Benjamin Chait


30 June 2017

Today is thirty.

As I take a moment to think about where I am, and what amazing opportunities and experiences I have had thus far, I am humbled and thankful. Eager and excited. So incredibly fortunate to have an amazing partner, a loving pup and to be surrounded by incredibly people both at work and beyond. To have built a community here in Portland.

I’m often reminded about how much I have grown, and myself changed. When I was eighteen and headed to university, I—like any recent high-school graduate—thought I knew everything: what I wanted to be when I grew up, what I was going to study and who I wanted to be. It only took a few short weeks of my freshman year before I realized how wrong I was; rather, how much I had to learn.

Fast forward to graduating college: I was fortunate to work in a job I loved, splitting time between Colorado and California. At that point, I realized how much I had changed in only a few short years, and began to recognize where I was spending my time and energy. I wasn’t working in politics; in many ways, I wasn’t as involved as I wanted to be. And then I found a great opportunity; being at the right place at the right time gave me a chance to participate, and to build a new set of friendships which I still have today. This was great, for a while, but I soon began to feel restless.

Eventually, I took a leap of faith and invested my time, money and energy in travel, and in myself. It was challenging, amazing, eye-opening. It wasn’t what I expected; then again, what transformative experience actually is? I started to pay attention to my heart.

And now comes my time in Portland. Our time in Portland. Sarah and I been here three-and-a-half years, and I love this place. The people, the coffee, the outdoors. And I begin to realize: I am who I a today, because of everyone, everything around me. And I realize, without a doubt, I am not the same person I was when I first arrived here. I’m learning empathy, and how to slow down. I’m learning the simple joy of coming home, to a pup who is adoring and excited and happy. A kitten who keeps to herself by day, but sneaks up to lie beside (or on top of) me every evening. I have a loving partner, who is incredible and drives me to be my best self.

And I think about who I want to be, should I one day grow up, and I realize: I am exactly where I want to be, and who I want to be.

Thirty on the thirtieth.

Tye and Benjamin in Hong Kong Mary and Benjamin Sunset from Mount Tabor Sarah and Benjamin dressed for the occasion Benjamin, Kippa and Sarah visit the Oregon beach Sarah and stethoscope Sky Kippa

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