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Build Your Village

Build Your Village

“Wow! We need to live in a place like this.”

We were on our way from Idaho to the coast, and my boys and I found ourselves stopped for road construction in the Columbia Gorge. With a river on one side and lush green hills and waterfalls on the other side, this was the ideal place to be stuck…in a convertible…listening to music on a summer afternoon.

We made our way to the beach, and spent several days splashing in the water, building sandcastles and taste testing the tantalizing appetizer of fall in Oregon.

We’d planned this trip for the last 2 weeks of summer vacation, but it was near the end of the first week that I found myself asking the boys as they shivered in the frigid Pacific ocean,

“You guys wanna move here?”

Excited shouts sliced through the crashing waves, and before our three minute family meeting was adjourned, it was decided.

We were moving to Portland.

We cut our vacation short, returned to Idaho, closed our sign shop, loaded the U-haul and two weeks later we stepped into our new house and a new school and a whole new way of living.

My first few weeks in Portland were filled with whatever the opposite of bored is. Every morning, I dropped the boys off at school, and I found myself feeling alive and enticed by the colors, scents and charms of downtown living.

It took me nearly a full month of exploring to rest long enough to feel…homesick.

Late one night I found myself on Facebook posting how much I missed my friends, my shop and visiting customers as they came through my door. I felt small and alone in a great big new world.

The comments poured in:

“You can come back!”

“It’s not too late.”

“Yes! Come back! We miss you!”

With each message I read, I second guessed my spur of the moment decision to leave behind friends, stability, income and all things familiar.

And that’s when I got a private message from my friend Fiona. Without beating around the pity party bush, she cautioned:

“Hey Deb! I just read your Facebook post. It can be tough to move to a new place, but you’re DOING it! You need to give it a little time. You’ve just lost your whole tribe…the people you love and the ones that love you. Of course it’s hard, but don’t look back. An exciting new world awaits! You need to go to work building a new tribe.”

I took her advice, and I signed up for an art class and I made some lunch dates and went to work building a new tribe.

That was eight years ago, and a lifetime of experiences have unfolded to me in the years that have followed.

That Fiona Jane, she’s a clever woman.




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