I’ve always felt a bit on the periphery of things – never quite fitting in, not one thing or another. I gravitate toward people who ask questions that make people uncomfortable, and I welcome conflict and challenges, especially when it comes to viewpoint. Sometimes I think I’m a little too open to ideas – but I certainly do like putting them on for fit.

Bend challenges me in many ways. Though it’s been a relatively easy transition, I find that its laid-back personality and general island mentality do not come easily for me. So I’m finding that it’s a great place to learn to relax and be friendly. But it’s also at times so relaxed that I find that I need to tap into my inner neurosis to keep my mind sharp. Meantime, I continue to challenge myself physically – especially as time continues to tick. Centered: that’s my mantra (ie, it doesn’t always happen – but maybe it will if I keep repeating it).