Sleepy in Seattle

I am bouncing between Portland, Montana and Seattle like a ping-pong ball.

Today, I am in Seattle.

At this point, I’m looking forward to the flight across the pond just to sit still for a few hours.

Maybe I’ll read.  Maybe I’ll stare at the seat in front of me.  It’s going to be fabulous.

In my life, things have happened in rapid succession since I quit my job. It was like a domino effect, except I don’t have any influence over the events so maybe it’s more of a butterfly effect. You know, the butterfly effect where they say that a butterfly fluttering its wings causes a typhoon halfway around the world?  That’s what it feels like.

Let me explain.

Up until I quit, I worked with my best friend Chad. Within a day or so of me resigning from my job, Chad got assigned to a project in another city.  This may seem unrelated, except that Chad’s house was where I was going to store my stuff.  This meant that I would need a plan B. Luckily, my mom recently bought a business with an apartment above it that I could live in.  Viola! Instant living space for Rachel.  However, the business is in Montana. Moving my stuff to Montana meant I would have to leave my job earlier than I had planned to have time to move.

This made me and Chad’s last day of work the same day, which sort of gave the impression we were running off together.

But we weren’t.

Suddenly I was booking a moving truck for the move to Montana and saying goodbye to everyone in Portland. I moved everything to Montana and flew back to Portland in less than a week.  I had to get back for my friend and I to see a reading by David Sedaris. It was during this short time in Portland that I heard the news.  The paper mill I had been working at was going to be laying off more than half the workforce. This is devastating.

For any of you that have worked in a town that surrounds an industry, this is more than the loss of jobs. It’s a dismantling of community. The local team is called the Papermakers for goodness sake! The phone calls and messages from everyone are so sad and distressed.  I almost wish I had stayed to help my department through this time.  It’s the end of an era as everyone tries to plan for the future. They will be scattered into the wind. It’s kind of like a typhoon in a distant land. It’s heartbreaking.

I’m about to leave on a trip to Morocco with my friend Marybeth, who happens to also work at the mill. She has been in the middle of this turmoil all week. If anyone is in need of a vacation, it’s her. As she told me about how the week has been, I realized we are both entering into this trip ragged and tired. I don’t know if we are prepared, but it’s time to throw some things into a bag and go.

Escape halfway around the world.

Evade the typhoons.

Stop fluttering our wings for a bit and let the dust settle.

If you need us, we’ll be in Morocco, possibly in the middle of a sand storm on a camel.