Reflections on 2019
Boy, time has a way of stretching itself out. I know most people chorus "Time flies!" when reflecting on the year, but for me time might be a snail. It's slow and steady, it mosies by, it enjoys the scenery. It leaves a slimy trail over everything - ok, it's not a perfect metaphor.
January 2019 feels like it was 10 years ago. I can't believe I was living in Seattle then - and thought we'd be staying there for the forseeable future. I can't believe I hadn't started going to Orange Theory yet, or met any of the friends I've made this year. I wasn't ENGAGED! Or knee-deep in wedding planning. I know I sound like a broken record, but each year my life looks completely different from the previous year. It's exciting, and I love that I get to savor my time, that it elongates. There are so many moments that feel important this year, which I think is why time feels slow. I want to maintain that going forward, especially after the wedding.
One of my 19 for 2019 items was to try a new workout class. Previously I had been rising at 4 am, trudging to Planet Fitness, and hanging out on an elliptical for 30 minutes while watching HGTV. It was fine, enjoyable even, but not inspiring. Fitness has always been a big part of my life, and I wanted to find a friends I could work out with, as well as a better work out. We tried Orange Theory during one of their promotions in late January and never looked back. It's expensive, but worth every penny in how much happier it makes me. We originally went to the West Seattle location, which got us hooked, but I fell in love when we started going to the SE Portland location. I've made close friends there, and it's such a relief to touch base with them most mornings. The workout makes me happy day-to-day, but my OTF friends add richness and meaning to my life. Definitely one of the best parts of my year!
The best money I ever spent was flying out of Seattle 4 days early to avoid the snow. I called Eli the day after I landed and he casually mentioned that THE POWER WAS OUT and I knew I had made right decision as I took another sip of my pina colada and looked out over the ocean. It was a cool 75° in Honolulu that day. What I loved most about Hawaii is that there are no landmarks or museums you must see - the whole bit is to just relax and enjoy the sun. I spent 10 days just walking up and down the beach, listening to audiobooks or the ocean, and enjoying being ankle deep in sand instead of snow. We did a few gorgeous hikes, and maybe saw a movie? But the thrill was in being there.
Moving to Portland
After nearly a year of searching, Eli landed a new job at Cloud Bolt, a Portland tech startup located in Revolution Hall of all places. We moved to an apartment that was located within walking distance of both my and Eli's offices (so lucky our offices are that close together), and have loved living there. I really enjoyed living in Seattle, particularly living with friends and experiencing a new city. But I also deeply missed our friends and family in Portland, and missed working from the Puppet office there. I don't regret moving to Seattle for a moment, but I'm also so glad we came back. This last year has felt like coming home, and has meant we get to spend more quality time with our families, have started a DnD campaign with my good friends from high school, and that we feel at home.
When we moved to Portland we also "gave our car away"....to Eli's mom. This was something we'd been thinking about for a while, for a number of reasons: cars are expensive, cars contribute to pollution, they disconnect you from your surrounding environment, and they're a hassle to maintain. Plus we knew living in Portland, we'd likely be able to live car-free relatively easily. We chose our apartment location to accomodate living without a car (including putting some of the money we'd save each month towards a higher rent), and haven't looked back.
Prepare yourselves for the anti-car rave. I love not having a car. Mostly I love that I never have to worry about it. I never have to fix the windshield wipers, or get gas, or store it, or think about someone breaking into it. I never have to drive it and risk hitting someone, or being hit. I also love biking and bussing - because we live centrally it rarely takes much longer than driving, and is a more engaging and interesting way to travel. I can feel the wind in my hair and smell the trees in the summer, and can read or watch the city go by on the bus. We're lucky to live in a city and have a lifestyle that enable us to live without a car, and it's worth noting we Lyft and carpool a few times each month. But it's so much cheaper, greener, and just happier than having a car.
I got to go to Budapest, Hungary this summer for Puppet's Contributor Summit, which was a great time. I didn't get to spend as much time exploring Budapest as I might have liked, given I was there for work, but it's so rewarding to connect with Puppet enthusiasts and my European colleagues. I met some of the nicest, funniest people on that trip and hope I can reconnect with some folks in the future!
Summer of Fun
This isn't a single event, but we had a lot of fun this summer. I was energized by being back in Portland with friends, and was excited to reacquiant myself with my hometown. We floated the river, and went to the Rose Garden, we went to the State Fair and the Oregon Country Fair. I went to the Pride Parade, then got a tattoo, then went to the Opera, in one day. I love summer, and this was one of the best ones yet!
And the big news, we got engaged! We talked about getting married early in our relationship, to make sure it was something we both wanted. We've known we would eventually get married for a long time, and since moving to Portland had been talking more seriously about it. We wanted to do it now while so many friends and family were in or close to Portland, and we just felt ready. So, Eli popping the question was hardly a surprise. In fact...we had already booked our venue and date when he did 🙊. Needless to say I'm over the moon, and am so excited to marry Eli. He brings so much joy to my life, and is so supportive and kind. I love that he makes me laugh even when I'm in a bad mood, and shares so many of my values. And honestly, I also love that we share the same views on a lot of important things:
- We're very liberal, politically
- We don't believe in God, or religions
- We're frugal, and spend according to our values (mostly)
- We're about the same level of messy, and share housework easily
- We love dogs
- We want kids eventually, but value our jobs right now
- We even both work in tech, and talk in detail about our work. He deeply understands how terrible writing XML is.
- We don't like to fight, and are good at talking things out.
I think you can have a successful relationship without these commonalities, but it's so much easier (and works for us!) to have the same views on all of these and more. It's something we often take for granted, but is a lot of what I love about Eli.
We're very excited about getting married in 2020, and celebrating with our friends and family!