It’s hard to believe we’ve been in Portland for 6 months!! Every time I cross the Willamette River, and take in the scenes of this beautiful city, I want to pinch myself. I remember finishing loading up the u-haul for the cross country trip, thinking, “what in the heck are we doing?! This is crazy, what was I thinking?! Are we on a fool’s journey, looking to change inside problems with outside solutions?” Yes, we were crazy! Luckily, the city we chose has been life altering, and here are five ways how:
1) I appreciate my children’s bravery. Although I hoped all of us would benefit from an adventure to the Pacific Northwest, it was my brain child to uproot everything my kids have ever known and strike off into the wild blue yonder. It required an immense amount of trust for Tate, Rylee and Luke to go along with the plan, this huge upheaval to their lives. And, they responded with courage that is inspiring. The first few months in Portland were very hard. We persevered, strengthened our primary relationships with each other, and now are starting to build a village here.
2) Public transportation is all I hoped it would be! Click here to read my blog post about my multi-modal life.
3) I love having less space. We’ve gotten our small apartment highly liveable, using hooks, baskets and furnishings that double as storage. Our sleeping arrangements are flexible, and we don’t have the space to start collecting more stuff. Our electricity bills are tiny, it takes less than 2 hours to clean the entire apartment, and we spend more time in close proximity to each other.
4) Its very easy to shop local here. Walmart hasn’t taken over. Local small businesses are thriving. I may spend a little more than at a “big box” store, but the money stays in this community, enhancing all of our lives. And, when you factor in personal service and professional expertise (small business owners are VERY knowledgeable about their chosen subject) do I even really pay more? It’s so easy here to “shop local” and I feel very good about my patronage to local businesses. I’m within walking distance of (all locally owned) a bead store, a yarn store, an art supply store, many cafe’s, a locally brewery, a florist, a bakery, and many holistic medicine practices. I vote with my money and I support local businesses.
5) There is true personal freedom displayed and practiced in this community. From facial piercings, beards, tatoo’s and traveling lifestyles to educational freedoms (Village Home, Democratic schools, part-time public schools, robust unschooling community). As well as the freedom to be a suburban straight laced, minivan driving traditional soccer mom, if that’s what is the right fit. And everything in between. I’ve never felt such opportunity to be exactly who I am.
Will we stay here forever? Who knows?! For right now, Portland is the right city for us.