In December of 2010, I graduated from New York University, my dream school. Since then, I’ve spent seven years moving from one small town in northern Indiana to another. When I think about why I’ve spent the better part of a decade in places that leave me feeling isolated and uninspired, I can think of only one reason: I’ve been afraid.
Moving to New York City was supposed to be the start of something amazing. Within two weeks of living there, I hated it. Despite sticking it out (two amazing semesters in Dublin propelled me through), I felt like I was running home with my tail between my legs.
It has taken me seven years to build up the courage for what I’m about to do.
On November 29, 2017, I’m packing up my things (and my dog) and moving to Portland, Oregon.
That’s 2,200 miles from my current location. Two-thousand two-hundred miles from the rock I’ve been hiding under.
Get the F**k Outta Dodge
My decision was made almost a year ago. If you were hoping I wouldn’t get political, I’m sorry. But I must. When Donald Trump was elected President of the United States, with former Indiana governor and gay-conversion therapy advocate Mike Pence on his ticket, it became so completely clear that the conservative Midwest was not where I belonged. I currently live in a small, white, farming community that, judging by its Don’t Tread On Me flags and its comfort with the word “f**got,” is about seventy years behind the rest of the world culturally.
But I want to be positive, too: I want to be able to see screenings of old black-and-white French films on the big screen, take the dog for a hike through mountains, and drive to the ocean on weekends.
I want to feel inspired again.
Since moving back home, I’ve self-published a young adult novel and a collection of short stories. This isn’t enough. The constant swirl of creative energy has started to die, and it can do nothing but suffocate without the companionship of fellow artists and a life more connected to nature. These are my goals: to join a community of creatives and to find my place with the natural world.
So, basically, all the hippie-dippie reasons people move to Portland.
Last night, I hit 60,000 words on my newest story. I have two other full manuscripts just sitting around (one of them for kids, if you can believe that). Without an audience, without connection, they feel impotent. I owe it to the characters in my head to find a shot of creative adrenaline. I’m not finding it here.
And then there’s spirituality, the real hippie nonsense. My religious beliefs have been relatively non-existent, but faith is important. I want to experience nature, not just as an observer, but as a being spiritually tied to its consciousness. In fact, I’m sure I’ll be writing a lot more about my beliefs. If you don’t like that (and if you’ve rolled your eyes repeatedly at this post), maybe now is a good time to stop following Achieving P’nosha.
That sounded harsh. It isn’t meant to be.
There are more practical ramifications of this move, of course. There will be a restructuring of my creative endeavors, including my writing, podcasting, and filmmaking. A post regarding that will arrive soon.
But here’s the point of all this: I want to take you all on this journey with me. I may only live in Portland for a few years, but I plan to document the hell out of it. I’m not looking for Likes or pats on the back, but I know that I’m not alone in my recent malaise. I speak to people all the time who want to move away, who want to find that spark that has been extinguished. I may fail spectacularly (and all the more entertaining for you if I do!), but I’ll be honest every step of the way.
If I can do it, you can, too. I’m basically a thirteen-year-old who happens to be almost thirty.
To follow me on this journey, you can check out the following:
Twitter: @p_nosha (warning: I get political here.)
Facebook: LavaLamp Studios
And, of course, Achieving P’nosha will continue for as long as you want to hear me babble on about things.
Hopefully, it is all about to get a lot more interesting!