place. Two years into this crazy journey, and I can say that still stands true. Home, for me, is really any place or point in time where I feel the nostalgia of my youth, or the comfort of being surrounded by family, friends and familiarity. Sometimes that’s Portland, sometimes that’s Philadelphia. Very situational.
I still get a ton of questions about living here, and figured today – our two-years-as-Portlanders birthday – was a good time to sit down and reflect.
Do I like it here? Yes. I love our neighborhood, and our house and the relaxed pace of the West Coast. Folks are nice here – very friendly and helpful. I finally have friends. Thank goodness.
The Portland weather isn’t that bad to me. Yes, it rains and is cloudy in the Winter. But we also have beautiful sunny days all year round – just like Philadelphia. I like the more moderate Portland temperatures. And while we seem to have a cooler Spring, we also have a cooler (but still quite warm and sunny) Summer. And we really never get freezing temperatures…or snow. (Ok, I kind of miss the peacefulness of snow days.)
Our kids are very happy here, and that makes me happy. (Kenny, too, but he’s generally happy with living here except when I have periods of homesickness. Hahaha. Poor Kenny.)
There’s still so much to explore here. We’ve been slacking on taking in everything the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
I will say it’s funny to think that my kids are “Portlanders” vs. “Philadelphians”. They both have little-to-no trace of a Philadelphia accent, which makes sense because the only two Philadelphians they are around are Kenny and I. (And, let’s be honest, I think Kenny considers himself a Portlander.) The rest are Oregonians. They both say WAH-ter instead of “wooder”. And, dang it, I have caught myself saying WAH-ter because they do. We moved when they were four and three, so I am mostly just thankful they are both happy in Portland AND still remember – and look forward to – visiting our “Philadelphia family” as they say. (Grace likes to tell people she has a dog, but he lives in Philadelphia. I’ve gotten many puzzled looks with that one. But, she’s right – our dog is still in the Philadelphia area with my parents in Mays Landing. And they love me for it.)
Do I want to move home? Yes, sometimes. But not when it’s summer. I do not NOT NOT miss that humidity. It’s still tough living so far away. I am not sure that will ever change.
It’s still really easy to get homesick and I miss not being able to see our family or old friends who know so much about us, they are practically family. I think about them all, every day. For real. I don’t do nearly as good a job calling home as often as we should, but we talk about our “Philadelphia Family” all the time here in Portland. Sometimes I physically miss sitting on my mom’s couch, or at my mother-in-law’s kitchen table. And Grace often says, “I can’t wait to give a giant hug to <insert Philadlephia Family member here>!”
I think the homesickness is compounded by the fact that I work from home – which can be isolating when you are in your hometown, let alone 3000 miles away! However, I am very thankful and appreciative that I have a good job that offers this flexibility, so, like anything, there are trade-offs.
It’s also really hard not having that built-in support infrastructure when, say, you have a cold, then pneumonia, then strep throat and your husband is on the road for two weeks. Or when we need a break from the monotony of the day-to-day and just want to grab a last-minute night out sans kids, and Gram is just a car ride away. 🙂
I miss East Coast conversations. I am pretty open and say what’s on my mind for the most part (in case you couldn’t tell by reading this blog). I chose words carefully so I don’t offend, but I love to crack one liners, even if they are self-depricating. I find myself hoping that people here get my sense of humor a lot. Hahaha. I know how crazy that sounds – but people here are so sweet that I sometimes long for the quippy back-and-forth of an East Coast conversation. And then I promptly text one of my brothers or best friends.
I want to move home every time we spend a ton of money on plane tickets and car rentals to go home. Hahaha. Seeing our family and friends used to be free, save for gas. Now, not so much. But it’s totally worth it.
I frequently say if I could move my family and friends here to Portland, it would be a perfect situation, because overall, I like it here. It’s beautiful. We have a nice community. It’s a good place to raise our kids. Just a little far from “home”. 🙂
I took a little walk down memory lane in honor of our moving day. Man, that part of our lives was such a blur. It was fun to re-live it, and I am glad I started blogging this so we’ll always have the memories. Here are a few links to posts from our first few days here in Portland: