Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Avocados, Portland, and lost love.

I don't really know where to start here, I guess I can start anywhere. At times when I'm feeling down, I draw myself to tears of frustration from trying to find words to understand my emotions. It's been a long time since the last time I felt this way. I find it hard to justify feeling sad, when I have so many blessings in my life.almost feel guilty for not being happy constantly, because honestly I truly lead a wonderful life.

But we have to remember to be kind to ourselves, and even more importantly, to just BE ourselves-whether we're in good form or not.

Writers write best when they are sad anyways, me thinks.

I am sad because I am heartbroken again. And although it is not a new feeling, it always hurts more than I remembered, and cuts deeper than I realize. I love avocados. My heart is like an avocado, scooped out and smashed into glop, left in a glass bowl for people to smear on their bagels every morning at work. Wait, no..but those avocados are so good.

Somehow I still cannot control my ability to love and to hope. I can't believe I still believe in love. Even though I am a bit crazy, selfish and traumatized, I have faith that God still has the perfect man out there for me somewhere. Maybe He's still waiting for me to learn how to master the art of patience, which I dread may be inherit in my character (impatience), and become the ruin to any forever-type of relationships.

For now at least I can sulk on my futon bed, because I don't deserve a king sized bed because I am 26 and alone. To be fair, people have survived worse things in life.


Switching gears, we checked off tons of Oregonian To Do's during his visit. I was so happy to host and finally show him my hometown as I've been rediscovering it myself. There is something magical about watching someone experience a city you love, for the first time. We've talked about it for so long, and I've been to Ireland three times, so it was due time for Cormac to journey to Portlandia.

Morning hike up to see the Rose Garden 

Finding amazing brunch spots! 

Biking around and enjoying downtown Portland (bikes not shown)

Saturday Market, Rose Festival, Meet the Fleet 

 Cormac capturing this priceless moment with my chipmunk pal 
Hiking up Angel's Rest and stopping by Multnomah Falls 

Having our fill of epic brunches, smiles included

 Stayed in a cabin in the woods with alpacas! 

Had a campfire and made s'mores <3 <3 

I'm out of words for now, and I feel much better. No matter how bad today may have been, tomorrow may be the best day of your life-so just get through.

xoxo Kalong

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Portland Love Affair

I never knew growing up native in NE Portland would some day make me a commodity in my own city. When I was overseas I got asked where I was from all the time. Now I'm back home and people STILL ask me where I'm from. And then when I say HERE, they go, 'Wow. A real Portlandian!' When did this happen?! Whatever, I'll take it.

Since I've been back in town, life has been more interesting than I remembered leaving it. I've never lived downtown before cause my parents were here, but since they aren't anymore I had the perfect excuse to find a lovely 1920's flat in NW, complete with a clawfoot bathtub and two roommates. It takes me about 20 mins every morning to stroll past parks and awakening boutiques to arrive at work. I adore my walks to work. Cyclists whiz by, guys with mustaches, cropped skinny jeans and messenger bags walk past, and homeless people wish me good mornings and compliment my hair. I mentally window shop as I pass by vintage furniture shops and thank God for the beautiful weather, and my job.

The vibe and culture at Airbnb in Portland is second to none. No boring people, no boring days. It is the aura of Portland herself in her grandest displays of hospitality. Which basically means bike storage areas, microbrews in the fridge, and endless vegan, gluten-free and organic catered lunches. We sit wherever we feel like, and I get a million GIF's a day of kittens and sitcom celebrities. There's always meet ups going on outside of the office, whether it's an organized afternoon of kickball + a keg, or karaoke nights. There's a lunch-time running group, a brunch group, an outdoor yoga group, everything and anything. I've been busy, and my alcohol tolerance has grown amusingly high. My colleagues are a younger, hip crowd in our mid 20's to mid 30's with dogs (that they bring to the office) and they all have fun, random facts and passions. Sometimes I feel like I don't fit in cause I don't professionally bike race or work part time as an EMT, but then it's obvious how much I DO. Since we're all so unique, we all fit in by just being different people. Ah, the diversity is wonderful.

I'm rediscovering so many new reasons to love Portland, and it's easy because there are so many people here to show me how.

One reason? Thrift shops. One of my roommates loves going to Goodwill for house furnishings. When I first went in there I was blown away by how much cool STUFF they had for so cheap! I've always had this mentality that thrift shops were only a place to donate things. But we actually bought silverware there for $.27 each piece. Think that's weird and unsanitary? So did I..until Sam pointed out that all restaurants reuse their silverware. Mind=blown. Also, there have been many times at work when I've complimented someone on their clothes and they'll tell me they got it at Goodwill or Salvation Army. And I am curious now.

Another reason? I never get bad coffee. Another reason? No such thing as a bad pint. Another? I live right across the street from Trader Joe's. Another? No sales tax. Another? The outdoors. Oh, yes.

The outdoors. After living in SE Asia and central America, every day I am happy to be breathing in clean, crisp air. I am also surrounded by trees, and trees make me happy-and so do roses, and they are blooming all over Portland as well. Actually, Washington Park is a few minutes walk from my block, and therein lies the landmark Rose Garden and plentiful hiking trails. Yesterday I went out to Sauvie Island, where I used to go U-pick fruit on weekends as a little girl with my family. Only now that we're grown ups, friends and I had mimosas all afternoon in the sand. This morning we drove along the Gorge and hiked up to Punchbowl to see some pretty waterfalls. Few weeks ago, we went out to the Oregon Coast and made a bonfire on the beach after our hair got all tangled from the relentless wind.

How's life? Excellent. How am I liking Portland? Very, very much so.

 Sunny afternoon dipping toes in the Columbia River on Sauvie Island 
 Snippet of my Instagram of typical Thursday at work :) #airbnb
 Bonfires on the coast at Rockaway Beach
 Rummaging for the goods at Goodwill! I shall return. 
 Eagle Creek Trails, heading for the Punchbowl, a popular family friendly hike. 
 The infamous postcard sign of Portland. 
My darling bathroom, still lots of touches to add!