Driving to Oregon

Friday night at 9 p.m., after a full day of work for Ben and full day of laundry, dishes, folding, packing, cleaning and a little bit of wok for me, we left Los Angeles. 23 hours later, we arrived at Ben’s parents house in Corvallis after a quick detour to my Dad’s in Bend.

Monday morning (this morning if you’re reading it hot) we’re going to wake up at or before 6 a.m. and drive to Portland where I have the first of two meetings with local people, neither or which are job interviews, although they are both vaguely work-related. Basically, we’re taking the first tentative steps toward moving up here for good. Hopefully as business owners on the fast track to being employers ourselves, but as employees works too. I’m going for a “whatever pays the rent” strategy.

10 years ago, Ben moved from Oregon to Orange County to go to college, and that’s about the extent of the moving either of us has ever done. Yeah, we moved around Orange County, and 5 years ago we moved to Hawthorne, but we tend to be extremely sedentary people. The idea of moving to another state is overwhelming. I realize that other people have done it, and I appreciate that, but it seems almost impossible to me.

Mostly what holds me back is the money. In order to move to Oregon, it will cost us about the same amount of money that it would cost us to live in LA for a month. And that’s not including down payments, security deposits, or replacements for the furniture we’d leave behind. Also, we’d lose Ben’s income as soon as we left, cutting out more than half of our monthly intake in a single stroke. Like I said, I have no idea how other people do this. It’s terrifying. And expensive.

But I don’t want to live in Los Angeles. So that means going somewhere else. I don’t know if Portland will be better, and in fact, I’m pretty sure it will be worse at first. I won’t know anybody, we won’t have jobs, or at least it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll both be making anywhere near what we made in LA, and it’s completely unfamiliar to me. But if the only thing tying me to LA is familiarity, it’s not enough.

So far my attempts to make inroads with Oregon clients from Los Angeles have gone absolutely nowhere. The two meetings I have tomorrow (today for you) will be the first contact I have with the working community in Portland. I’m kind of nervous, but it helps that I have no delusions that either meeting will result in anything concrete for my professional life. I’m just reaching out, so there’s no pressure to perform. Well, no more than normal. Hopefully the people I meet will become connections that a professional relationship can be built on, but more than likely they’ll be practice for the next meeting, and the next meeting, and so on and so forth. I’m already tired just thinking about it. Or maybe I’m just hungry.