Forever Home.

I’ve never really had the sense of “I’m home” before. Every place has always felt like a stopover on the way to someplace else…even Minneapolis. I made it a home, but that first year, that felt more like a decision than anything: We can’t be where we were before, and this is where we are right now, so let’s try to fall in love with it as much as we can.

And I did, but still…even when I thought about how nice it would be to be able to spend the rest of my life in the same metropolitan area as Katy and buy a house on the block next to Karah and Chelsea’s and just, you know…stay…it felt the same exact way it did whenever my first serious love talked about marriage…like I wanted to believe and feel that it would be a really fantastic idea to stay with him for the rest of my life because I loved him and I could really see our future together and it could be great and it would be really easy to make him happy but also there was this place inside of me that would start to panic and then I would hyperventilate and have panic attacks about the fact that I was probably going to die in that lonely Wisconsin town without ever knowing what the Pacific Ocean felt like.

Which, like, can be a pretty big sign, right?

Last night, my buddy + housemate Dave took me to my first ever Portland Timbers match.

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As he drove us down the hill from our house to the stadium, I looked out at the sprawling city below and just simply thought, “This is my home.” And I thought that same thing the very first day I was here, a month and a few days ago, but it feels like…instead of proving me wrong, this city just keeps proving me right. It’s always hard to write about these moments in a way that doesn’t sound totally lame and stupid, but here it is – the minute Dave and I walked into the stadium and started making our way through the droves of green-and-yellow attired fans, I looked up into the faces of some fans passing us and thought, “I love everything about this city and I am never leaving it.” It’s been a resounding theme of my life and writing, that I am never quite in the place where I should be…and I know it sounds kind of hilarious to have experienced this at a soccer match, but for the first time in my life, I felt like I was finally in the place I had been trying to get to my entire life. There’s only one other place I feel pulled to – Vancouver, B.C. – and I don’t know exactly why or how it would compare to this, but man…it feels really good, to just be here right now.

And also, can we please talk about how in love with the Timbers I am now?

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I have never been psyched to go to a sports ball game before…going to a Twins game at the Stadium with friends was always a fun time, but mostly because I got to hang out in the sunshine and drink beers with friends while a spectacle took place around us. And I like hockey, but not really enough to drop a baby brick on tickets and haul my cookies over to St. Paul so I could go to a game. But the Timbers match…holy wow. I had forgotten how much I love soccer (the college I went to, North Park in Chicago, had a pretty legit soccer team when I went there…also some pretty legit soccer players ifyouknowhwhatImean), and it was a novelty, for once, to not only know what was going on but to actually care. For the first time in my life, I looked around a stadium and was like, “I’m going to buy all the Timbers gear and not just to wear to matches but to wear it for, like, my life, and also I need to learn all the Timbers Army songs and chants because that whole scene is legit and I get on the waiting list for season tickets unless I start dating someone who has access to a box and that reminds me that my new requirement for a boyfriend is that he’s a Timbers fan because I don’t know if I could respect someone who didn’t like the Timbers and I should mine recommendations from Twitter people on which bar is the best to watch matches at and if that brand of jerky is the official jerky of the Timbers then I am so buying that jerky and COME ON AND PASS THE GODDAMN BALL NUMBER 22 IS RIGHT THERE!”

So yeah.

I think I found my Forever Home, you guys.

//

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About Amber L.

Hi! I'm Amber. I've been telling stories with books and blogs since 2004. I also spent 10 years working as a behavior therapist, which I now put to proper use by publishing thought pieces and dissertations on '80s pop music and the defining TV shows of our current times ('The Bachelor', 'Vanderpump Rules', etc). I can also be credited with single-handedly ruining the city of Portland, OR just by moving here.

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