Week 12 – Bend

#80 Dye-ing Over Here

20 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

“Maybe happiness is this
Not feeling like you
Should be somewhere else
Doing something else
Being something else”

— Unknown origin, but I found it here on Instagram

Either way, I love this quote.

It feels almost like an incongruous day to share it though, because honestly, today did feel like one where I wanted to be elsewhere. Along with all the perks of living in Eugene, it can also be isolating, being kinda far from so many of my favorite people. Today I thought about the time we’ve been living here and the nine months I have until the end of grad school and it feels pretty long.

At the same time, I also felt pretty thankful for a lot in my life, including the time we have left for so many of the things we love about living in Western Oregon. Today we hung out with the dog and dyed Easter eggs.

Today and this whole year have been so full of both rain and sun, heaviness and light, highs and lows. One day it’ll be a good story to tell. In the meantime, we get to see where this is all going to go.

#81 Falling Sky Friends

21 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

My weeknight out crew… Deanna, Zhen, and a baby. All to celebrate another year in Oregon for Zhen.

I love Falling Sky for many reasons, particularly pastrami. Also their beer selection. Dr. Optic’s Standard Bitter is my pick for the month.

Even though I’ve been off for a couple months thanks to my leave of absence, it is technically my spring break. Cheers.

#82 Rexius Trail

22 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

As of this week, I’m up to seven miles! Miles three and four were the hardest but after that it sort of felt like cruise control. Five more weeks to the half.

Some other good things from this week:

Radiolab — the episode they aired yesterday, technically a replay of a 2013 recording might have been the first thing I could label as a tearjerker podcast.

The way home roasting coffee beans make your house smell — did a batch of medium to dark roast Brazilian beans last night and it was lovely.

Ducks basketball — looks like we’re in for a good match tonight.

#83 Puppy School

23 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

Beignet really is a fast learner. She’s signed up for puppy school which has been really fun to do with her.

She’s totally the stereotypical learner that’s too smart to stay focused all the time. When there’s no structured activity she tries to go over and mess with the other dogs, starts making some noise, or getting really restless.

The minute they switch activities to something with more structure, she gets it instantly and nails it. The smartest one in the class. If anything, the activities are too easy for her.

That’s our girl.

#84 Steak & Latkes

24 March 2016 // Eugene, Oregon

I love that Deanna and I both love to cook. The kitchen is an egalitarian space. We share it and experiment and try and teach ourselves new tricks and recipes.

It’s a win-win situation for both of us. We get to play around and surprise each other with some really amazing meals sometimes that we’ve made for the first time ever.

That’s what happened this week with Deanna’s steak and latkes. The steak was phenomenal, and she nailed the art of medium-rare cooking. I can still taste it and feel that texture on my tongue. And the latkes were crisp and lovely and everything they should have been.

#85 Mirror Pond

25 March 2016 // Bend, Oregon

Mirror Pond Pale Ale is named after this little body of water… Or is the water named after the ale? I can’t seem to figure out why else they would name this thing mirror. Perhaps it was discovered by an explorer named Mirror, or inhabited by the Mirror Tribe. It was probably the beer, though. Nothing else makes sense.

This little city is amazing. So much good stuff for such a small size. And it’s not all that far away from us too.

Wholly enjoyed my first night in Bend and looking forward to some more excitement and adventuring today. Coffee and hikes and Beignet, hurrah.

#86 Smith Rock

26 March 2016 // Smith Rock, Oregon

People need to be validated. Like, desperately. Behind every interaction between one person and another, there are a billion unspoken questions like “Do you really see me? Does this moment matter? Do I matter to you?” Behind a lot of stories told, simple exchanges, or small talk, there’s this dynamic going on.

A lot of times the answer is no. Humans are social beings, meaning this desire is strong, but we’re so well adapted to social skills that we can put these interactions on autopilot, meaning we’re not really seeing people. We’re listening to their stories but thinking about our own experiences that are somewhat related. They’re making their point, but we’re already composing our counterargument in our head.

The desire to be validated fuels so much in the world right now. Who people are voting for is mostly determined by who makes them feel validated. The companies who sell the most product are the ones who can attach it to validation.

The good news about the ability to affirm another person’s humanity is that it’s an unlimited resource. We lose nothing by giving it away, and it’s something I really, really want to focus on these days. I speak for myself when I say it’s way too easy to go on autopilot. But the smallest time-out to break that habit can go a real long way.