"I Moved 3,000 Miles Away—Alone"
When I started telling people my plan to move, I wondered if they'd think I couldn't hack it in the city (as a high-achieving striver, this was the worst thing someone could say). But did I have the chutzpah to do it without a man offering me a reason to leave or the support of coming along? When I was a teenager, I assumed I wouldn't need a husband, because making it as a writer would be enough to satisfy me (it wasn't). In my living-single 20s, my girlfriends and I promised each other we'd meet The Guy in the next few years, and everything would change (it didn't). It finally hit me: If I wanted to change my life, I'd have to do it alone.
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For the next few months, I played "Are you my mother?" with cities, attending conferences and weddings to try on places like Boston, Chicago, and San Diego, but none of them felt right. Honestly, the lush green scenery, industrial bridges, and chill music from the opening of IFC's show Portlandia made me schedule a reading for my new book in Portland. I fell in love. The crowd, drinking craft beer in a 1920s theater, cheered me on with a kind of enthusiasm and earnestness I hadn't felt in New York in years. I stayed with a friend, who'd also moved from NYC a year before, and her smile and skin looked brighter.
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