Lesson 7. When You Figure Out What You Want in Life, You Want Your Life to Start as Soon as Possible
We picked up Nicole Marietta in San Francisco, and jetted off on 10 hour drive we did in one shot on Sunday afternoon. We made it into Portland about 1am. We spent this very long car ride telling stories and listening to This American Life podcast, and Radio Lab. (If you have never heard of either of them, check them out at once!!)
The next day, was Angelica and Nicole's first true Portland brunch experience and we went to Slappy Cakes for breakfast. Slappy cakes is yet another brilliant concept for a business.
The graphic design / branding / interior design of this chain of "Make your own pancakes" place is quite amazing. It has the fun factor for people with kids, but it has fancy cocktails, a super cute retro modern 70's vibe for the adults. In the Portland location, the staff is very hip.
The host at the restaurant kept smiling and giving me oogly eyes, and I was SHOCKED. It had occurred to me, that I hadn't had a guy inadvertently check me out randomly, in the entire 2 years I lived in San Diego.
Then we sat down with Portland's weekly free magazine, and I looked at the listings for concert after concert of some of the best indie bands you could think of, fun art shows, street fairs, and while San Diego has some of these things, there was this whole vibe that was focused for the 25-45 year old creative that was really speaking to me. I had lived in Portland for almost a decade before my two year stint in San Diego, but I had this whole new appreciation as Angelica and Nicole were saying --- WOAH Portland is amazing!!!
And I thought to myself, yes, this place is incredibly cool, why am I denying myself to come back here and start my life?! The design work here is incredible. You have Wieden + Kennedy one of the most creative ad agencies in the world. Nike and Adidas headquarters are here. The competition might be fierce for graphic design, but I've never had problems finding work here.
My biggest revelation is how can I collaborate with some amazing graphic designers and illustrators to improve my Launch Your Brand Program (Starts Aug 4.) because there are so many that live here! Look at the cover of the weekly magazine for crying out loud, good design is EVERYWHERE here, and is so important for finding examples to blog about!
It was becoming PAINFULLY obvious to me that I needed to move here. To make things even more amazing, we went to some free concerts that night, and a very cute hilarious guy bought me a drink. Also something that never happened in the entire 2 years in San Diego.
I was sold. Portland wants me back!
I called my mom, the next day "I'm moving back to Portland" -- She was like "WHAT?!?! NOOOOO!!!!!" And I proceeded to break her heart. I think she thought I was going to live with her forever, or at least secretly hoped, and here I was having to put her through empty nest syndrome all over again.
That's when I realized the only reason why I was staying in San Diego was to be closer to her. This really isn't the right reason to live somewhere, when you end up sacrificing your own inspiration and dating life just to make your mom happy. (I just love her so much!)
We had a wonderful 8 months of living together, it was time for me to go, so I literally got an apartment in the Mississippi Ave neighborhood the very next day. I could afford the fanciest apartment, in the hippest neighborhood because Portland prices were so much cheaper than SD.
I moved in 5 days later, had the entire apartment furnished in 48 hours. Shit was happening fast and I couldn't have been more excited. The place that I moved into was like a fancy dorm for 35 year old entrepreneurs with exceptionally cute dogs. I thought that I had died and gone to heaven.
I am still in heaven. I am home.
Lesson 8. Putting Together Ikea Furniture on First Dates is a Great Way to See If Your Compatible
After living in San Diego for two years, and one of those years being single was probably the worst year I've had in my life, regarding love and dating. Just to give you an idea of the type of men Portland vs. San Diego, I did a quick snapshot so you can see the difference.
San Diego Men
This is literally a random sample. This doesn't mean that there aren't great men in San Diego, this just means the style of men that live in San Diego aren't the kind of men that I'm generally attracted to, nor are they attracted to me. There are more conservative points of view, I'm fiercely liberal. There are more military men, or guys who have normal jobs, I want to date an entrepreneur.
Let's face it, I've got more curves than a circle, and a great majority of these men they want a blonde marathon runner. And I want an artistic, entrepreneurial nerd, who thinks my body is fantastic. Potato....POTATOE.
So I moved into my amazing apartment on July 5th. I furnished in 48 hours, and started to get asked on dates. So what did I do? I bribed men to put together Ikea furniture for me, by cooking them steak dinners for a first date. It's the single best social experiment, I've ever done to find out compatibility.
If you have enjoyed this series so far, and want more fun stories.....(YouCanBrand.com really isn't the place to talk about this dating stuff)
I'm launching a new site called WanderLover.com to talk about dating, traveling, food, and social experiments. It hasn't been released yet, but enter your email below if you want to find out about what happened with the Ikea experiments! The site is set to launch in the next few weeks!!
One of the upcoming experiments is to fly to San Francisco to hire a "ManServant" for the day. This has got to be one of the best business ideas I've ever seen!!!! I will have him feed me grapes, sing to me with a guitar while I take a bath, and dote on me all day. Cannot wait for this fantasy (it's not a gigolo service, but instead a G-Rated pool boy / errand boy/ sort of experience and I cannot wait!)