These past couple weeks have been a whirlwind. Stresses and excitements have been swirling around to create utter chaos in my life. I tried to take a break from it all last week to write a post about everything that was happening but I think instead of providing a sense of serenity or feelings of anticipation, it was a stream of incoherent thoughts because half of my brain was dedicated to telling me I should be doing something constructive like packing or making phone calls or really doing anything but relax. So now that I have a minute, I’ve got some big news.
A few weeks ago I accepted an internship with the Portland Timbers in their administration department. I’ll be working the front desk part time, while taking special assignments from other departments as needed. When I received the offer letter I cried. Everything seemed to go from zero to sixty. I had all my interviews and accepted the job within the same week and my manager at the ice cream shop was an absolute saint in helping me find coverage, switch shifts, and get me down to Portland for my interview.
My mother can attest to my spastic behavior post acceptance. I was in the middle of baking a blueberry lemon cake when I got the offer, and it kept hitting me at random. It’s a wonder that cake turned out because mixing was interspersed with bouts of sitting on the kitchen floor in awe and measuring was interrupted by several needs to make lists.
One of the most daunting of tasks for me was finding an apartment. Having spent my days at home, college dorm, or sorority house, I haven’t had to experience the whole process of looking for a place of my own yet. The idea made me both embarrassed and grateful. Sometimes one more than the other… So having decided I wanted to try living on my own, eliminating the roommate finding factor, I began scouring sites and making appointments to tour places that looked worth seeing and within my budget.
I planned to get down to Portland to look at places on Thursday so Monday through Wednesday, I crammed about forty hours of work into three days to make that happen. I scheduled these viewings during slow moments at work, praying no one would walk in while I was talking to these building managers. My parents came with me, waking up bright and early to be out of the house by six to make it in time for my first appointment. 10-4 was booked solid, and miraculously well ordered in terms of locations.
One of my biggest frustrations while looking at colleges was that I never felt that “this is it!” feeling everyone talks about. I absolutely loved where I ended up and couldn’t picture it any other way today, but I won’t pretend it was love at first sight. The town, campus, and tour were all great but didn’t hit me like a bolt of lightening or anything… I’m not sure why I thought apartment hunting would be any different. But at about two, after not having anything stand out as fabulous, combined with the pressure to find said fabulous place in a day, I was incredibly frustrated.
This feels like as appropriate a place as any to thank my parents. I was not a pleasant individual to be around that week. I like to think I have a fairly easy-going personality, but one of my big takeaways from this process is that my easy-going demeanor is reserved for others, and not something I apply to my personal life. If you are going through a crisis, I’ve been known to give sage, levelheaded, and calming advice. However, I can’t seem to find this advice when I need it for myself. I’ll admit that now. I’m honestly surprised neither of my parents didn’t just throw their hands up and walk away. But I guess that’s what you do for people you love. You take the bricks they throw at you and build them a platform to stand upon.
With the pressure of a two-week start date looming, I weighed pros and cons and ended up filling out an application feeling okay. Not great, but definitely fine with my decision. While I did this, my mom called the apartment across the street to see if their parking garage was full and what the prices and wait-list looked like. While she was on the phone she ended up asking if they had any studios available. And much to my horror they did. I only say horror because in my head I’d finally committed to this other place, and I was going to make it work wonderfully. More importantly, this new one my mom found was not on my list. Being on the list and being on schedule was incredibly important to me, it’s how I both kept my sanity and also how I realized I’d lost it.
Guess where I’ll be living ladies and gents?
Just as I stumbled across the job opening with the Timbers, I stumbled across my new apartment. It’s funny how things have a way of working out. There is something to be said for faith in God’s timing. After a frustrating year or so of applying and interviewing for a variety of jobs that didn’t work out, this opportunity felt like it came out of left field. After laboring over apartment listings and city maps and various phone calls and scheduled interviews, the right home came to me completely unplanned. For these reasons I think Portland will be good to me.
The subsequent application processes haven’t gone off without a hitch by any means, but I guess they say that the best things in life don’t come easy. I wasn’t even sure that I’d gotten the place until about a week ago. Thank goodness my mom had me shop for furnishings, because my stubborn mindset took the stance of “Well I don’t even know if I have a place yet so why would I shop for things to put in the apartment that I don’t have?” I’m telling you people; I was loony. To be fair, after I said this out loud I realized I was being ridiculous and embraced the healing power of home decorating and retail therapy. I started to get a little less stressed and a little more excited, and tried to stay that way by not looking at my bank statement too frequently. So now when it’s time for me to move in, though I won’t have a bed, I’ll have some pretty great wall art, a great chair, and furnished kitchen. Priorities.
While I made it down to Portland and I’ve started my job, I haven’t been able to move in quite yet. I’m starting to get antsy, but in the meantime I’ve been able to stay with the kindest family until my place is ready. Friends of family friends, it was a bit of a stretch, but I think we all kind of embraced the situation and ran with it. I’m incredibly grateful for their generosity; they’ve already done so much for me in my first week, and it’s been the perfect start to this new chapter in my life.
Hopefully there will be a good follow up to this piece about a flawless move in to my new place. Since my sister has already informed me she’ll be visiting me every weekend this summer, I’m sure she’ll have some input about decorating, and my grandma has been planning shopping trips since the minute I told her about the move. My aunt is an organizer extraordinaire, and a known breath of fresh air in moving process (from past college moving) providing helpful tips and laughs when needed. I’ve also been informed my dad thinks bringing the trailer into the city for potential furniture hauling might be a good idea. I’d like to see someone parallel park a large car and trailer in a city notorious for its poor parking. Not someone I’m related to, because the whole scene has great potential for a comedy sketch, but maybe someone else. I know you’re reading this dad- can we please borrow a truck?
So be patient everyone, this story isn’t over yet…