Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saying East Coast Goodbyes: 1 of ____ ?

I'm leaving in just 3 weeks and the closer it gets, the more I realize how much I want/need to do before I leave! Between work, packing, getting the car prepped, etc. I'm not sure just what I'll be able to squeeze in.  It is getting here more quickly than I thought it would! My first goodbye adventure was this past Wednesday, February 22nd.  I realized that I'm not only saying goodbye to people but also some of my favorite spots (and sunshine).

Wednesday was Blind Pilot at the Grey Eagle.  First, I met my friend Mike for some grub at Lucky Otter. Mike and I went to school together growing up and, thanks to Facebook and it's ability to allow you to never keep any secrets, we found out that we both lived in Asheville.  This has come to be one of my favorite spots in Asheville.  I always order a big fat plate of build-your-own-nachos and one of their famous $4 key lime margaritas.  Mmmm....if it weren't 8:00 a.m. I'd go grab one right now! They also serve local brews, offer a nice wooden patio to enjoy sunny days and unique table markers (anything from a Happy Meal toy to a remote control car). This is a wonderful place to hang out, stuff your face and have a drink - all for around $10! I highly recommend!

After scarfing down food, we realized that it was about 2 hours from show time and that maybe it would serve us best to not be the first ones greeting the tour bus and waiting for Grey Eagle to unlock the doors and let us in. Or, as Mike put it more comically,"can you imagine us chest bumping, high five and a 'woo hoo! first ones here!'" Haha, point taken.  On to the Wedge we go.  If you do not know already, Asheville has been named Beer City for the past several years inclusive (yes, OVER Portland!).  The Wedge is one of the more unique breweries in town and is located in the River Arts District.  They offer amazing craft beer and an interesting setting.  It is located in an old warehouse and when walking up, you'll see a couple of games of corn hole taking place, locals and their pets and...well, really anything else.  You never know with Asheville! :) We each had a beverage there.  Mike had the Golem (which I recommend) and I had the Derailed IPA/Barleywine.

Finally, onto the show.  Meagan and J are running late and from the texts I received, "is Blind Pilot on yet?" "is it packed?" "now are they on?", I took it I would see them right before or after the show :)

I had seen Blind Pilot at the Biltmore with Jason when I was in Vancouver.  It was a much larger venue and we in the balcony trying to look down.  It was so nice to be right against the stage in a much smaller venue.  Grey Eagle is a more intimate setting and a great place to catch your favorite artists....or any artists at that. I met my coworker, Alyssa, there (I guess technically I'm her boss but I never could get used to feeling like a 'manager' or 'boss'). She had never heard of the band but was down to check out new music. Judging by her dancing and sweating, I'd say she had a good enough time!  As expected, Blind Pilot put on an amazing show with lots of energy.  Afterwards, I found J and Meagan and also got to chat with the band for a little bit.  This is a sensitive subject with Jason, so don't rub it in too much ;)

Thanks for a great night, guys! Hopefully we will have a chance to see each other again before I head out but, if not, you are always welcome to come visit Portland and please, please, please keep in touch! I feel a strong urge to use phrases I would've written in a yearbook in middle school; things like "K.I.T." (keep in touch) or "stay cool."  Cheers!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tess Is Moving to the West Coast...Portland to be exact!

So I am moving to Portland, OR in 4 weeks! I am starting this blog for a couple of reasons: to document my journey beginning to end as this is a huge deal, to help explain to everyone what in the world I must be thinking (as best I can...haha!) and to keep everyone posted on my travels!

I have always been a "seeker" wanting to see and do much as financially and physically possible (most of the time outside of my means).  I guess it is both a blessing and curse depending on who you ask and what day you ask me.  I have changed careers, gone through break-ups, moved apartments, moved cities...states...and, now, coasts! Career-wise, I finally have it figured out. I want to train and I want to do it well and I want to be one of the best.  Everything else is up for grabs.  Sometimes, I think, "Tess, you're 29, you should have it figured out" while most of the time I think, "Tess, you're ONLY 29! Take every opportunity you possibly can now." The latter speaks loudest to me.  So, here's my story:

Jenn and I were roommates at the end of college and after graduation.  She, God love her, knew exactly where she wanted to go to graduate school and for what...she wanted to go to Pugent Sound in Seattle, WA for Occupational Therapy.  I, too, wanted to go to graduate school.  I was determined at the time to go to graduate school in Arlington, VA for a dual Master's Program in Forensic/Counseling Psychology.  I was going to be the next Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs. I was accepted!! AND...I didn't go.  In the meantime, I also took the GRE 3 seperate times (rasing my score each time) and was accepted into 2 other Master's programs at different schools: School Psychology and Human Nutrition.  I truly wanted to get my Master's in Human Nutrition but due to the madness of student loan debt, it wasn't an option.

While I was working different jobs - everywhere from the District Attorney's Office to bartending to Social Services - I began personal training on the side and LOVED it.  I decided to move to Asheville, NC where everything is organic and artistic.  Jenn and I have always kept in touch.  She went on to get her Master's in Occupational Therapy and moved to Portland, OR to do her internship and decided she never wanted to leave.  In the meantime, several months ago, she had mentioned to me that she would need a roommate in the spring.  Hmmm...that is exactly when my lease would be ending.  I told her to let me see where life was taking me around that time and I may just seriously consider it. we are....5 or 6 months after that conversation.  There is nothing tying me to Asheville and no reason for me not to explore.  [Enter Jason, the boyfriend]. A lot of you who are aware of my current relationship status may assume that I am moving for Jason which is not the case.  Here is the brief story of Jason and I:

Jenn and I went to Hawaii with her parents in June of 2009.  Jason and I met there and have emailed since then. Jason lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Two and a half years later, this past September, he came to spend the week in Asheville.  It was the first time we had seen each other in 2.5 years! Things went really well and I went to visit him in Vancouver for 10 days over Thanksgiving.  That went really well so he flew in Christmas night and spent 2 weeks with me.  That went really well. Now, he is flying in to drive for a week across the country with me. We will still be about 6 hours away from each other. Bummer....but better.

At this point, there really is no reason for me not to venture out.  I have an awesome roommate waiting for me, SEVERAL career opportunities keep appearing before me, I have an opportunity to drive across the country and I have a significant other living on that side of the continent. 

 Worst Case Scenario: I get to drive across the country, get a feel for west coast livin' and rack up memories that I can never, ever get back.  Will I miss my family and friends and feel scared at times? Holy cow, absolutely!! Still, I can't NOT take the opportunity due to fear.  I can always come home, but I can't always get this opportunity back.'s to new experiences, dreaming big, being a free spirit, being bold while always knowing that I have a place to come back to should I fall flat on my face.  HERE'S TO HAVING ROOTS AND WINGS! Thank you in advance for your support. Stay tuned for more updates. xoxoxo - Tess.