Glorious Summer

27 Aug

The beach at Seaside

The beach at Seaside

Hey there! It’s been awhile since my last update. In a soundbite: things are quite well! I’m six months into the job with Yahoo! and roughly five months into my life in Beaverton. In both cases, I’ve adjusted better than I could’ve hoped for. Outside of Portland, I’ve enjoyed a few vacations big and small. May brought me back to Kansas City to see off the Room 312 crew at graduation, I had a fantastic weekend with my kickball team out at Seaside in July and I’m not long removed from a wonderful family vacation in Chicago. Back in town, summer kickball has brought a lot of fun to my weekends while I continue to be a frequent sight on the Meetup circuit. And oh yes! Thanks to some healthier eating habits (I really had nowhere to go but up) and consistent exercise, I’m about 10 pounds slimmer. Being adjusted to the city and not having to panic about job-searching has really given me a chance to thrive.

Summer has been great, but spring, I admit, ranged from nice to awkward. Chilly weather stuck around until way into June. The job had a learning curve I was getting used to along with the seven others who started with me. I didn’t gel as well as hoped with my spring kickball team, who were part of the Recesstime league with aggressive pitching rules like high bounces. They were also way over on the east-side of Portland and required logging some miles on the old CRV. I was starting a new workout routine at the gym, and I was reading about five million pieces of advice about how you’re supposed to lift weights. When you start reading all this fitness advice, it makes you feel a little insecure!  I felt good about life, but there was still a sense that not everything was clicking into place.

Pizza Meetup with Nathan

Pizza Meetup in SE Portland

July, however, brought with it a string of fun weekends. I made some new friends and caught up with some old ones. The Japanese garden, another poetry slam, karaoke, pizza, an Iranian festival and an out-of-the-way Mexican food place highlight the last couple of months in Meetup action. Meetups continue to be one of my main avenues towards socializing and exploring Portland; to the point I sometimes wonder what I’d do without them! It really is the perfect way of using the internet to get off the internet. I’ve even been made an organizer now, though I’m waiting for a stroke of genius before I actually organize an event. I was so shy about Meetups when I first got to Portland, and now it’s crazy to think that a classic introvert like me is out there putting extroverts to shame.

Meanwhile in summer, the trip down to the coast with the kickball team was an incredible time- one of the best weekends since I came to Portland two years ago. This kickball team has been unique in that  instead of being composed of an established group of friends needing a few extra people, it was almost all strangers. There have been a lot of good times over the all-too-short season. When games were cancelled by rain, we went bowling over at Big Al’s in Beaverton, and I practiced with a couple of guys on a beautiful Sunday afternoon kicking the ball around and playing frisbee.

Kickball team!

Kickball team in Seaside!

For a team that never could choose a name other than the default Indy Team #1, we became fiercely organized once we learned that our teammate had a beach house and was inviting us all down for the weekend. As you might expect from a bunch of young people spending a weekend in the same house, I bore witness to many drunk hi-jinx. Making s’mores by the fire made me absurdly happy. Seeing the beach at night was a sight I won’t soon forget. And, of course, once you get past the epic sunburn, it was an amazing time spending the day on the beach playing bocce, throwing around the frisbee and flying my kite.

The following weekend, of course, I was in Chicago. You can look at my short blog post on it, but to summarize: Chicago is one of those magnificent cities that fills you with awe and makes a town like Portland or Kansas City feel small. I visited family, saw the major sites, and I got to spend some quality time with Fabio, one of my very best friends, before he had head back to Peru.

It’s been a great summer and a great time in my life- probably one of the best stretches I can remember since the spring of my AmeriCorps year. Of course, true summer in Portland is short-lived. As we’ve already started to joke around here, the colder, rainy season is already starting to creep up on us. The days get a little shorter; the mornings are a little colder. I’m getting ready for the new season. With kickball over, I’m going to work harder at making plans with people, which can be very challenging for me. I want to keep some of this momentum strong in what is really shaping up to be a fantastic year.

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