The Old Normal was living 3 hours away from my boyfriend and only seeing him on weekends. It was going out with friends for happy hour a couple days a week and brunch at least once each weekend. It was blogging in my free time. The Old Normal was living in Portland. It was shopping on Mississippi and eating Pizza Schmizza for lunch and going to the Deschutes brewpub every chance I got. It was living in the same city as most of my friends and being able to catch up with old coworkers regularly. It was talking Blazers basketball and Oregon football and Did you see the last episode of Portlandia? It was making fun of hipster snobs and their fair-trade coffee, PBR and fixed gear bikes, while being a snob about microbrews, Powell’s Books and Tillamook cheese. The Old Normal was never having spent more than four consecutive days with Galen, even though we’d been together for over two years. It was not knowing for so long what I wanted to be when I grew up, then deciding, and then the agony of waiting to hear back from grad schools.
The New Normal is living with Galen in an apartment with a great view of the Seattle skyline and very few reliable appliances. It’s still being excited to see each other at the end of every day. It’s being 3 hours away from friends, former coworkers, and Galen’s family. It’s getting to know a new neighborhood and a new city, when I’m not in class, at work, studying or doing homework. The New Normal is having four or five good friends in this city and feeling like that’s a lot to maintain. It’s dreaming about having enough time to blog again. It’s taking Galen to the airport for a two-week study tour and realizing we haven’t been apart for this long since last summer, when it used to be Normal. It’s getting to see my mom every other month when she’s here for work. The New Normal is not knowing where to go for happy hour or brunch or good Thai food. It’s waiting for the Sonics to come back to town and trying to have some allegiance to the Seahawks and Mariners. It’s discovering new donut and ice cream shops, and trying something called “savory pies.” The New Normal is explaining to people that most of my family and friends call me Mego. It’s studying something I enjoy and find infinitely fascinating. It’s having “clients” and trying to pretend I’m grown-up enough to be someone’s therapist. It’s imagining what will happen after grad school and what the Next New Normal will be.