finding the one

Today marked my first day back in Portland.  Last night I got in, smiled a lot driving around in the sun, and enjoyed a burger and truffle fries at my beloved Little Big Burger.

Guys... I think I'm in love.  I've been many places this summer (like, geez, it's been a crazy summer) and I've found some serious space in my heart for Colorado and Texas, but boy.  Once you've met the one, you've met the one.  As stressful and emotional it can be living away from home for college, I'm so happy I chose to come to Oregon.  Maybe it's the fact that I grew up in the desert and Portland is the complete opposite, a lush, green wonderland, or the fact that everyone here is a character, from the enthusiastic food cart owners, multitude of dog owners, and tea goers with not only a sloth in baby girl clothes, but also an entire sloth colony, to the couple in front of me at the Fred Meyer deli today interrogating the poor workers about nitrates and all-natural meat.

I love how much people care here, even if it sometimes verges on ridiculousness.   I love that people take pride in doing things themselves.  I love how close and accessible everything is by public transit.  I love that we have an entire block devoted to an independent bookstore.  I love that food and drink is an art form here, as it should be, and attracts Disneyland-worthly lines out the door.  I love how southern food (arguably my favor type of food) is a thing here, for no apparent reason (other than, duh, it's delicious).  I love that having a chicken coop is totally normal.  I love that there is more pressure to be weirder than to be more normal.  I love that there are beards and bizarre facial hair everywhere, as embarrassingly self-aware it sometimes may be.  Speaking of hair, I love that if I forget to shave my legs, girls won't notice or care.  Gee, they might give me a high five exposing their own wildly hairy armpits (For the record, I'm less okay with this).  I love how worked up people get when it gets over 80 degrees, and how the sun's rare appearance makes people dress like summer when it's still in the mid 50s.  I love that someone near my school owns a peacock named Honk that likes to visit campus.  I love that my school is walking distance from a state park and community farm.  I love the cherry blossoms in the spring and the blackberries outside the house right now.  I love that city and nature are intertwined seamlessly here.  And even though I'm often intimidated by how outdoorsy everyone is in comparison to me, I love that it inspires me to be more adventurous and push myself to do more than just enjoy nature from the sidelines reading or knitting under a tree (although this will always be my first instinct and first love).

Or maybe it's just all these Christmas trees, constantly reminding me of my favorite time of the year.

In all seriousness though, I couldn't be happier with a city.  I feel very lucky to live here part time, even when right now it's with three guys in a rickety old Frankenhouse that we call The Burrow but creaks enough to be called the Shrieking Shack.  I already miss my family, friends, Izzy, and Ted, but it's good to be back.


Ted said...

Dear Kaylie, this post made me very happy, because I love those things too.

Kendall said...

I don't know if I've found "the one" yet, but I do know I've come to appreciate my home city a lot more this past year or so, to the point where I love it more than maybe any other place. I don't know if I'll live here forever, but I love it. I'm so happy you've found your "one", though. Portland is a good choice. Actually, when I first read this post, I was in Portland, visiting colleges. You talked about Little Big Burger and I was like, I think I walked by that today! And I did. So that was cool. And Portland is cool.

Natalie said...

i truly, truly loved portland (and i may or may not have read your blog to find things to do/places to go!). i want to live here someday. also that burger looks freaking delicious.