Stage seven: The adulting phase
Where you’re living: You tell people it’s Montavilla even though it’s too far east of 205 to qualify; no one calls you out or knows the difference
Where you’re going out: Various strip clubs, but only because they "have a great happy hour"
Your mantra: It's not that far
Go-to activity: Recruiting friends to join you on the dark side of 82nd with the promise of it being cool if EVERYONE moves there at once
Things were going smoothly with the bartender until they got it stuck in their head that the $1,200/month the two of you were splitting to be miserable in NW Portland could go towards owning something in a place like Boise or Astoria. A regular at your new gig regaled you with horror stories of what happened to the last person who tried to get in on the ground floor of Idaho real estate, so you bail at the last minute and figure it’s finally time to strike out on your own.
A friend scores you a temp job in an office that’s salaried, although it barely pays what you were making at your last bartending gig. The upside is that your income is finally verifiable enough to land you a place by yourself, although you’re still too poor to ever move back to the part of Portland you once admired. You find yourself a decent two-bedroom behind one of those weird buy-here/pay-here car dealerships on the east side and immediately find yourself on a first-name basis with the clerk at the liquor store across the street. Save for the occasional Subaru break-in and suspicious "crunch" under your foot on the way to the Plaid Pantry for your daily breakfast burrito, it’s still the Portland you know and love. And it’s definitely still better than going back to where you came from.