Two days ago I woke up and left to quit my job.
It wasn't that simple. At least I'd like to think that our decision to leave Portland was more of a drops in the bucket scenario. Hindsight tells me that it was more of a light switch.
I never usually drive to work, but that day I decided that I couldn't wait. I had done all the necessary mulling, calculating, and wavering and a quiet walk to work would disturb the whole mental balance I had carefully orchestrated.
Sunlight pierced through branches, flickering through the windshield as I drove on squinting. It was a beautiful day, but that didn't matter anymore.
Early on Portland struck me like an arrow wound. The rain, the lack of bouldering, the mold, and my job all combined to drive the arrow in deeper. I lived with the arrow, dealing with the initial pain and even forgetting that it was even there at times. But every night it wrenched itself in further, eventually becoming unbearable.
Pulling this arrow out was excruciating and messy, but it had to be done. There may not be any guaranteed income in the future, and life on the road may be a tough one, but I will live. I will live in a way that would never be possible while slowly dying in Portland.
While mentally removing this arrow as I had so many times before, I stopped behind a line of cars waiting at a red light. Peering up at the car in front of me I saw that the license plate read "NWRNVR." I couldn't help but try to automatically figure this plate out, at first thinking it was Northwest something, then possibly Newer, and finally realized that it was trying to say "Now or Never."
Yes, I agree. If you saw that in a movie it would be lame, cliche, trying to hard, etc. Real life, however, is typically a mundane drama free experience, making even the validation of a random license plate meaningful.
And with the final nod from NWRNVR I am officially leaving Portland for life on the road. The timeline is open-ended beginning in early June, and I hope to make it last as long as possible. Here is a loose itinerary:
If anyone reading has any tips, ideas, must see locations, beta, temporary job or housing leads, or anything else I would love to hear them. The plan this fall/winter is to spend the entire season guiding in Hueco, so if you are headed that way I'll look forward to seeing you on a tour!
Meanwhile I'll look forward to shooting video, stills, and potentially a short film in some of the best summer bouldering destinations outside of Colorado! So Psyched!