Not all those who wander are lost. -J.R.R. Tolkien

Monday, June 29, 2015

I had such dreams for this solo period: the boys would head out and I would have two glorious weeks of freedom before my start date at the new job. Happily, most of that vision has come to fruition; I have spent a great deal of time wandering through the city, at my leisure, seeing many of the places I wanted to see. I've camped out at some beautiful coffeehouses and tap, tap, tapped away at the keyboard. 

Last Thursday I stumbled upon the perfect combination of caffeine, good music, and natural light at a new-to-me coffee shop, and cranked out five whole posts + edited tons of photos. It was amazing! I was astounded! (Who is this productive creature?!, said I.) Only, it wasn't for this space. Boo + hiss.

I'm proud to say I got the ball rolling on my new blog. All those photos and thoughts about the wonderful coffee + craft culture Portland nurtures were bursting at the seams. So I finally started writing them down. I haven't perfected the site, nor do I have a completely clear picture of where it will go (who does when they start these kinds of things, really), but I'm really enjoying the writing process. I write about my life in that space as well, as each post contains a personal anecdote, but it's different. Less mommy angst and more This place makes me think of a time when...; though I've found the transition between writing for this space and writing for that one difficult. I can be productive at one, but switching gears abruptly leaves me staring at my empty latte mug for extended periods. Like most things in my life, I'm going to have to be more deliberate with my time by carving out specific periods for each. (Especially once I add a 40-hour work week into the mix.) The two spaces have separate intentions, and I want to preserve those boundaries (i.e. this stays a personal blog and that stays a Portland blog).

I'm really enjoying this bout of creativity: I have rediscovered the joy writing brings me, and the process feels much less forced than it has been over the past six months. I have always extracted great pleasure from photographing cool places, even if only via iPhone, and getting to combine that with my other form of expression, writing, is pretty fabulous.

I got real nerdy about the whole thing, and recently constructed a map in Google Drive that has all the places I still want to explore. Last night I took it a step further and made separate maps for restaurants and coffee shops. Because the sheer number of establishments I still haven't visited is astounding and all the little tabs turned into one giant, colorful blob. (I could write a Portland blog until the end of time, it would seem.) On those mornings when I wake with wanderlust, I can cue up a map and head out. Then I photograph, make mental considerations and observations, and add it to the queue. It's rather fun and I feel like a travel journalist. Though I don't get paid and, now that I think about it, this venture actually puts me in the red. Gourmet coffee doesn't grow on trees, you know. (Well, um, technically it does. But you're picking up what I'm putting down.)

The one thing I have established is the format: feature one Portland-specific place, five days a week. (Portland-A-Day, like the calendars you peel away each morning to discover a new fact, word, photo, etc.) It sounds like a lot... a 5 day/week blogging commitment. Only, it's a little different from a blog post I'd write here; it comes with a topic and a finite number of things I can say about it. They have a certain flow to them that I don't find here, talking about some aspect of my life from scratch. I'll probably also feature other places I love throughout the Pacific Northwest on occasion, and Portland-made brands that inspire me. So that's that. (In case you were wondering. No? Okay.)

Anyway, enough gushing. It's all rather self-indulgent of me. But so is blogging. This little venture of mine, though it has taken me away from this space for the past week or two, is a really joyous thing. It will just require a little balancing act on occasion. (Kind of like running two separate IG accounts. Not the for faint of heart, I tell you.) (What did I get myself into? I barely tolerate one social media account most days.)

If you are so inclined, here are some links to the new blog:

Tomorrow? Tomorrow we catch up. Because I know you've been dying to know what I've been up to. (Besides what I just told you I've been up to.)

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