(My recaps are going to jump around and not be chronological to my trip, you’ve been warned!) So I have returned to Minneapolis, a changed person. For those of you that shipped the last post, or haven’t had the chance to talk with me yet, Portland changed something in me. I left on this trip apprehensive about the whole thing. I wasn’t even sure why I was going anymore. I was more excited to see my family than I was about the conference. Was I scared I wold have no one to talk to was I scared I wouldn’t fit in, I’m not sure. I think I was scared my world was going to fell apart, and you know what, I was right to be scared because in Portland my world fell apart.
I deiced on my way out to Portland, despite having packed my cellphone, the iPad, a notebook pens highlighters and a camera that I wanted more than anything to be in the moment. This is something that i truly try to do all the time, I try to be an active listener, a genuine speaker, and someone who observes the big piture along with the small details. I left that stuff in my bag probably 97% of the time. While people were talking, speaking it was away. I trusted my instincts and the world around me is changing.
During Zumba I was so thankful to be able to get a spot towards the front of the class, so I could see what was going on, and on the end so if I needed to leave I could… which I didn’t. Having previously been a ballet/tap/jazz dancer my heart delighted in being in the Zumba world. I choked back the tears so many times… after class I gave Sue and Sam hugs, got a blurry photo, then rushed off to cry in private. I wasn’t sure what was going on with me. I was a bit weepy the entire rest of the day.
I blew off the farewell reception to see my family. Like life this trip came with choices to be made, difficult ones, and ones that I know shook the very foundation on which I stand. Seeing my Auntie-cousin Eva (shes like a cousin once removed or some kinda weird relationship like that, as I call it family is family we don’t need labels) was possibly the most incredible experience I have had this year. We left Portland at 1730ish and headed out to the coast! Swung thru Burgerville, where we got dinner, cheeseburger with Tillamook cheddar mmm (cheeeese!!!!) and WallaWalla Onion rings, which are something exclusive and seasonal to the area. We continued the trek to the coast, laughing plotting catching up a bit with my cousin Tyler and his fiancé Brit (whom I had also just met). We were going to cram so much life into the next few hours. The energy in the car was amazing, almost electrifying. We headed to Tillamook where we stopped off at the factory store, Tyler Brit and I ran up the steps to look at the factory area, then back down the steps thru the cheese curd sample line, where obviously you have to grab the squeaky sample then into the line for Tillamooks own Ice Cream! Eva snapped a photo of us in the Loaf Love mobile we piled back into the car and made a beeline for the coast.
As we got closer to the beach the views were amazing, not that driving thru the forest wasn’t cool, but OCEAN!!!! We were driving thru town and I saw it… the name of the same street I live on here in Minneapolis. Eva decided thats where we were getting on the beach! We turned around parked and hopped out. As soon as my sneakers hit the sand they had to come off, i flipped them off my feet as fast as i could and dug my toes in and closed my eyes. How amazing it felt. It has been years since I had sand on my feet. I walked, slowly behind my cousins toward the middle of the beach, feeling the earth under my feet, and it didn’t hurt my legs. For the first time in a long time no pain. Huh, maybe there is something there I need to explore, as the tears started welling up I hugged Tyler and Brit as Eva took a photo of the three of us on the Beach by Twin Rocks. (Rockaway Beach OR) I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, the smell of the ocean, the feeling of the sand, the tears were coming back.
We rushed back to the car. We were greeted by Pepper, the pupperdog at the house, where we switched vehicles, and Eva and I raced up the coast in her red convertible. We chatted about all manners of things. We are kindred soul spirits, and don’t think it is hokey! 17+ years have passed since we last saw each other, and our lives have led parallel. We connected thanks to Facebook because our families aren’t real good at this stuff. We went up the mountain, and watched as the sunset over the ocean. As the sunset it felt like things inside of me were shifting, like life was shifting. There is something so freeing about the coastline at sunset in a convertible, you can just leave it all behind, your laughter floats up to the heavens and your heart and soul are so free to breathe in life an energy. When we got back home the 4 of us sat around for a little while laughing and just loving on being able to do everything, and how cool it was to see each other after so many years.
Sunday morning was hard. We woke up very early it was a two hour drive back into Portland from the coast, it went by too fast. The closer to the city we got the more i didn’t want to leave the car. I started choking up as the hotel came into view, by the time it was time to get out, and have one of the lovely porters take our photo I was already crying. I cried my way to the room, I composed myself then went down to the fitbloggin floor where I found Liz, then started crying again, and again and again and again! I wanted it to stop, but I know that its so important to feel those things.
The sadness of leaving fitbloggin started to set in only after i saw the people returning from the funruns/walks. I had finally met my tribe, i had connected with my family and now it was time to shut it all down, this wasn’t fair.
Fast-forwarding just a bit, as I sat on the airplane, trying to figure out again why I was just an emotional basket case, crying yet again the best i can figure that my life, like the earth has just experienced a major tectonic plate shift, the foundation on which everything has been built was just shaken to the core and things are about to change… a lot. I am not quite sure how or why, but it’s coming and it is going to be massive.