Written for “Sweetly Surprised” (apparently in a damn good mood)
May I have your attention, please? Will the real Oregon natives please stand up? Won’t you bust a bucket, please?
Look, I know you may be leery of those who are not from your home state, for they’re unable to understand what it means to be an Oregonian. But, you can trust me. I am just like you. I am an Oregonian.
Throughout life, there’s a chance that you’ve felt less than special. You may have even come across a person who has: questioned where Oregon’s located; pronounced ‘Oregon’ in a weird way; and, associated your home state with nothing more than rain, the color green, the Oregon Trail, or “the place that’s sort of like Seattle.”
Let’s face it: Oregon has never been one of the popular kids. And, hey, this is nothing newsworthy; it’s just a fact of (our) life. Essentially, we are the home-schooled children. Better yet, to be an Oregonian is to be Cady Heron (i.e., Lindsay Lohan) in the movie Mean Girls.
Like Cady, we (Oregonians) are down-to-earth, yet we’re often met with dumbfounded looks. And, who can truly blame the outsiders? After all, they’re only human, humans are judgemental, and who wouldn’t feel somewhat inclined to judge a place that’s been nicknamed, “The Beaver State.”
Although an Oregonian’s life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, there was an undeniable shift that occurred during 2010. People began to take notice -and, how could they not? Oregon was at its finest. The Oregon Ducks went 12-0 in the regular season, and they were the 12th Pac-10 team to have gone undefeated and untied. Suddenly, the sun was shining upon our rainy state -well, at least figuratively.
Outfitted in green & yellow, Oregon also took a trip to la la land. We said ‘goodbye’ to the Pacific northwest & ‘hello’ to Hollywood, appearing on the big screen (TV). Thanks to the non-native creator, writer, & producer Fred Armisen (best know for his work as a cast member on Saturday Night live), alongside his non-native co-star, Carrie Brownstein, Portlandia graced the television screen…
Well . . . no one ever said being popular was easy. Although it was a splendid year for Oregon, the Ducks lost the national championship to Auburn. And, as humorous as it is to poke fun at all the emos and odd people that appear within our sun-ridden city, it’s somewhat bittersweet, especially for those of us who have questioned whether or not we belong, for we’re without stretched earlobes, Eeyore-like attitudes, feeling indifferent when it comes to the desire to “keep Portland weird.”
You can’t blame a native or two for leaving his or her hometown, especially if he or she is from Portland. After all, everybody needs a little sunshine. Better yet, some of us feel inclined to go over the Willamette River, and through the Douglas Firs, for we’re seeking: something new, an adventure, or enlightenment. Like Cady, we can’t help but question that which seems mysterious.
Some of us are brave enough to act upon our curiosity, leaving the city of roses, the place that will always & inevitably be our “home.” And, like Cady, some of us will come closer & closer to realizing who we are. At the end of the day, we’re not part of the plastics, although we’ll make sure to recycle them.
They say that distance makes the heart grow fonder. And, I’m sweetly surprised to say that it has, for I’m in love with a rainy night, I’ve somehow grown to adore the Made in Oregon store, and I miss being “home” all the time. And, until I make my way back home, I’ve chosen to dedicate a little time, here and there, to positive thoughts regarding the rain because when it comes down to it, rain is just liquid sunshine.
There’s so much more to Portland, Oregon than emos and rain. It’s the feeling I get when the airplane has just landed. It’s the way my heart feels when I hear, “I’ll be home for Christmas.” It’s the clean air that I breathe in, as I walk the streets downtown. It’s the smile I get when I see a “Happy Portland Cloud Magnet” for sale, thereafter purchasing one. It’s the fact that I’ll always be a “Blazer Believer,” even when they’re not doing so well. I’m from Oregon, and I love my home.