Friday, June 1, 2012

How much can change in four years?

Embracing my inner tourist outside the Met in NYC.
What a crazy couple of weeks it's been! Last Monday, I flew to Alexandria, Virginia for work. While I was on the East coast, I figured I'd stay and visit with friends from college, which took me from DC to Philly, Philly to NYC, NYC to Westhampton, and then finally back to Portland from DC. My two cents on that: Thank goodness for free Wi-Fi on Greyhound buses and thank goodness for Christian Grey.

For those of you that don't know me personally, I've been a bit of a homebody since I graduated from college in 2008. By that I mean, I've traveled around the Pacific Northwest quite a bit, but I've only been on an airplane three times in the past four years. This is a huge lifestyle change for someone who picked a school almost 3,000 miles away from home. Ironically, my work/vacation coincided with the four year anniversary of my college graduation. I'm still in semi-disbelief that I've been out of college for as long as I was in it.

For the first couple of years after school, financial constraints and a sporadic work schedule made it impossible to travel. Now, four years later, because I felt like so much has changed since college, I was honestly a little bit nervous to go back and "face the past." For example, the last time any of my friends from college had seen me, I was still using tanning beds. Would seeing the same places and people from before challenge my new lifestyle choices?

Reunited with my friend Leanne from college.
Yes and no. A few days before I flew out of PDX, my friend mentioned that we might be going to a pool party while I was out visiting. Almost as instinctively as breathing, I thought to myself, Oh crap, I'm going to have to get a spray tan. Then my normal brain caught up with my subconscious: Katie, you are much more comfortable in your own skin than you were four years ago. You just rocked an orange mini-dress at a party--totally sans tan--you know you don't need to be tan to be beautiful.

Was my mind just playing tricks on me because talking to an old friend evoked feelings of that old version of me?

At the end of the day, my anxieties were for naught. I had an absolutely amazing time on my trip. Seeing my old girlfriends, part of my felt like no time had passed at all. We were able to pick up conversations right where they left off four years ago. In a way, it was kind of like the best of both worlds: new me meets old me. Not unexpectedly, I did feel a little "homesick" for parts of my old life on the East coast. When I left Portland for Pennsylvania in 2004, I never thought I would be coming back. But here I am. Such is life. Apparently you can't always predict how things will turn out.

On a lighter note, you may have noticed in the picture above that I finally found a big, floppy hat!!! It's made by this company called San Diego Hat Co, specially designed to provide protection from both UVA & UVB. I absolutely love it!

Time to start planning my next vacation...

8 comments:

  1. I absolutely love your hat! I may have to order one myself. I am so glad your trip went well!

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  2. Good job listening to your own voice reminding you that you are comfortable in your own skin! Good choice on the hat too.

    I know we talked about making sunscreen before, I wanted to let you know I made my first batch this season! If you are interested in making some of your own, since I am just in Salem, it would be fun to get together and make a batch. Let me know!

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