Posts in reflections

The smell of these

in the late deep summer

as they brush against your skin

that July-pine sticky-scent in the heated air, I used to hate the way it lingered on my fingertips

But my neighborhood was full of them, I wonder now how universal is their smell to childhoods spent outdoors

I never learned their name


This blog is meant mainly as a personal journal, a place for me to catalog and look back on in the future, as well as a place to share travel photos/life updates with family and friends a bit more easily than trying to text photos to everyone I can remember. I expect that really, the only people to read this will be me later on, and my mom (hi mom!). But, in case you're curious (and to act as a snapshot to future me), I thought I'd do an introductory post here.

My name is Lauren, and I have lived in Portland, Oregon, U.S. my whole life (I was even born downtown). Right now (February 2018), I work as a commercial photographer, but have been offered a place on a postgraduate programme in the archaeology department of Durham University, UK, which begins in October of this year. This honestly has been the impetus for starting this journal, because I (correctly or incorrectly, judgment reserved) finally feel as though I will be living a life worth documenting. I have had "live in a different country/U.K. and at least one other" on every bucket list I've ever made, along with "get a Master's degree (or further)." I'm thrilled that I found both of those in a calling like archaeology (I should have realized this much earlier in life–more on that later). This programme, in this field and in this country, is truly a dream come true for me and a life goal, and I want to be able to look back on this time (the good and the difficult) in images and words that I'll have forever. I know a lot of my future as a conservator will involve polishing and perfecting heavily procedure-based scientifically accurate reports and experiments, and I want to establish a place that is set aside for more fluid, creative, and poetic pursuits–I do have a B.F.A., after all.


It will be another half a year before I move (approximately in August or September), and I decided to start this blog now so that I can document what my life is like at this point, because although I'm incredibly excited for my future, things are pretty damn good as they stand. I described my life recently as "happy, discontented, hovered on the precipice, becoming who I want to be" and I think that sums it up pretty well. Happy because I have a life I couldn't even hope for when I was younger; I would not describe my childhood overall as happy and much of it was even abusive. Now, I live in NE Portland with my amazing partner of almost five years and my heart dog, a miniature longhaired dachshund called Pepper that we rescued two and a half years ago from the Oregon Humane Society and who I can't imagine my life without (I should put a limit on dog talk here, otherwise this will turn into a dog blog because I'm hopelessly infatuated with him). His story will probably get its own post at some point. And before you ask–don't worry, we're taking him with us when we move.


Discontented because I always wish for things to move faster. I want my program to start now, our move to take place now, and I want to know everything there is to know about archaeology, osteoarchaeology (forensic/physical anthropology if you're in the states), and conservation now. I have to (and have always had to) remind myself to be patient. I know that this trait comes from within myself and my drive to work (which is not always a bad thing, and also not always a good thing). However, despite this, I want to be in this time, and remember how good it was in the future. I love my partner (he's coming with me, but big life events tend to change relationship dynamics), I love my dog (also coming with me, but I know his transition will be difficult for a bit because he's a dog), and I love my apartment and my place in this city.

I'm just finally ready for something more.