I will start with an apology to the likes of Aaron Draplin and other Portlanders who are unhappy with (…or LEERY of…) the Vermontification of Oregon. I guess when you combine enough transplants from one area of the country in a new one, they begin to recreate the societal norms of the zone they hailed from.
What I am finding is that between the career, relationship, client/ agency drama and overworked creative friends around here, Portland is starting to feel a lot like Burlington did. Recent transplants from Burlington have landed mostly at Nike, after stints in southern California. Many Burlingtonites made it here directly from creative agencies to work at Nemo, Merrell, Keane, Adidas or freelance themselves. All in all, Burlington, Vermont has supplied over 50 creative, action sportsy, account/ project management-types and product-minded people from similar jobs back east in the past 5 years.
I was going to begin the creation of a Burlington family tree. But I don’t want to piss people off by publishing everything I know about them on Vinceland. But don’t think I didn’t consider it. All I can say is, I am glad there is such as familiar group of people living within a drive of each other in Portland, all working in similar positions and industries as we all came from back east. There’s something nice about it, and kind of amazing as well. We have collective power and a support network. We all get along for the most part, we all seem to enjoy the warmer weather, we all see each other on a mostly regular basis.
But there’s something that’s not quite right about the re-mingling of old friendships, work histories, and love bi-angles. I am not sure it’s helping any of us achieve what we came to Oregon to find: Growth through change. I can’t even believe I am saying it, because I am the dude clamoring for routine every day. I avoid surprises of any kind and hang on to daily standards as if tomorrow will be the last time I’ll get the chance to do the same exact thing I did today.
I wonder if we’d all have met more people, learned new things, picked up skills along the way, had we not stayed so close to the familiar. I wonder if the dramatification of relationships, the publicizing of career paths gone bad (why publicize the good and jinx it?) and the generally incestuous Burlingtonification of Portland will continue as we all tread warily close to familiar trails with familiar stories. The gravity and comfort of this friendly group seems to be drawing us all into a vortex of weekend plans, monthly engagements, never-ending text message/ email trail madness. I know we’ve all drawn outsiders down with us into the wormhole that is Burlingtonitus. I can name them, but I won’t.
Consider this a warning to those on the fringes of this web we Vermonters weave, this virus-like expansion of creatively minded, marketing and product management ladder-climbers. It’s an eternal connection, another lifelong guilt trip on your mind, another link in the chains that keep you bound from learning and new experiences. Maybe I’m exaggerating, but it’s my damned site and makes a point that’s been stuck in my head for weeks.
PS: I got really mad at a woman in traffic today and tried to yell “Fuck Off!” at her after she yelled something at me. My window was only open 2.5 inches which hopefully allowed for some form of expletive to reach her fat-ass, redneck ears. But it forced me to yell with my head half-cocked sideways in order to position my mouth for the most volume and hate spewed her way. Well, my verbal release did not do enough to extinguish the force inside that comes from a rare place in me, the place people associate most with other Scorpios. It’s the revenge place.
Anyhow, sorry for the angry tone of this recent entry. Sometimes I feel like the big, green Hulk inside…and words are my pounding.