It was a 7 a.m. flight.
The older man sitting next to me had silver in his hair and was sipping a whiskey coke. He gently nudged me with his elbow and said in a Southern drawl, “My wife told me to take her somewhere she’s never been, so I grabbed her by the hand and took her to the kitchen!” Laughter burst out of my mouth. This was very different than how I normally started my day.
I don’t want to say I had big expectations for my trip to Portland.
I was expecting to take a class, but for some reason I didn’t get the right information and backed out. I was going to cancel my flight after a massive wildfire hit the area, but I’m a thrifty shopper. I booked economy and the ticket I purchased was non refundable.
I started to get excited about the plethora of body work options that would be available like acupuncture, massage, and cranial sacral. I planned on booking at least one of each, but then I got to Portland and my experience quickly morphed into something else.
This city is jarring to me.
I’m not getting the cool hipster vibe so often talked about. I’m getting the homeless, drug addicted, mentally ill vibe. It makes me feel scattered, disoriented, and nervous.
“Quit stalking me!” That’s what a young woman said to me when I stood beside her at the crosswalk. The hell with body work. I just want to get around safely.
My destination spots became gardens.
I found the need to ground myself. Staying centered became critical. In doing this I learned the direction I’m going to take my own body work practice. My expectations changed as I continue to learn what it means to go with the flow.
Thank you to the beautiful gardens in Portland that helped me get there.