We – the beautiful Hannah and I- live in a nomadically transplanted city. Most people aren’t from here and most won’t stay… as we are learning. People come for work, school or adventure often in their 20s and stay as long as they can or want. The city houses a lot of people with grand dreams and plans who hang out until another job, partner or dream pulls them away. We came as part of that group.
The beautiful Hannah has over a decade here. I have lived here four times as long as anywhere else in my adulthood and am approaching that decade mark too. We have lived in multiple parts of the city and are on the edge of it now it sometimes feels. The mountain can be seen from our patio window when the leaves are gone and the sun is out. The coast is an easy drive away and allows us to have lunch after a nice drive if we have a free day to play. The food is amazing. The beers were good and hopefully will be when we can go out again. People are generally laid back and welcoming. And even though it is touted as the Whitest City in (US) America and part of the Least Churched Region in North America, we have many people of other colors in our inner circle…and our “local” church. People think and act similar enough to us for us to feel accepted. We don’t get weird looks for talking to homeless or people with special needs. We can own chickens, garden and buy only from the edges of the grocery store without judgment and know a lot of others that do the same.
We really like it here. We have a house in a neighborhood that has a lot of real locals. We have our spots, our stores, our communities, our old and new neighborhoods and the beautiful Hannah has a career at a school that won’t be transferred or moved. We plan to be here a long time.
But we are consistently saying good bye to friends with whom we have connected it feels. They move because of work promotions. Because they want to move closer to family before having kids. Because it was a short term thing that lasted many years and is now over. Because parents need them back home. Or because housing is silly expensive and they didn’t buy a place yet and can’t imagine living paycheck to paycheck just to stay here. Whatever the reason, Junior has a lost a lot of friends as have we and we realized we need to start making more connections again. And in chatting with people we have heard that many are planning to head back “home” at some point. When the kids need to go to school, or when it’s time to have kids, or when they need a real job.
The beautiful Hannah and I initially bonded over not wanting to live near where we were raised again. Shortly after we met we began to make Portland our city together. We shared with each other what we loved. We started combining traditions, routines, drinking spots, eating spots, and friends. We made our home and are strengthened ourselves in the communities that would take us. Those communities changed and shifted with marriage, work changes, and Junior and his demands. And they change substantially when close friends move to green pastures they find or dream.
Leaving is not our plan or story it seems. So I guess we are a little different here but that’s ok.