Monday, April 26, 2010

Cold Noses & Wild Rides

I was talking with a friend this week who was saying how part of our American mentality is that we define ourselves by the jobs we have because it gives us a role to play and a purpose. She said that, for some, having a job is just an excuse to have fun on the weekends, even if that “fun” is sleeping in an extra hour or two on Saturday. 

So true. 

For weeks, I’ve been wondering how I got to a place in my life where nothing really defines me. I leapt away from a fixed career path to a road without much signage, and now I don’t even know where this twisting super highway will take me tomorrow. To make matters worse, I have no reference point from my past to help figure out what to do today. I’m making it up as I go, or at least I’m trying to. When I moved to Portland I found this uncertainty exhilarating, but eight months later it’s just frightening, even more so when my long-trusted friends and family are thousands of miles away.

Lucky for me I have a cell phone plan that allows for unlimited minutes and friends and family with equally unlimited compassion. 

Talking with my friends Bryan and Alysia this week, Bryan pointed out that this is a time of big transition and change in my life.  He told me to enjoy the ride because, “you don’t get opportunities for life changes like this everyday.” And he’s right. Alysia jumped in to say that of all her friends she would willingly throw me to the dragons because she knows I’d battle the beasts and come out just fine. Thank you, Alysia. … I think. 

And while I get that sometimes we have to let go of parts of our past and present for new beginnings to take shape, the process itself has not been easy. The last few months have been like a slow unraveling thick rope. 

It seems the only constant this year has been a volunteering gig I began with the Pixie Project, a great local animal organization. (  

I started as a volunteer who would help keep the kitty room clean, but after scrubbing out cat boxes and throwing three bags of dirty litter in the garbage, I quickly switched to dog-walking duty. It’s a win-win situation: I get to hang with some fun-loving dogs and they get a walker who treats them like one of her own. 

So, while I continue to work my way out of limbo and try not to get mired in confusion and doubt about my unknown future, I know at least once a week there’s a dog waiting to see me, tongue hanging and tail wagging.

And for now that might be just enough to define me as I put on my helmet and fasten my seat belt, because this ride I’m on is one I’ll remember forever.  

(please click play button to watch video)

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