Time for an update

I’ve been in Portland now for just over a month and I feel now is a good time for an update on life as a lot has happened. When I sat down to write this, the first thing I did was review my previous post on life. After doing that, it became apparent that the best way to write this post was to repost the bullet points of my previous time to play life post on July 15th and then update them. Here are the previous points:

  • I’ve submitted an application for a room in North Portland. The room has an ensuite and is $675 per month. I’ve been told I’ll have an answer as to whether I am successful by the end of the week. It has been challenging to find places when I do not have a job to demonstrate a stable income / the ability to cover rent.
  • I’ve applied for a bunch of jobs doing a bunch of random shit. Bartender, Beertender, Critical Thinker, Cannabis Trimmer (no, I’m not joking) to name a few. The results of this? I have an interview on Tuesday for a job with a craft beer brewery pulling beers. I’d love to trim some weed, but I’m still waiting to hear back on that one.
  • In terms of people that live in the city, so far I’ve met: the daughter of some very kind and lovely people that I met during my travels (at a diner in Yellowstone National Park of all places); an Irish girl who is a friend of friends (thank you Andy and Cocoa for the intro); and a poker dealer who happens to be from New Zealand.

And here are the updated points:

  • My application for the room was successful (woop!). The room still has an ensuite (double woop!). After moving in my roommate admitted to me that she was actually thinking about giving the room to another applicant who had submitted their application before me. The reason she didn’t was because he gave her creepy vibes. Score one for me for not being creepy! …Well, for not giving off creepy vibes anyway…
  • I applied for a lot of jobs. Maybe 10-15 different jobs. Only one responded, which was the job pulling beers (I really wanted to trim some weed! Dang it!! Guess I wasn’t qualified). The beer joint interviewed me, and offered me a position. I very happily accepted and went in for my first shift two days after accepting the job. As it would turn out this would also be my last shift – more on this later.
  • I’ve branched out a little in terms of the people I’ve met. Added to the list are: Tarla’s (Irish girl) flatmates (4 of them); two friends of a girl that I met in a hostel in Denver who live in Portland; and a dude that I met while applying for the beer job. There is still a lot of work for me to do in this space.

That is the two-minute summary of my life. Now I’ll give you the full version (don’t worry it’s probably only a 5 minute read).

The room

The room I am in is great! It has been furnished by Ikea (I love that place). There is a backyard patio area to sit outside and soak in the sun. Vegetables are growing in the front yard. It has a nice kitchen. There is a basketball court 10minutes walk down the road, and a park 10minutes walk the other direction. All boxes ticked.

Location-wise it is in a quiet neighbourhood, which appears to be slightly rough around the edges. I’ve been for many walks in all different directions through the area and I’ve noticed that there are homes that are pristine, with lush green grass growing outside, and well cared for gardens etc. Equally so, right next door to said pristine home, there may be a house with cracked paint, overgrown weeds, an old car in the yard that looks like it has been there longer than I’ve been on this earth. As Portland continues to grow at a rapid pace, this neighbourhood appears to me to be one that is in the process of gentrification.

In terms of my roommates, there are two. One (Lindsay) is home basically 24/7 as her health will not let her leave the house for long periods. She owns a cookie business and I have taken on the role of designated taste tester. The other (Clarissa) is often absent – I think she spends a lot of her time hanging with her boyfriend at his place. They are both very very nice people!

The backyard area as viewed from my bedroom window (there’s mesh on the window).

The employment

The beer job – I worked one day and quit. As with anything, I think it is important to explain “why?”. That is, why it was that I made the decision to quit.

Taking a step back first, the reason I wanted a job in a bar was to help me from a social perspective. I thought that pulling beers would be a good way to meet people (interacting with drunk customers etc). In a city where I knew no one that seemed highly valuable.

In the interview I was open and honest about the reasons why I wanted the job – I wanted a change of direction and the social aspect of the work appealed to me. They hired me. Unfortunately, after my first shift something felt wrong. The job did not live up to my expectations from a social perspective. The place I was working seemed more like a shop for beers than a bar. If I had to compare it to something I would compare it to a café, but for beers. Interaction with customers was limited and was not in the sense I had hoped it would be.

So I quit… Quitting is not in my nature and this made the decision to quit very difficult. I knew I would be letting down the people that gave me the job. They went through the effort of interviewing me and hiring me (doing the paperwork etc), and I felt bad that I would be the one responsible for all of those things being a sunk cost. However, I believe a much worse decision would have been for me to continue working the job as it would have been for the wrong reasons.

So this begs the question, what am I doing to survive financially? Where are the dollar dollar bills coming from y’all!? Well, despite what I said in my previous post I have decided to focus on poker and pursue this as a career.

It is very early days, however like any career path I believe I need to set myself some goals. Loosely, I want to (a) make a trip to Vegas to play cards for a few weeks; and (b) play in the World Series of Poker in 2017. These are big ticket goals. I believe it would be wise to set some more tangible and concise goals that hopefully ultimately lead me to achieving the big ticket goals described above. As this is all very new to me I need to think a little more about what these may look like. I might post my goals on the blog as I believe it may be a good way of holding myself accountable.


As somewhat of an aside, something very interesting happened as I was writing the paragraph above. As I started to think about the goals listed above, I began feeling pressure. Pressure to succeed, pressure to achieve my goals! Why am I not achieving my goals right now! I’m failing! Urgh! This led me to start feeling stressed and question myself:

Maybe this isn’t what I should be doing at all!?

But then I took a moment to think – where was this pressure coming from? I’m sitting alone in my room writing into this word document. The pressure can’t be coming from someone else or something else… The pressure must be in my mind.

When I began feeling pressured I googled the words “endlessly pursue path”. I don’t know why I chose those specific words. Anyway, I came across this article. Here is an extract from the article:

The pursuit of your dreams can drag your spirit up and down if you are too much focused on your goal. Let go your thought of the goal whenever it tries to drag you down and whenever you feel you might not make it.

A goal or dream can take quite some time to achieve and what do you do and feel in the meantime? You enjoy your path.”

This helped me to let go of the thought that was trying to drag me down. The thought of having to achieve my goals now! It’s important to me to have goals in life. However, while pursuing this new path (poker as a career) I need to remain mindful of enjoying the path itself. After all, it may take me years to get back to the World Series of Poker, or I may not make it back at all…

The people 

Special mention goes to Tarla, who has been absolutely amazing to me since I got to Portland. Having me to crash in the basement at her house for two weeks, introducing me to her friends, and hanging out.


I guess I wasn’t lying in my last post… “Plans are like a bed. No matter how well you make them, at the end of the day they’re probably just going to get messed up.”

One thought on “Time for an update”

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