An Ode to Portland

 This week is the anniversary of finding out I got into grad school. This time, almost exactly a year ago, everything began to fall into place. All the hard work, the tears, the anxiety and the unknowns all came together to create the most perfect plan. And it wasn't how I would have had it go down at all, but God felt differently. 

And I wouldn't take a second back.

On Sunday I was driving back from church, listening to some music play softly in the background, the windows rolled down, as the trees swayed in the wind and thousands of leaves and flowers fell to the ground. It was like a scene out of a movie. A beautiful tree-lined street, the protagonist in her car thinking about other things when she all of a sudden notices how much beauty surrounds her and it stops her in her tracks. 

I always wanted to step into one of those movies and live in one of the tree-lined neighborhoods like in Father of the Bride with a big white house and black shutters. On Sunday it felt like I had finally found myself in one of those scenes and it made me take a minute to be thankful for this place that I'm in. 

And life isn't all perfect. I don't want anyone to think that I'm walking on rainbows day in and day out without any trials (currently my face is breaking out like I'm 13, so there's that), but it becomes really difficult to complain when Portland gives you a sunny day and there's a general buzz in the air. I'm living according to God's plan for me and while each day has its unknowns, I know the general trajectory of my life is set according to the path He's placed before me. 

Portland has been the ultimate gift for the girl who, a year ago, doubted everything and didn't know left from right. April 23nd, 2015 was the day everything turned around and it's a day I'll continue to celebrate year after year. 

We all have those moments in our lives where there is a key change. The build up is often complex and frustrating, filled with potholes and triumphs, but it makes the reward that much sweeter. It's the moment you get the job, you realize you had feelings for that person all along, you decide you have to move if you're ever going to grow, you leave the job for the one you are made for, or you climb the mountain you thought was impossible to climb. 

Portland/grad school was and is all of that to me.

ps. if you want some goosebumps, read THIS post from April 15th, 2015. spooky. this is why i blog.

pss. and for fun, HERE'S the post when i announced i got into grad school :)

psss. tired of me yet? just have a great Portland story from yesterday. we were on Division (always a kind of crowded 2 lane street) and trying to fit two large pieces of furniture into my friends car and secretly hoping some strong man would come help us because #weak when 1 man completely pulled to the side of the road-illegally-to help us out, then 2 more guys come over and basically take over the whole process. 3 strangers totally helped us out!! How amazing is that in such a busy, individualistic society that we live in that 3 guys of all different ages would help some sisters out. it made me grateful to live in this sweet community once again. 

It's a Personality Thing

Recently, I've become really fascinated by personalities. You know, the Meyers-Briggs set of personalities. I recently stumbled across an article that perfectly described me to a tee and it stopped me in my tracks. I sent it to my mom, read it to all my best friends and we all agreed it. was. spooky. So we then proceeded to read each others personality profiles and all found the same thing: it was comforting to be understood and realize that some of our crazy, wasn't so crazy after all. :) A few of us are keeping a list of each others personality types just to have on hand!

I am an INFJ. Apparently we are pretty rare and are considered "extroverted introverts." A-men. We can't make up our mind about whether or not social situations give us energy or drain us and honestly, it just depends on the day. We are resilient but also sensitive. Changing the direction of our thoughts to focus on something else is frustrating and challenging because we are usually overthinking something. ;) 
 We connect with others really easily but creating long-lasting relationships is what we crave and where we put our energy. We can often feel let down a lot by our relationships because of the effort and love that we try to put into each one and find it's not always reciprocated. #sensitive Also, wanting to relax and recharge our batteries seems like a genius idea until about an hour in and we are antsy and bored. Must. Always. Be. Working. Towards. Something. Dating is frustrating because we are the least "casual" people ever and look for depth and meaning in every relationship. 

So if you know me well, all of that is pretty fricken accurate but there was something else that I've been thinking about a lot. In all of the articles I read it said, "You hate small talk" and while, sure, it's not my favorite thing, hate seemed like too strong a word. Then, the other day, I had a breakthrough. I realized that the reason I think I'm good at small talk and do pretty well in new environments or bigger social gatherings, is because I deflect REALLY well. I just recently caught myself doing this and kind of laughed to myself. 

When I'm doing what I consider "small talk" I'm actually just trying to figure out everything I can about that person and completely ignoring all mentions of my life. If someone asks me a question I will quickly answer and then ask you, like, 12 more questions. INFJ's love getting to know people and finding connections but we also don't love giving up information about ourselves until we know we can trust you. Then, once we trust you, get ready to hear everything haha. No holding back. 

So now that I've bared my soul to you and you know everything about me ;) why don't you mention what personality type YOU are!! Here's the website!

Why Knot:: Hike {Elowah and Upper McCord Falls}

One of my favorite parts of living in Portland is how close I am to otherworldly nature. This hike took us just under 40 minutes to drive to and was breathtaking! All of a sudden you are in the canyon looking up at this giant waterfall and feeling the wind and mist hitting your face. There are large rock walls to each side and I've never felt tinier in my life. These falls are Elowah Falls and are very easy to hike to! Start at the John B. Yeon Trailhead and you'll reach the falls in no time!

 Once you're done admiring the beautiful falls, I recommend turning around and heading towards Upper McCord Falls. When you first start the hike at the trailhead, you run across a dead end and you have to go left for Elowah or right for Upper McCord. At this point go right and you will definitely not regret it. The views from the top of this hike are UNREAL. We seriously stopped and admired our surroundings so many times.

 Also, everything was SO green and mossy! All of the trees looked like Dr. Seuss trees and I felt like I was in a magical fairyland. :)

This was the view on the way to Upper McCord Falls. UN-REAL amiright?? How you doin' Columbia? Oh, and hey Washington! (Washington is just on the other side of the river)

I definitely recommend these hikes if you are looking for something quick and beautiful. Also, you are pretty close to Bridge of the Gods as well so you might as well drive 10 more minutes and take a look at that beauty of a bridge. :) 

Happy hiking!

If you're gonna run...

 You better find a gosh darn beautiful place to run. In my case, that was the tulip fields at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. :)

 On Valentine Day weekend I made a list of all the things I want to accomplish during this season of singleness and one of them was to get fit and active through running. ;) I knew I needed some motivation so I immediately signed up for a race and figured a 10K was a good place to start. My friend, Ashley, ran it with me and it was hard to hate on the running when we were surrounded by such beauty! We even ran through an orchard at one point! 

I think it's important to do little things that are selfish every once in a while. This whole experience pushed me and forced me to be proactive in ways I've never been before. It was challenging but oh, so worth it. 

Moments like these remind me why springtime is my favorite. There is joy in the air and everyone seems just a little bit happier. :) 
Happy Monday!!