Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thursday of Phone Calls

I'm trying to catch up where I left off writing.
All week, I was trying to take care of some phone calls which would determine pretty much everything else I need to get done before I go to New Jersey. They would determine if I could sign a lease where I'm living now, which would determine if I need to find out how to register my car in Oregon and things like that. I am looking for work in New Jersey and in Oregon, since I have places to live in both states, but I think Oregon is where I'm more likely to find some kind of work, even part time, in what I do. (Also I hear that NJ is expected to recover from the recession after Oregon.) If nothing else, I can work at an outdoors store.
A year or even three months ago, I would have thought that last sentence was depressing. But out here, as I'm settling in and making friends, I'm learning how to not define myself by work alone. I'm learning how to relax.
I don't want to do absolutely nothing toward my goals, because I think my brain will rot and I'll ultimately be unhappy. However, I see that graduate school, full time, right now, is not the only option. I'm not saying I don't want to do it or that I'm not considering it for Fall 2010; I'm just not ruling out other things.
While I'm looking for work, I'm volunteering at two botanical gardens. Not very actively--I've only going to a luncheon and a training program for one garden--and I've gone in to volunteer for the Seed Bank for Rare and Endangered Plants of the Pacific Northwest exactly once so far. I would like to make time for it this week.
I feel that volunteering will be a good networking opportunity for jobs and/or graduate programs, or at least allow me to stay involved in what I'm passionate about.
Even though my last two blog posts included extensive details about trees, I don't need to devote my entire life to plants. I like going out, making friends, exploring the city, exploring my other interests, having time to read books, and keeping in touch with family and friends back East.
This is the happiness I sought, and didn't have, a year ago.
I suspect that what's making me happy is not just Portland, the place, or the things that I'm doing. It's the process and the fact that I am able to--that I have to--do things for myself out here. Sometimes it's frustrating--like when I had to put my own dresser together, or figure out--if I get a bed frame--how to move it into my apartment. The process, more than the results, is what is rewarding. I feel in control of my own life and no longer trapped.

I keep saying that I want to write up my tips and suggestions for women who want to travel solo and/or go on road trips. I think I might also post my tips and suggestions, at some point, for women (or anyone!) who want to move far away and start a life on their own.

Oh, with respect to the title of this post, the Thursday of Phone Calls yielded a positive result. Tomorrow is Monday of Packing and Phone Calls.

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