Thank you, Portland!

PortlandThis is it, it is actually happening! After 12 years in US, which I mostly spent living in beautiful Portland, Oregon, it’s time for me start a new chapter in my life. It’s time to not only change cities or States, but also coasts. For the most part, Portland has been wonderful to me, so thank you for that.

As some of you may know, I have been wanting to move to east coast for some time now. It almost happened two years ago but due to few elements, I have put my relocation on hold for a bit. My 2012 New Year’s resolution was to dedicate this year to preparations for my move to east coast in 2013. However, the outcome turned out differently. My current employer was looking for a front-end developer for our Boston office but since we weren’t able to find someone who would satisfy our expectations when it came to some basic skills, I reminded our upper management that maybe they should just relocate me. Well, and the rest is history…

Somehow it still hasn’t really sunk in that after all those years, these are my last few days as an Oregon resident. I scheduled my going-away party, have booked a moving company & an one-way flight to Boston. It probably won’t register with me until I start actually packing. From time-to-time when I catch myself realizing that there are just places or friends that I won’t be able to go to or see as often as I have been used to, I find myself struggling holding back the tears. Why am I leaving then?

Regardless the mixed feelings about Portland, I might have had over the years while living here, this city did not only become my second home but also ties to very significant moments in my life. Whether they were amazing, great, not so good or even few heart-breaking ones.

I came to US as an au-pair with one-year visa to live with a host family while taking care of their 2-year old twin boys. Before my year was up, I ended up applying for student visa, which I got and ended up staying for 2 more years. During that time I went through quite an emotional roller coaster. In 2001, besides 9/11 happening, my grandma passed away but earlier that year I also tragically lost my younger brother Kuko, whom I was very close to. When my sister got engaged, I truly started to question whether I wanted to stay in US any longer. I had practically no social life due to my hectic schedule, I was away from my family and friends. I missed feeling being part of a family, having a space that I could call home, where I didn’t feel like I had to constantly answer to other people’s needs and never really having time for myself. I started to feel taken advantage off and had the urge to live again under my own terms. So, in 2002, right before my sister’s wedding, something snapped within me and I made up my mind to go back home and not ever come back. I simple had enough!

Well, somewhere down the line, I obviously changed my mind…

I was scared and unsure about whether I was doing the right thing by leaving my family & friends behind again but I allowed myself to fall in love. Yes, I came back because there was someone who made me believe that I was the one who he wanted to spend rest of his life with, which was something I was very much longing for. Unfortunately, even though how great everything seemed to appear at the beginning, the honeymoon phase started to fade away sooner than expected. After 6 years, I came to realize that I completely lost the sense of who I was by forgetting about my own happiness and things that I wanted to do in life. Filling for divorce with someone that I thought I would be spending rest of my life with, was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve done so far in my life but am glad I found the strength to do so in the end.

In 2007 not only I graduated from The Art Institute in Portland with Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media Design, which I know made my family happy, but I also became US Citizen. I quit University back home only after 2nd year, so I could come to US with hopes to finish my education here. Well, and I did. I can honestly say that I am lucky to make my living with something that I love to do. I feel like if I have never came to US on my own all those years ago, I would most likely not be as good at what I do as I am today. I have grown in so many ways thanks to everything that I have endured in my life, all the places that I have been to or people who I have met.

I know that my journey is nowhere close to its finish line. With this move to Boston, I am open for it all. I am pretty sure that at this point I have no reason to be sad, nervous or scared. No matter what life will throw at me, I think I can handle it. I am very much ready and excited to begin writing the new chapter of my life and see where else it will take me next.