“I PREDICTED HAWAII!!!!! Holy fucking shit… I saw this almost 2 years ago!” Ericka exclaimed via text message. And it’s true, she did.
In August of 2009 I moved to Oregon because in one fell swoop my entire life as I knew it fell apart. In July of that year I lived in New York, was pregnant with my boyfriend’s baby and had a concrete plan to move to California with him. He had even asked my dad for my hand in marriage. It seemed as though the sadness that came with leaving my previous partner and getting laid off had passed and we were on the brink of a sunny new life together.
Ahh but then the collapse. The weeks before the move were busy and frantic. We had travel gigs to do, packing, planning. I was sick to my stomach through all of it, but we kept the pregnancy a secret. Then just days before we were scheduled to pile into the car and head west, my boyfriend broke up with me. Very casually, I remember he was standing in the empty living room looking at the floor and he said he just didn’t see it working out for us. We didn’t have enough in common, he said.
There was shock and sadness, confusion and conversations about cold feet and nerves. All of the usual break up back and forth, only it happened very quickly and for me it ended with an abortion and his admittance to lying every day that we had been together.
We made the excruciating trip out west anyway because we didn’t know what else to do. Along the way we tried to reconcile but there was little left to grasp onto. In Sedona, AZ he made it official – we were through. He was going to Las Vegas instead of California and I had to figure out a new plan.
So I made it to Vegas, bought a car and headed north. I came to Portland to heal in the presence of my sister and one of my lifelong closest friends.
Upon arrival I took up memoir writing and survived my first wet season holed up in my new room needing only my pets, my journal and my laptop. Really all I had was a suitcase full of summer clothes since I had to wait weeks for the moving truck to arrive at my ex’s new apartment before he could send any of it my way. The entire time he harassed me over the phone, on text messages and by email. He needed to make it clear that he had in fact never liked me and the only fate I was worthy of was rotting in hell.
It took more than a year to get over that experience. It is undoubtedly the worst thing I’ve ever gone through. The people I met in Portland carried me through the trauma and helped me arrive on the other side, fresh faced, renewed and bona fide happy. My year in the life of a food cart owner reminded me who I am and what I can accomplish.
My time here has been lovely but there was never intention to stay permanently. I’ve reached a point where I’m just hovering, waiting for what’s next. There is no goal to work towards anymore, nothing to grow into. This is a good thing because it means I have actually healed.
As early as the fall of 2009, Ericka wanted to help me figure out where I was eventually headed so she did one of her first official tarot card readings for me. She drew a lot of cards that pointed to the heavy internal work I had to make my way through and the dark times I had in store. But there is always darkness before the dawn and she knew eventually I would make it back to the light.
“You will settle somewhere you did not expect. Far south maybe, wherever it is it will be hot. Possibly poor. You may be encouraged (rather strongly) to reconsider and do what is ‘expected’ or ‘normal’ but you are making the right move, go with it. It’s possibly a small town; they seem to need you. Stray animals. You may hear ‘You are crazy’ a lot (The Fool) but just put your blinders on and do what you feel/know is right.”
I know a lot of people think moving to Hawaii is a crazy idea. Maybe they will say so. Maybe they won’t. All I can say is I’m in a very good place to make sane decisions for myself right now. And I see nothing more important than moving towards more light.