I have lived in Southern Oregon most of my life.  My traveling experiences, at first, were few and far between.  This was the case up until 2010, when something grand happened.  I drew Japan toward myself.  I wanted it to happen, and it did.  It was like "The Secret," only better.  I realized I could pretend to be a person with a lot of money by saving really, really hard for a long time.  Like, skip today's yuppy-man coffee and throw that $3 in my savings account instead kind of saving.  I did this with one other person.  Once I had a lot of money, I typed some info online, clicked enter, and had a 2-week, round-trip plane ticket in my name for Japan, just like that.

This would be the case no matter who came and went in my life.  Which was OK, because I became more independent.  I got my first solo apartment.  I learned to care more about certain things, and much, much less about others.  I read Eat, Pray, Love and, in between periods of harsh criticism, decided that *I* wanted a sojourn of my own.  Then my mom called and asked if I wanted to go to Montana with her.  And I did.  Then Japan happened.  Then another AWP and a paid trip to D.C. through my university.  Then I thought, I really want to go to the East Coast, and it happened, both through determination and the strength of great friendship.  I have traveled so much in such a short amount of time, I could almost become someone who uses the word "blessed" to describe things.

Now, I think I'll be moving soon, if we can define "soon" as the ability to live by years instead of days.  I am *officially* registered for the GRE test in September, and application deadlines for 2012 fall-ish entry into grad school will begin popping up in December; if all goes according to plan, then I have just begun the countdown of my last year of living in Oregon.  I am looking for ways to trick myself into studying hard for the GRE, and I am day-dreaming about renovated houses and cat parties and movie&beer nights in Maine.  I want to move to Maine, and live there, and go to school.  But I have a whole list of programs that I will apply for, scattered throughout the country in their locations, so I will cross my fingers and hope for the best.  But what I really want is to go back to the East Coast, only this time, try it on as home for a while.

But first, I have to take care of some things here. 

My first official pre-moving event will be to participate in The Sketchbook Project and to push myself out on a drawing limb that I've never climbed before.  I could panic, and paste everything I've already made and felt proud of into my sketchbook.  But I won't do that.  My entry is free because I won a random drawing over at Pikaland, courtesy of the lovely Amy.  And I'm going to make this win worth it.

Second, driving across the country will be very tricky with two little babies riding in the backseat with us.

Which is why I'm beginning to accept the fact now that I will not be bringing everything with me.  And by "not everything," I'm assuming that my piano might be numero uno on that list.  This is why it is very important that I have just begun to take piano lessons again.  Beethoven.  Burgmuller.  Tori.  I am soaking it all in and using my practice time as a very good excuse to get behind on washing my dishes and keeping my apartment presentable.

Also, I simply have not photographed everything in Southern Oregon yet.