For my birthday this year, I decided to take a trip and it ended up being so much more than just a vacation. My goal was adventure, laughter and time in a new place surrounded by people that didn't know my name. I wanted to be immersed in greenery and create poems whilst getting lost in all that Portland had to offer me.
When the plane landed in Portland and it hit me what I was doing, traveling in a brand new city all alone, I couldn't stop smiling. I was grinning like a five year old at everyone who looked my way and that feeling of excitement and joy stayed with me the entire trip.
Portland is irrefutably beautiful. The scenery is healthy and inviting and the people are busy but kind. There's a sense of hustle and bustle in the city of Portland and in the demeanor's of the people quickly passing by. Though they seemed to be in a hurry, I was comforted by the fact that anytime I smiled in someone's direction, I was met with kind eyes and a returned smile.
I celebrated my 25th birthday in Mexico and to be funny my friends decided to trick me and pretend like they didn't remember what day it was. I knew that it was just a joke and that at some point I would be overwhelmed with presents and so much love but for a moment I felt so alone. I thought to myself that I hoped I'd never have to spend my birthday by myself, surrounded by people that didn't know what a special day it was.
On my 27th birthday I wore all of my favorite things, with the most important thing being my roommates Minnesota Twins hat. I put my umbrella and scarf in my backpack, along with my journal and headed over to a local spot to have brunch. I ordered two eggs, potatoes and a biscuit and I ate alone while reading 'Bossy Pants' by Tina Fey, it was exactly how I envisioned starting my birthday. Alone but far from lonely.
I was comforted by the fact that no one around me knew how special of a day I was about to have and humbled by the thought that maybe everyone else would be celebrating special moments as well. I walked around with a smile on my face and what felt like a secret in my heart. There I was, only a few hours into being 27 and it was already my most exciting birthday yet.
Growing up a twin, my birthday was never just for me. Even though it was annoying in the early years I grew to love it as I got older. I looked forward to that day and spent it being reminded that from the womb I had a partner in crime, someone to venture through this journey of life with. As the years passed and decisions took us in different directions we spent our birthdays together less and less. I can't remember the last time my brother and I entered into a new year while living in the same city. My brother will always be my twin and we'll always share a birthday but this year, for some reason, I felt like October 26 was mine, made just for me.
Portland was the sentence that ended this most recent chapter in my life. It reminded me of who I've been, who I am and who I want to be. It confronted old insecurities and doubts and reminded me of the hope that's so deeply embedded in my blood and the strength beating in my chest. I've never liked myself more. never been more content with my life, never felt more connected to the lives ebbing and flowing around my own.
If you're responsibility free and have the money and the time, I strongly encourage you to take a trip by yourself. Go to a city that you've never been to before, stay somewhere cool, bring a journal, talk to strangers and immerse yourself completely in your own company.
It took me turning 27 and traveling to a random tree filled city to be reminded of the peace and joy that the Lord has placed within my heart. 26 was an amazing age filled with excitement, transition, love and so much happiness but 27 will be better. 27, is already better.
Thanks for keeping up with me. Until next time friends. Xoxo.