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jinxed but growing.

A fiery glow of a sunset over the Willamette River. Seen on Sellwood Bridge.

The rollercoaster of life is doing what it does best for me ~ coasting-whooping-soaring-plummeting-stomach-dropping-brain-screaming-then-soaring-again.

Despite taking a turn for the worse on Saturday (i.e. migrainey/headache/fatigue back in full force), I've still been making the most of my time here, just giving myself rest when I need it, the allowance to just do nothing for a bit, to stop constantly scratching the itch for more, More, MORE - adventure, experience, physical activity, sun... More anything, really. When what I've seen time and time again is that what I actually need is less. To focus on and be grateful for what I have, because grasping is a slippery slope. So, here's to reorientation, folks!

This week's flower altar.

Downtown at Powell's writing a blog post after sitting in downtown Portland traffic for the better part of an hour in the blazing sun. I've still been prowling around, doing things that fill me up whilst writing and gathering up interviewees for my next feature article, which will focus on the state of sex ed in Ann Arbor. I couldn't be more excited to cover this super important, complex topic that I am truly passionate about! Writing for Crazy Wisdom this past year has filled me with a sense of purpose and accomplishment, and though I'm not currently employed with anyone else right now, I am grateful to have the space to really explore a topic that I'm passionate about. And to have saved up enough so that I don't have to worry about money for the next lil' bit! Thank you, Past Me.

Tuesday evening sunset shots at Gabriel Park. Enjoyed right after seeing what I'm pretty sure was a Screech owl chased by crows in the park woods!

Last Wednesday I met friend of a friend, Rachel, to chat about life, Portland, and scheme for future adventures together. We treated ourselves to bubble tea at Tea Chai Té (in the Sellwood Neighborhood), then strolled down to the river and then Sellwood Bridge for an absolutely breathtaking, tearjerking sunset (see first pic in post above). We got so caught up chatting that before we knew it, it was 9pm and all the restaurants we'd thought of checking out were closed (Portland is an early-to-bed sorta city). So we drove to a fusion restaurant that happened to be open till 10pm and kept on talking. Did I mention we got together starting at around 5pm? Solid first Friend Date.

A snippet of Thursday's show at The 1905. Jordan's hiding behind the trumpet!

Thursday, the Goldblatts treated me to a beautiful night at The 1905. This is apparently the last jazz club in Portland (sad!)! Cousin Jordan was on drums playing with an ensemble grouped together by Chuck Israels, an incredible bassist who has played with the likes of John Coltrane. It didn't hurt that the food was great, too. Before the concert, I'd accompanied David to a class he was teaching at Alan Jones Academy of Music. It was a privilege to see such young, talented jazz musicians in the area, and to be proud of my Cuz for being their Teach.

A doubleheader date with the Goldblatt Family the next day at the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra rounded out a couple days of music-induced bliss. There were some truly incredible young musicians featured; three high school girls, two on piano and one on the violin. It reminded me of my own childhood violin days... There was definitely some nostalgia there, of a bittersweet sort of flavor.

This week's blooms:)

Saturday I felt terrible. The day before I'd biked to the bouldering gym and back in 90 degree heat and straight sun, which had caused a delayed-wilt the next day. I moped around feeling increasingly sorry for myself and angry, Angry, ANGRY that this shit is STILL happening to me, after almost a decade of trying shit to resolve it. The migraines, the sharp, electric headaches, the total fatigue, and all the really intense feelings of anxiety, dread, anger, and frustration that go along with it. But again, post-sobbing-my-eyes-out, bingereading a book on how to apparently cure lupus, missing Sue's concert, and pouring my insides out onto a sleepy boyfriend, I started feeling ever-so-slightly better. Things would rollercoaster back up eventually, I knew.

That fateful bike ride back up the hill... What a glorious view though at the top! See the snowy peak in the distance? It was in the low 90s that day.

After the Saturday Experience, I made sure that Sunday was truly a day of rest. Whenever I went outside, I beelined for shade. I chatting, laying in said shade, with Caroline, my mama, and Alex, each one of whom helped me on my quest to reorient to life.

Pic taken from No cameras allowed. 'Cause nudity.

Monday, the healing experience continued. I had a spa day at Everett House Community Healing Center in Northeast Portland ~ 30 minutes of sauna, hot tub, cold showers and basking in the sun, followed by a 30 minute massage, followed by another 30 minutes of steam room, sauna, and more cold showers. Did I mention it was a nude co-ed spa? Though I've been to Barcelona, this was my first experience in a co-ed nude community in the States, and it felt quite different. For the first 20 minutes, I kept expecting someone to either jump out from behind a doorway and yell at me for not having any clothes on, or jump out from behind a doorway and stare creepily at me, but when no such jumping occurred, I leaned into the experience more. I chilled out. It felt great to not be shamed for my body, but also made me realize how terrified I am of being shamed for my body in the first place. Not just being nude, but on a regular basis, fully clothed. What does that say about our society, friends? Not good things, I suspect. Let's have more body pride and acceptance please, yes???

Chromatone views at Luc Lac Vietnamese restaurant.

Through it all, I'm still doing what I want to be doing, no matter how shit I feel physically while doing it. I'm proud of everything I've done so far on this adventure, I'm proud of my inner strength and confidence, and, last but not least, I'm proud of my beautiful, beautiful body that has done such astounding work carrying me through the first quarter of my life!

Ocean trip hopefully coming sometime soon as the weather warms! Stay tuned.

xoxo grace

Daily dose of inspo.

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