How to Dress Like an Ecologist

I spent a week at a conference, and I come back with a collection of photos fit to substitute for Bill Cunningham’s section in the New York Times.  These looks are in right now in the ecology research and education world!

Remember, the higher the socks, the better!

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Portland!!!!

Portland is a city of passion.  It seems like people do what they love -whether it involves food, art, bicycles, music, beer, or cars.  Everyone takes time to enjoy and do things consciously.  No one is in a rush to catch the Max rail.  Even more amazing, drivers will even spare a few seconds to simultaneously stop on a four-lane road and wave pedestrians across the street the instant they reach a crosswalk.  Although there seemed to be a record amount of smokers, the city is a place with which I felt a connection.

The little time I was able to spend exploring the city outside of working a conference has inspired me to snap out of the end-focused DC mindset and start living every day with happiness in mind.  Thank you, Portland!  You are a gorgeous city with wonderful people!  I hope DC adopts a thing or two from you!

Pervading The Threshold

I am sitting in the Portland airport after a week of working a conference and exploring the city.  I was going to just sit at my gate per usual, but I turned into the business corner that was on the way to use my laptop, check my e-mail and kill time watching some mindless videos before boarding a flight to return to the East coast.  It is here that I had a realization.  When I go back, I won’t have a home.  I have moved out of my house.  My friend is graciously housing my belongings in her house, and I will sublet her room for a couple of weeks while she is gone on vacation.

Then, I’m off.

A new chapter. A clean slate. The open road. Whatever else you want to call it.

I knew the day I would leave DC was coming for a long time.  Even with the date set and visible on my calendar,  it all feels so surreal.  It’s funny because I don’t think I am any closer to figuring out what I want to do with my life for a living.  I know that I have not encountered whatever it is.  Maybe it doesn’t exist and I need to create it.  Right now, all I want to do is just that- do.  Do everything that appeals to me. That challenges me.  That scares me.  That is unknown to me now.

That is my plan.  Thank you, Portland, for inspiring me.

Here’s to many future firsts, small victories, and crossing out of bucket list items:

August 5- I work as a staff for a conference.  Almost 5,000 ecologists in one convention center.  And I got a name badge. I feel so special.

August 7- I climbed a rock wall. In cowboy boots. Hardcore.  Even the Army soldier was impressed that I was able to lift my leg so high in stretch jeans.  Totally gave the public a crotch view in doing so though.

August 8- I ate at Voodoo Doughnut.  Too… much… sugar…. But hey! I was a tourist for a moment.

August 9- My friend and I walked through a drive through at 11pm.  The Wendy’s employee at the window was not happy, but we made the truck driver behind us laugh.

August 10- I got my first pat down.  Not as invasive or humiliating as I thought it would be.