Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sarah's Thoughts on Goodbyes, Portland, and Dead Sharks

Today I had to say my first goodbye; the first goodbye of many.  My dear friend Sarah Petrak is leaving for the summer to work at an artist’s retreat located in an old, restored barn.  Her courage is such an inspiration and I believe only truly beautiful things lay in front of her.  We are both stepping out into the world, embarking on new journeys.  Unfortunately, our journeys will be taking us to entirely different regions of the world: Her to Ireland, me to Portland.
Yes, Portland.  Quite soon actually. 
I had the whole saga typed out and then I decided that, in this case, where I’ve been isn’t quite as important as where I’m going.  But here’s a summary: I was going to go to Portland State University about a year and half ago.  But I got a job with a family I loved, moved in with a really good friend, and started to think a certain someone (of the male persuasion) was possibly worth sticking around for.  He wasn’t, but everyone else was and I’m glad I didn’t go then.  There was a lot I needed to do in Denver both inward and outwardly.  Had I moved then, I’m pretty confident it would’ve been an emotional disaster.  
A few months ago though, the universe sort of shook my world up a bit.  And with guidance and support from some very wise women in my life I decided to be a little rash and spontaneous.  A few weeks ago, my Aunt Jennifer said, “I really feel something is waiting for you in Portland.”  It was with that sentence that something lurched inside of me and I decided now is my time:  Around July 15th, I will be driving out to Portland to make a new home for myself in a new city with new adventures awaiting me.
It’s all an exhausting combination of excitement, fear, and uncertainty.  I’m sad to leave family and friends behind, especially those adversely affected by my picking up and leaving so suddenly.  But the support and concern I’ve gotten from everyone so far has been overwhelming- almost to the point of making me want to stay and never leave such encouraging creatures.  But, like Jennifer said, there’s something out there waiting for me.  My job now, is to find it.   
As far as the blog goes, this all effects my goals quite a bit.  The point of a goal is to remain constant and keep you structured, especially when life throws you for a loop.  But I’m also reminded of Woody Allen’s wonderful metaphor of a dead shark.  To survive, sharks must keep swimming.  Without constant movement, they simply die.  Woody Allen was talking about relationships in his case, but I think the same can be said of life in general.  My life needs to keep moving and progressing or else I’ll wither into a state of mediocrity.  And with a fluid life, there comes a need for a certain amount of fluidity in goals.  So I’ve reworked some of the plans I had for the year to  better compliment the adventure I’m embarking upon.
Here’s the new (and improved) list:
    1. Weight Loss: 10 pounds by the time I get to Portland.
    2. Incorporate Artist Dates once a week- What a great way to explore a new city.
    3. Finish one of my two writing projects- I have no excuses now: no school, no job, and I can wander around Powell’s for inspiration. 
    4. Get something published- I’m looking into literary magazines and such in Portland.  Also, there seems to be loads of freelance opportunities out there.
    5. Get out of the city once a week, out of the state once a month, out of the country once a year- Mini road trips to Seattle and the northern Oregon?  Yes please.  
    6. Read through all of Austen- Half way through Pride and Prejudice and I have no plans to stop now.  
    7. Complete my Denver Bucket list before I leave:  Bucket list coming soon!
    8. Minimize- I’m selling and donating anything and everything I don’t have an immediate need for.  If it doesn’t fit in my car, it pretty much has to go.
    9. Find somewhere to volunteer at in Portland- hopefully comparable to Art from Ashes.
    10. Get in contact with Heartline and others to solidify a plan for Haiti for next summer- Actually going to Haiti in 2010 just doesn’t make sense, for reasons outside of my control.  There is still lots of work to be done for this year though.
    11. Embrace my crafty side.  Learn to sew, crochet, paste, and spread glitter around on construction paper- This one gets to stick around!  Just last week I made something simple but oh so fun. I’ll share later.


          1. "My life needs to keep moving and progressing or else I’ll wither into a state of mediocrity."

            You totally nail it - I know exactly what you mean.

          2. You'll miss the Naked Bike Ride, but there are many other adventurous things waiting in Portland! :)

          3. Oh my goodness Jackie, this makes me so sad. I'm going to miss you so much but you're going to be doing wonderful things in Portland! I hope we don't lose touch, but either way, I was blessed to have you in my life this semester and you'll have to let me know how everything is going every once in awhile! <3

          4. Cassie, don't be too sad, I'm not leaving you! :) It's confusing sometimes to figure out who was writing, but this was definitely Sarah. :) I'm so glad we got to meet this semester, too! I appreciate the kind words more than I know how to describe. :)


          Shake the dust off that keyboard and type us something pretty.