Oregon is one of two states in the US that doesn’t let you pump your own gas. New Jersey is the other state. You sit in your car, hand your debit card out the window, tell them what type of gas you want, make sure you remember to turn your car off, and wait for them to fill up your tank. It is actually illegal to get out of the car at a gas station.

Oregon is also full of the most milk substitutes I have ever seen. At the coffee shop I’m at now there is Hemp, Almond and Soy milk. Hemp? Who knew.

Oregon does not have sales tax. Either that, or they factor the tax into all of their prices. When you buy a coffee for 2.75 you will always get a quarter back.

Oregon is full of a lot of white people wearing beanies and flannel. Beards are essential for the men.

Staying in rural Oregon this Thanksgiving break. I’m going to do some much needed contemplation and relaxation.

I’ve already figured out so much about myself while being here. And what makes me happy, and how I am capable of stretching myself. Things that destroyed my mood years ago just pass over me now.

It’s just been a beautiful experience here. I’m not sure where else I could have met a group of 10 other 20 year olds who are perfectly okay not having television, internet, phones or showers for weeks on end. The flexibility of this group amazes me. And the flexibility of myself is astounding me.

I never thought I would be faring this well.

“He’ll turn to me and say, No I don’t know you, by name”

Everyday is long, we leave for work in the dark at 6:30am every morning, and then get home in the dark around 6:30 at night.

Last night I got home and fell immediately asleep. I didn’t wake up until 9 this morning. My eyes were squinted shut and my body felt heavy and full for once.

I’m learning a lot about leadership. I’m seeing my own personal style develop naturally. Or just come out where it has been quietly waiting my whole life.

There is a difference between leadership and loud noise. And I finally realized that. And realized I never have to learn how to yell: when people respect you and you respect them, there is no need for volume. Conversation is leadership. Being in touch with yourself and how you’re feeling, while also being aware of the way others are feeling. And then making decisive decisions from there. And adjusting as the world turns.

“Been talking about way things change. My family lives in a different state. If you don’t know what to make of this then we will not relate.”

The thing with the guy is going to be okay I think. He’s the one who initially wanted to stop talking so that we could completely remove ourselves from the situation, but we all met up last night, and it was fun. And this morning, we’re friends again. I think.

I mean, I’m sure there will always be undertones of attraction, but I think that we can be really cool about it. And maybe even laugh at it all after a little more time.

Right now I am at a juice bar on Stark street called the Canteen. I paid about six dollars for a freshly juiced drink. Super pricey, but I am hungover and feel like shit. Apple, cilantro, pineapple, cucumber and lime.

This morning I woke up to the person on the bunk below me yelling into their phone. And then it was a mad rush from there to piece my things back together, finish my laundry (which I drunkenly started last night).

We checked out of the hostel at eleven, and they let us leave our big ass laundry bags there for the time being. We’ve got about two hours before we need to head back downtown to catch the Amtrak.

Everyone was about to walk as a group and explore more. And I said peace and ran away. My precious last few hours of alone time and feeling like an independent person before I am back in the hive mentality.

It’s been a weekend.

I can’t do a weekend like this again for awhile.

But I’m glad it was this weekend, with these people. They were great. Was a really fun and really weird few days.

Also, I realized.

You do you, you say what you know you need to say. You say it, and you say it strong and with conviction and decision. And then you don’t back down. But you ask others what they need from there. Not how you can change something that you’ve already decided for you, but how you can help them understand the way you need your life to be. There is no compromise. There is only coexistence.

We are all doing us, and if we’re not, we should. This is mine, do it for you. Take what you need, and share what you have. Share what you have, but never change or alter what you have for another.

If there is anything constant in the world, it’s the idea that you can always be you. And you can always do exactly as you want. Because we all deserve that. And if we all were honest with ourselves, it would make it easier to be honest with others as well. And we could accomplish so much more, because we would understand that there is always a reason. Intuitive reasoning.



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