A City Anew

I had something to write about, and I thought of it last night. Just having trouble remembering, as I’ve currently been laid up in pajamas all day.

Oh, right.

I’ve been cooking as part of this paleo challenge my gym is doing. We’re actually on a modified paleo challenge, allowing room for dairy, coffee, and some alcohol. What I’ve noticed so far is that I’m fuller longer, my energy is higher,(except today–c’mon, body, get it together), and I’m taking my creative cooking a step further. (Let’s not talk about a couple of the lunches I threw together, though; a sweet potato and/or a steak with a side of avocado is far from creative.)

This morning, I made a plantain hash, using a few modifications: chicken sausage instead of pork, salsa and goat cheese as toppings, a not-quite-brown plantain. Either way, it turned out deliciously. Then, I took a shower, put on my Slanket, and currently haven’t moved in about four hours. I’m pooped and will probably need a nap. (It’s about that time of year where something goes wrong with my immune system and I have to Google, “Do I have mono?”)

The other day, I made homemade almond butter. Almond. Butter. Basically, I conquered my fear of using my food processor and making something that I’ve only known to come from a jar at the supermarket, and you know what? It’s delicious. I ate it with a banana and some honey, and I’ve eaten a few spoonfuls plain. I almost darted out of my house on Saturday to proclaim my awesomeness to the entire neighborhood.

Other things I’ve done include baking chicken with coconut oil and a steak fajita bowl sans rice/tortillas and beans. I’m hoping this creative streak sticks, so even when I’m “allowed” to have corn and rice and pasta again, I’ll know how to moderate my carbs and balance my nutrients so I can continue to eat clean.

Also, I think I have officially crossed into “crazy” territory because not only am I doing CrossFit, but I’m sold on hot yoga. I picked up a $10 for 10 deal at a local yoga studio; I may go and try to sweat out the “hope this isn’t mono” tonight (and try not to be super-bummed that I’m missing another squat workout at my box), but I may also lie on my floor and try to just do a home work-out because that’s easier and my goodness, I feel like I’ve been hit by a bus. Typical.

Also, also, a lot of things have happened in this past year, and I’ve felt like I’m either on the run or treadmilling and can’t quite settle into my current situation. I’d like to put down some roots for the first time in a long time, and I don’t mean that I want to abandon my love of the world, but I’d like to focus on growing my strengths and skills in work, health, my personal life, and so forth. I can’t do that if I’m so obsessed with not missing on the baby steps towards the next big step. I need to bolster my savings something awful, and I think a good compromise will be minimizing how much “stuff” I have, so that I don’t feel weighed down by things; I want to feel tied to a place because I make that choice.

I think this decision came yesterday morning, as I walked downtown in the brisk winter air. I saw cafes and shops I had never noticed before, and I saw people in those cafes having conversations. I saw people walking through the streets, and some of the shops were closed, but the city was still alive. And I saw Portland the same way that I saw Madrid and London and all those cities I’ve visited, and I realized how lucky I am to once again live in a city where everything can feel new if you let it.

At the end of my trip in Madrid, I remembered feeling like I wasn’t a tourist anymore, that I had finally found my favorite local haunts. I knew there was still much to explore, and that kept the city dear to me. I don’t want to treat Portland like some kind of waypoint; I want to treat Portland as a milestone. Portland is every bit as fascinating and wonderful as the other cities after which I lust–it must just be that it seemed too easy, too good to be true that I ended up here after grad school.

Thank my lucky stars.

So, PDX, what do you say? Here’s to a lovely journey and many adventures to come.

2 thoughts on “A City Anew

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