Portland was an excellent trip, but with being gone from Ben over the summer, followed by an intense course in Monterey, and finally some down time to process it all in Portland, I was going through some heavy internal searching that week. Here's an excerpt from an email I sent to my friend Dave.
"Last year Ben and I listened to a spate of This American Life and RadioLab podcasts that all had to do with happiness, and how the human brain is wired to remember the good, forget the bad and thus be happier. Or how people choose to focus on the good to be happier (some people don't chose that). I've always thought of myself as being and optimist, and some people see Ben as a pessimist although he sees himself as a realist. Meaning that I'm probably happier than he is, but at the expense of "lying" to myself to be happier. I don't know whether truth or happiness is more important to me at this stage. I think I am going through some pretty heavy soul searching these days. Ben recognizes my reticence & forlorn-ness (word?). I question things that I always took for granted before, like my ability or wish to maintain a single relationship most of my life, the independence and self-sufficiency I always felt before. I find respite in schoolwork and thoughts of a career (finally), but wonder if I'm just distracting myself from facing issues that seem to be bubbling up now that I don't have destitution breathing so hard down my neck."
Lots of questions, lots of reflection, and not-taking-things (good or bad) for-granted. My skin is broken out with the stress of these questions. Doubt is not an easy thing to deal with, though I believe it is important for learning, growth.