“Keep Portland weird” is a phrase you see a lot here. Maybe that’s why I feel so at home here. You can, no, you have to be yourself here, no matter how weird you are. No one is surprised by that. It is a warm, creative city that welcomes everyone. After all these months it still surprises me how friendly everyone is in Portland. How weird Portland is, becomes clear again during a meeting with a potential customer. He got my name from a woman I met at a networking event.

He wanted to meet in a coffee shop, face-to-face because only that way he said, he could ‘read’ me better. Of course, I was okay with that, it was nice to be out of the house instead of always doing Zoom meetings. Sometimes it’s just nice to step out of my cocoon, into the real world.

Since I had no idea how to recognize him, I sent him a text (everybody still sends a text here instead of Whatsapp), I was already there, and he could recognize me in my green coat. He immediately sent a message back that he was almost there and also had a green coat on. Ah, the perfect match, I thought to myself. This can’t go wrong.

It was certainly an interesting meeting. The gentleman in question was a doctor of Chinese medicine, including acupuncture. I told him my background, my way of working, and how our cooperation would go if he would decide to work with me. Just a standard first meeting. Until he suddenly asked for my date of birth…

“Um…” I blinked, surprised by the question. Before I could say anything, he continued. “I would like to…”, he smiled kindly, “with your permission, of course, check how your destiny chart looks because if it doesn’t line up with mine then unfortunately we can’t work together.”

“Okay….?” I stammered because my brain was still processing this information. Since I had nothing to hide, I gave him my date of birth, time, and place. He started counting right away. “Hmm, you’re a Rat….and that in the year of the rabbit? Hmm, yes, lots of chaos. I don’t know if this is a good idea. But on the other hand, I see it’s mostly chaos in your private life, especially with family.”

I nod and see my family tree flash before my eyes. In my defense, I try to save the situation by saying that all the twenty years that I have been running my business, there has always been chaos in the family, mainly because of the Rabbit in my family, which caused chaos. But that it has never been at the expense of my work.

He nods in agreement. “Still I see improvement towards the end of the year with that Rabbit in your family so don’t give up hope.” Never, I think to myself, I let the bunny do whatever she wants to do and hope that in time she will come hopping home again.

After a meeting of almost two hours, he closes his laptop. “Good, I know enough. Thank you very much for your time. I’ll think about this and get back to you. If we start working together, is it possible that the website will be online on March 10?”

Now I do a quick math. With my return journey, a planned trip to France, and jetlag it will be a challenge. But never impossible. I nod confidently. “Of course, no problem.”

As I drive back home, I let the conversation run through the depths of my brain. Do I have the project or not? Do I now miss the project, not because of my charms or the lack of them, not because of the skills I have or don’t have, but because of my time of birth?

Besides being weird, I can also add confusion to my list. I have no idea and just let it go because if it’s in my destiny chart that I get the project, it will come to me anyway!

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