The Portland Sign

It's amazing what a year can do.

   I'm approaching my one year anniversary of working as an interior designer at a large architectural firm and this experience has been nothing like I ever expected. It was always a dream to work in architecture, alongside practicing creatives, movers and shakers, applying their knowledge and intelligence to problems at hand and collaborating to solve them in innovative and productive ways.

   This experience has been all of that and more - inspiring, frustrating, terrifying, elating, building confidence and strength, and provoking a growth within me I never knew I needed (or wanted). 

   It is true that if you do something every day, keep coming back to it, back to the attack - you will get better at it. Just like riding my bike to and from work every day - it is amazing to see my progress and how natural it has become for me in just a year. Especially when I think back to my first bicycle commuting experience… I really can't help but smile. There used to be days that I rode my bike home in the afternoon and felt completely out of place, incapable, thanking the Lord for just making it through the day. Maybe that sounds dramatic, but I give my all to every single thing I do, including my practice and profession, and I just wanted to be better.

   The thing is, progress doesn't happen over night. It takes practice and it takes persistence. It also takes some passion (& compassion) so you don't end up hating your life at the end of the day/week/year/etc. 

   So one year in, I am looking around and liking what I see. I'm not anywhere near where I want to be, but I'm on my way and every day brings me closer. Sometimes it's easy to get intimidated or jealous of other's progress, success, life situation, etc., but it's important to remember that they did not end up there by chance. It took work, it took practice, it took patience and persistence. It took showing up day after day and taking those steps and making that bit of progress. It took a vision of what their future could be and a self made mission to make it a reality.

The notion that I'm not there yet, but I know I will be one day…

   That notion is the nudge that gets me through when I roll over to turn off my alarm, when I leave my puppy with sad eyes to hop on my bike and leave for the day, when I make mistakes or fault myself and tell myself I can do better... It's okay. I will. Maybe not today, but one day.

   Cruising in to the city this morning, I saw that Portland sign. It wasn't lit yet because it's still summer and the sun still shines in the mornings, and maybe that's why but it was MORE BEAUTIFUL than ever. Piercing, standing so strong, bright and crisp against the blue sky, clear as day. And in that moment, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.


It's amazing what a year can do.

Life, TravelKarlene Baskind