Back in Portland, Restless

Privately published weeks ago:

This post is in lieu of a diary entry. So for now I write filter-free, listening to sweet sweet grooves sitting in a wooden chair in front of a wooden desk at a tea shop near my interim-turned-longterm housing.

I remember being so stressed and whiny about trying to find the best housing situation for me back home while I was abroad, and talking about it endlessly, whether circularly in my mind or aloud to neighbours and friends. I finally made a choice on the spur of the moment based off of a photo set, good vibes, desperation, and the fact that I like and respect the 3 other women I would be living with.

The first few days back in Portland my head was spinning, I had some diluted form of altitude sickness, my period was threatening to break the floodgates, I had gotten sick (incessant sneezing, wet cough, nausea) in Nagasaki and was still sick when I got off the plane, and so when I was in Portland moving into some dark space I was peeved. I fixed up the space tho and figured out how to light it up.

Its so weird that my rituals and habits have reset- now, between my arrival and work, is the perfect time to set new habits and cement old habits: brushing my teeth twice a day, smoking rarely, reading, dating, waking up ridiculously early, etcetera.

I have all these anxieties, most of which I manage to quell (and thankfully they don’t bug me too often since I’m in a super chill state relative to my mental and emotional state during my time at Reed) and sometimes (quite often) I manage to forget how lucky I am to be working with a team full of smart people, Reedies and otherwise, at a huge established brand with lots of professional mobility.

 

I am quickly realising that I had a completely different set of priorities on the island and the biggest form of culture shock comes in this realisation; not only do my to-do lists vary accordingly but my activities and goals here in Portland are so much more mundane and sedentary. I’ve been jolted back into adulthood, responsibility and now I’m signing up for all these thoughtless dating apps, looking to buy a cheap car that works until I find something better, moving and settling into my living situation, all these adult things.
Another big shock is the openness of human connection and communication in the States. People are so loud, so readable, and not polite. You have to change the way you read people, because the same set of rules I spent so much time and energy learning in Japan does not apply here. I am grateful that the island was relaxed and friendly, much more so than uptight Saitama and Tokyo.
I keep on going back to my evil working environment in Saitama and am wondering why I am so bent up on a mere two months in the larger scheme of my life. Perhaps it is because I am in a weird limbo-week gearing up for a new job, and quietly fearful that I’m not up to par, that I will not fit in, that I will not be welcome, that I will be made to feel as awful as I did in Saitama after that first fake month. Those are only fears, but that kind of memory makes an impact on trepidations about the future.
Update 9 days later: Reality completely eradicated those fear, showing me brightness, kindness, guidance, and support.
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