I celebrated Independence Day yesterday in the most appropriate manner I could think of. I took a walk. And since I had nowhere to go, I chose to go everywhere. I walked around downtown, through The Pearl, over to NW 23'rd to feed a friend's cats. Then it was a climb up Nob Hill to get to Washington Park for a trip to The Rose Gardens in the day. Odd that I've been there more often at night, watching the reflection of the setting sun as it turns Mount Hood wondrous colors. I walked through Goose Hollow on my way back home - exhausted and sweaty. Ick. Still, it was a marvelous way to spend the afternoon. And what better way to remind myself of the many reasons I moved to Portland.
Two years ago, I was returning from an interview for a job I really didn't want in Philadelphia - returning to a life in Dallas Texas that I really didn't want either.
The job in Philadelphia was Creative Services Director at a radio station that was a disaster. The music was a mess (they'd play old Elton John and Creed back to back), the DJs sucked (most pre-recorded their shows into a computer hours or even days early), and the whole thing lacked even an ounce of passion. After four or five days in town, the station's program director sat me down for a chat.
"So, whadaya think?"
"About the station you mean?"
"Yeah. What're your impressions? Where are our weaknesses? Any ideas you'd bring to the table?"
My advice was to shut the fucker off. And I told him in precisely those words. I told him his radio station was a big-time waste of electricity.
I flew back to Dallas later that day, knowing I wasn't moving to Philly, and I had a sense of dread hanging over me... a sense of "What now?" My problems were twofold: I was done with radio as a career... done with moving every few years if not more often to help save a radio station only to have it sold, merged, realigned, or otherwise adjusted by 'corporate.' And I was more than done with Dallas. I was done living in car cities where walking meant a trip from your front door to your car door. I was done living where people thought of highway driving as enjoying the outdoors. And damn was I done with Texas!
I spent much of July 2002 contemplating my future. I'd finally gotten to the point where I wanted more from my life than a job, and I decided to do something about it. By the end of the month, I'd decided to move to Portland. Three weeks later, I was here.
What a difference two years can make.
During the past two years, I've had my heart broken and career disappointments - but those things are part of life, and LIFE is why I moved here. I've also experienced joys the likes of which I'd never imagined. So many simple pleasures shared with wonderful new friends:
- Kites at the coast.
- Hiking to Table Rock
- Walks along the waterfront
- Smelling the roses
- Getting snowed in with a friend
- Watching the changing face of Portland out my windows
...and so many more simple everyday pleasures.
Life is good.