Going back to Portland


Being from Portland, I was so excited to come back after living in Eugene for four years. I had an internship I was really excited about, I was excited to see old friends and family more often, and to start a new chapter of my life. I expected a very smooth transition.

However, as with most people at this time in my life, unexpected issues came up. As it turns out, I didn’t stay in touch with many people from Portland as I thought I did. I quickly realized that I wasn’t as close or compatible with my friends from high school as I thought. So here I am in a familiar city that doesn’t seem so familiar.

As a few people have echoed on here, meeting people can be tough, especially when you are busy working. But, it has forced me to break out of my comfort zone a little bit and be nicer and more outgoing toward people I don’t know. In a way, it is kind of exciting to be able to start over and pick who you want to hang out with.

As far as work goes, that is a whole other transition. It reminds me of when you leave middle school and go to high school, or leave high school and go to college. You get so used to being among the oldest and most experienced group. Then, suddenly, reality knocks you down and you find yourself at the bottom again, looking up at the journey ahead. Last year, while working for the Emerald, I was able to do a lot of fun and high-profile things.  It was really wonderful and I truly enjoyed it. Now, with the media organization I am with, I quickly realized that while all that experience might have landed me the internship, it won’t come in to play for a while.

At first this was frustrating and difficult. I didn’t like being in the office the whole time and working on small stuff. But, of course, with a career you must start at the bottom and work your way up. That part has been exciting. I have relished asking for bigger tasks and getting them. It’s exciting to see an editor from a major media outlet pleased with work that I publish.

Going forward, I don’t know if I will stay in Portland and continue working for the company that I am at or not. But either way, no matter where I go, I take solace in knowing that the difficulties will be similar. I will still have to go out of my comfort zone and expend time and energy meeting people. And I will still have to do things at work that aren’t the most gratifying assignments. However, both are necessary and in the end will pay off.

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2 Responses to Going back to Portland

  1. It’s hard to be reminded of that, that no matter how much you think you know an area, there is always another level beyond that and you have to restart. It’s refreshing almost, otherwise life would get kind of boring. And that lower-level work always makes you appreciate the fun stuff so much more! And yes, it really is hard to reach out and meet new people in a new(ish) city!

  2. Hannah Olson says:

    Great post, Aubrey! I can relate as I am from Portland and expected the transition to be seamless. One of the strangest parts is realizing you might not connect the same way as you did with your high school friends anymore. I’ve been fortunate to stay good friends with people who went to my high school, but then there’s the challenge to not feel stuck in the past. Either way, moving back to a familiar place when we’re in an unfamiliar part of our lives is challenging.

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