Posts Tagged ‘ changes ’

Things I learned in 2012.

When I was drafting this blog, I was laughing internally because in comparison, the one I wrote for 2011 was so short. It amuses me that 2011 felt like I grew so much, but 2012 was so much more.

So because this list is so long, I’m going to subdivide it into months.


  • Saying goodbye isn’t the hardest thing– living without is.
  • Moving to the Willamette valley in January is a terrible idea. It’s the crappiest weather of the year.


  • Crappy jobs still pay rent.
  • Rich people aren’t good tippers. Actually, rich people are the worst tippers.
  • Getting thoroughly lost can be the best way to learn about a city’s geography.


  • Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to tune out.
  • If you’re willing to be surprised, a good friend can come from anywhere.


  • Unemployment is only scary when it stops feeling like a vacation.
  • Twenty is a surprisingly bummer age to turn. Suddenly adulthood feels like a burden


  • Aim high, be prepared to score low, and you may be pleasantly surprised.


  • Summer in Portland is perfect. 
  • Living in a main street in Portland during the summer… Not so much.


  • Nothing is certain, not even your life.
  • Getting prodded by medical folk gets easier the more it happens. Same with throwing up.
  • Dulaudid is one hell of a drug.
  • Recovery is the hardest part– waiting and wanting to be back to normal, but still sick.
  • In spite of the soap opera-y parts, Friends is an awesome show.
  • Staying hydrated is so much more important than I ever thought. Drink water, people!


  • Bicycling through Portland at night in the summer is amazing.
  • Doctor Who is one of the best TV shows of ALL TIME.
  • Life goes back to normal really easily, even when you’re changed forever and there’s constant turmoil in your brain.


  • Empathy is not a strong trait of mine, except where my sisters are concerned.
  • Every wedding should have dancing. (and dancers.)


  • Important decisions can be delayed.
  • I’m freaking awesome at parallel parking.


  • People who skype in coffee shops make me nervous.
  • Shutting up and listening is important.


  • Feeling rich is still a major fault of mine.
  • Handmade Christmas presents are the best!
  • Distance hasn’t made me love Central Oregon and my people there any less, and time hasn’t made me miss them any less.
  • Even though 2012 was a really tough year, it was a really good year– and it was really important.

And yeah… Fart jokes are still funny.

With that said, I’m really looking forward to what 2013 will hold. I’m making plans to intentionally make it the best year ever.




So, as you might already know, this summer I had a too-close-for-comfort brush with death.

Although I’ve made a full recovery physically, the emotional turmoil has been the worst part.

For a while I was somewhat paralyzed by fear– every time I had a twinge in my back, my overactive imagination would put me right back in the hospital, delirious from dehydration. Over the months, the fear has subsided, but there is still a constant thought running through my head. I could die tomorrow.

This theme has been strengthened and pounded into my brain by a number of things in addition to my own health scare. Two of my friends are battling cancer right now, both for a second time. A barista in Gresham was randomly murdered.

Life is tenuous.

I’ve realized how important it is to live right now. I have a really bad habit of putting off things I know I’ll enjoy because I’d rather not put in the effort. I’ll do it later, or tomorrow, because I’d rather just curl up on my couch and watch TV shows than get dressed and go out into the real world.

Since I realized this habit of mine, I’ve been thinking about the scope of my life. If I died tomorrow, would people have any good stories to tell about me? I don’t need to be remembered for long, but I do want to be missed. No one is going to miss a creepy girl who spends hours on Facebook every day while watching Netflix and serving coffee to pay rent.

Each morning, I ask myself how I want the day to look. If I want to have good stories to tell about the day, I have to make things happen myself.

If I died tomorrow, would people say that I lived life to the fullest in my short time, or would they shake their heads and sigh about a wasted life?

Life is short. Each day is valuable. I intend to use the full value of each day that is granted me by living in the now, and living more every day.



I spent the last week in my hometown, with my family and friends, because I was feeling desperately homesick.

While being in Redmond cured my homesickness,  I had a weird realization after a couple of days.

Even though Portland doesn’t feel like home yet, Redmond doesn’t feel like home any more.

It was kind of a bizarre revelation, and I don’t really understand it.

I suppose it has something to do with all the changing that has been going on in me in my time in Lake Oswego. I guess I expect to come back to Redmond and be the same as I was before, but I’m not.

It’s like when I’m back there, I start to revert into the person I was three months ago before I moved, and I don’t want to.

When I was home I was talking about growing up with my little sister. I was worried that I wasn’t treating her like the person she’s become, and she said something that was much wiser than her fifteen years warrants.

“While you’ve been gone I’ve been finding out who I am, and when you’re back it’s like I forget what I found.”

When I’m in my former environment, I forget who I’ve become in the few months I’ve been away.

I guess growing up is always a little strange and melancholy like that. Even though I’ve never wanted to stay the same and I’m very glad I’m undergoing some huge personal changes, the person I was three months ago was all right. I liked her okay, and I’m a little sad to learn how completely she’s gone.

But the new Bethany doesn’t know how to live the Old Bethany’s life, so when I’m at home I feel desperately out of place. I’m still in an awkward phase where my new home feels out of place, too.

Here’s to growing up.

Two Decades

Today is my twentieth birthday.

I remember when my brother turned twenty. In the days leading up to the two-oh, he expressed a sense of depression. When I asked why, he responded something along the lines of, “I’m not a teenager any more.”

At the time, I believe I made fun of him for being depressed about growing up. Since I turned thirteen a few days after he turned twenty, I didn’t exactly have a grasp of what he meant. I was still all stoked about growing up.

Then when my sister turned twenty, she expressed a similar despondency. By then I was sixteen and thoroughly over teenagers and their shenanigans.

For the next two years I counted down to eighteen, sure that I would feel like an adult then, and it didn’t. Then nineteen happened, and I felt grown up but still spent a good amount of time counting down to the moment when I would stop being a teenager.

But suddenly, I’m not a teenager any more, and my brother and sister were right.

Twenty is depressing.

I’ve spent the last few days trying to wrap my brain around exactly why twenty is such a bummer birthday– nothing at all like ten. When I reached ten it was a big celebration that I finally had reached double digits, and I was, (as Ramona Quimby would say,) zero-teen.

But I feel no such sense of pride and accomplishment at the milestone of the second decade since I journeyed from my mother’s womb to planet Earth.

It has something to do with twenty seeming like the final nail in the coffin of being allowed to act like a kid. As soon as you’re not a teen any more, you’re supposed to start acting like an adult and thinking about your future and stuff.

Maybe twenty is depressing because the nineties, when I grew up,  are starting to sound like a long time ago.

Maybe it’s because legal drinking age is twenty-one in Oregon. (Just kidding sort of.)

Mostly it’s the picture I carry around in my head of what the social norms for twenty looks like. Twenty is when nice Christian girls start itching for a husband. Twenty is when you’ve chosen your career path, and maybe even know where you want to live.

Twenty is grown up.

And now I’m twenty, and twenty-year-old-Bethany is none of the above.

I want to see the world, learn things, meet people, try food, hear stories, see sights, experience things I would never expect, reflect love to everyone, and above all write about everything. Because Life is Always Interesting.

I want to be a deep thinker, good listener, interesting conversationalist, and straight-faced teller of really bad jokes.

Pretty much, twenty-year-old Bethany doesn’t want to look like the picture of a socially normal/acceptable twenty-year-old that I carry around in my head. I think I gave up the chance at that the moment I decided not to continue going to college.

Twenty is depressing because I feel like somehow, with life, maybe I’m doing it wrong.

If childhood is like a bunch of balloons, it’s like the last one is slipping out of my grasp, drifting away into the blue sky, and there’s nothing I can do but wistfully watch it float away, and then carry on with my life. I’ll probably keep scanning the sky for a while.

Happy birthday to me.

Fish out of Water, or the Lost Bethany Chronicles.

I admit right now, I’ve been putting off writing this blog for about the last three weeks. I wanted to wait until interesting things happened to me after the move before I wrote.

Well, interesting things have certainly happened.

The first thing that happened to me when  I moved to Portland was a raging ear infection, which led to a ruptured ear drum and temporary hearing loss. Literally the first thing that happened to me. Not even exaggerating.

So if day 1 was moving in, day 1 also consisted of a fever and overwhelming ear pain. Day 2 consisted of growing ear pain, a runny ear, and finally visits first to urgent care and then to the emergency room, where the doctor was a buttface mcStinker.

Anyway, I received antibiotics and eventually got better.

My next grand adventure involved Trimet, Portland’s bus system.

Trimet does have a trip planner on their website, and Google maps is helpful. But even the map isn’t all that  helpful when it looks something like this.

So anyway, the first time I decided to ride the bus into town to my sister’s house, it was quite the adventure. Since  I’m out in Lake Oswego, there is a limited number of bus stops within reasonable walking distance of me.

First, I couldn’t find my stop. I attempted to follow my faulty GPS, but it led me asunder–  I ended up scrambling down the side of a hill to a trail I spotted underneath a bridge. It was, at best, sketchy. However, the trail led me into a pleasant park, wherein I discovered that I was farther than ever from my destination.  After walking at least three miles out of my way, I finally made it to my stop, which was, as it so happened, only about a ten minute walk away from my house. I was not full of joy.

The bus arrived about 20 minutes after  I did, and I boarded, relieved. “The hardest part is over,” I thought. I deposited my handful of change into the thingy. The bus lurched away from the stop while I cleared a jam of quarters, and I nearly lost my footing. Seizing a bright yellow bar, I managed to not fall over, and haphazardly made my way toward the back of the bus.

At the front and top was an LED sign accompanied by a computerized voice announcing upcoming stops. I put away my phone, confident that I would hear my stop when it approached.

I rode for a while, observing people come and go with greater frequency as we approached Portland State University. I looked around as we went through downtown. I finally realized as we drove away from downtown and into an area that seemed oddly industrial that not only had I missed my stop, but I missed the entire area where I was meant to disembark and transfer buses.

Seized by uncertainty, I sat.

I rode around for another 45 minutes, waiting until we got to a decent-looking residential area before I got off the bus. I googled quickly as I walked, attempting to find out which bus stop would take me back to Hawthorne.

I must have looked quite interesting to the people in the yards, enjoying the sunshine, as I power-walked by, glaring at my phone indignantly.

Finally I reached the stop that would take me where I wanted to be. I checked the stop ID– it was off by one digit. A bus was coming up on the other side of the street. I ran to the crosswalk and across the street, in front of the paused bus. Out of breath, I boarded, carelessly pulling dollars out of my wallet and inserting them into the cash thing.

I again aimed for the back of the bus. While I rode back, a couple behind me talked loudly about how they were about to go smoke a joint, a kid got yelled at by the bus driver for not having his fare ready to go, and a girl looked at me as if she thought I was a rapist.


Forty-five minutes later, I leapt off the bus as the intercom announced Hawthorne avenue. Not wanting to bother with another bus, I walked the remaining distance to my sister’s house.

And that was just the first time I got lost.

This post ended up being longer than I anticipated, so coming Sunday– the Lost Bethany Chronicles, Part 2.

A new Chapter

So, a new blog for me. A couple of years ago now I started a blog, but I fell away from keeping it updated. I got out of the habit of blogging when I realized I had nothing interesting to say. (You can check it out here.)

Okay yeah, so my last post there wasn’t really that long ago, but I feel like that blog is a relic of a past life. It’s not that my circumstances have changed much, or even that I personally have had a drastic change. Rather, when I started THAT blog, I was blogging for totally different reasons than why I started this new blog today.

That Bethany was still at community college, and she loved it. This Bethany… Not so much. She thought she was funny and clever and had grand adventures. I try to be all of the above, but only just realized that I’m not extraordinary in any of those areas. She was floating around her faith, not so sure. I feel cemented in Jesus (although chronically getting distracted… sigh.) She knew exactly what she wanted out of life. I, again… Not so much.

Also, that was on Blogspot, and WordPress is just far superior.

And also this Bethany is soon moving on to a pretty seriously different phase in my life. That’s right, boys and girls. I’m leaving home — both my parents’ house and my hometown. I’ve been feeling very antsy here lately. My hometown is kind of giving me the same feeling as an old sweatshirt. I love it, it’s familiar, I’m used to it, and I’ll always return to it as an old favorite, but I just really need a new one right now.

So coming soon — Feelings of fright and insecurity coupled with excitement and joy!

Anyway, I decided to start this blog tonight and not last week because today finished out my time working with the Children’s Theatre Company based here in Redmond. I assistant directed the last play (The Princess and the Pea) and I stage managed this most recent one (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.) I’m having pretty severe post-performance letdown right now, because not only has this production concluded, but I realize I won’t see most of these kids for a very long time, and I probably won’t get to work with any of them ever again. I’m going to be gone for the next production, and I’m surprised at how sad I am that I won’t be able to be right at the center of it. Not only do I love theatre, but I really do love the people I’ve gotten to work with and get to know during these plays. They’re all amazing.

I’m one of those people who needs to have at least one thing to obsess over, and now that the play is over, I decided to obsess over making a decent blog. Yay me.

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