**eastward movement is included

20070618

i could catch my breath and come away unscathed ...

i had planned to 'not plan' this post.
i didn't want to 'search' for a provocative means of summarization, for fear it would come off as forced and unauthentic. one might say this is essentially an open statement of my personal laziness; my avoidance of publicly addressing the topic my first year out of school in another city, assimilating*** into adulthood.
i was hoping one year away from the calm and comfort of the killer city would amount to something a little more than an unstructured, sporatic, stream-of-consciousness brain-fart of a blog-post, but i guess that is what happens when you spent your formative years playing video games and attending sporting events instead of playing the violin or reading The Silmarillion.

in short,

i can't believe how naive i was when i chose to live here.
i figured the climate would be moderate, rainy, and more or less comfortable.
i knew the mountains and the ocean were equally close to the city.
i wasn't fully aware of portland's status as the 'model' for all other cities in terms of urban planning and walkability.
i didn't know i'd be able to take my lunch break at the farmer's market {just seven or eight blocks away from my office} and have access to the freshest and most colorful produce i'd ever seen.
i secretly wasn't sure i would be able to survive without a car, even though i offered my enthusiasm with regards to having no means of transportation other than my feet, my bike and public transit.
i didn't know portland was one of the premeire 'creative class' cities in the country.
i knew the music scene was good, but not this good. yes, new york is probably the best {there you have it, sammy} but this city genuinely values it's artists.
did i expect to have met so quickly such an assortment of creative, interesting, and ambivalent people so quickly?
did i expect to be a personal crossroads in terms of my career?


it seems to me as if we can choose two paths; the path of the well-rounded person, or the well-rounded professional. each path is capable of bringing the highest degree of personal joy and satisfaction. both open themselves up to criticism, both have their inherent rewards and pitfalls. both are completely within our respective grasps. i just can't decide which one is right. right now, i am faced with a difficult choice.

the problem is, when we were in manhattan, we didn't have many distractions. it was easy to focus on school and our projects. suddenly, life doesn't seem so simple anymore {statement of obvious, dipshit-profoundity for the day, right there.} i've been out of school for a year, and i still am not even sure what excites me. the daily thrills are too sporatic; too unpredictable. it would be much easier if i just woke up one day and said, "forget music. forget the outdoors. forget excessive socialization. i've decided design is the most thrilling thing life could offer" and from that moment on i would have no distractions; everything outside of my primary focus was peripheral and unnecessary.

i would do one thing and do it supremely well.
i would probably live very long.
i would probably gain some recogniction, and then i would die ...

... now that i've written this, i think the answer is self-evident.


so, we're not all rockstars; we're actually just an assortment of middle-class kids who will probably do fairly well for ourselves {maybe?} accomplish a few things professionally here or there {or more?} travel to some interesting places {perhaps?} and have our respective 15-20 minutes of fame {25?}

one of the first conversations i had with sam when we arrived in san francisco dealt with to this very topic. depending on how one 'spins' such a sentiment, it can either come off as one large resignation of mediocrity, or just the honest musings of a realist.

***i couldn't help myself.

3 comments:

tessa said...

There’s a sort of romanticism about the notion of fully devoting one’s life to a single passion, and I respect that. But for me, it’s hard to see architecture as being that single passion. I think this is a struggle for all of us [architects?] because I look around the office and generally classify 'those' people as 1) insane or 2) alone.

sam who's google won't work said...

wow, 2 mentions in one post, I feel special!

I think that we are coming to an understanding that there is life outside of architecture, and really that by increasing your all-around knowledge you are helping to improve your professional knowledge and understanding. If all you ever did was work, how would you ever have the time to enjoy a delicious lemon tart from Tartine?

TQ said...

I think the same in fashion. If I do or I don't have the talent, do I really want to be the big name designer that simply eats, sleeps, and breathes this work? The answer is no. I guess I'll just eat the work...breathe the music...and maybe smell the roses...cause I'm not sleeping.
(it's frickin 4 am, and I can't sleep because of the tea I drank all evening and the mosquito bites that have turned my body into one, massive lump of itch.)
and thank your for the miniature horse pic.

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I take myself too seriously most of the time and I am trying to do that less. I remind some people of Woody Allen. I occationally indulge in the weekend camping trip. I adamantly support the Kansas City Royals baseball club. My identity is wrapped up in a few simple things, most of which are continuously displayed on this here blog.

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