When I first told my grandmother I would be playing for the Portland Thorns, she was pretty stoked (yeah, she used that word) that I would be living in Maine and playing professional soccer. That still kills me every time. The disappointment in her voice was enough to make me feel bad for a few minutes. It always is. But then I remembered what I was getting myself into and that changed quickly.
March, 2013: Hjørring, Denmark
After several conversations with the Thorns coaching staff, eating a bag of Doritos, and then consulting with my board of directors, I made a big decision: I was moving to Portland to play in the NWSL.
Three months later, the time had come to actually make that move. I finished my season in Denmark on June 9, flew home on June 10 and left for Portland on June 12. Just when my cats thought I was staying home for good, I was gone in a flash ... kind of like when they think they catch a fly and it "magically" slips through their paws. Yeah. Gone.
But before we get to Portland, let me give you a quick background.
• I am a lover not a fighter.
• I observe as much as I talk ... which is a lot. But I'm really shy.
• I have an obsession with the number eight.
• I love myself.
• I talk to my mom and grandmother every day.
• And my life goal is to travel a continuous road to betterment.
OK, that is seriously all you need to know. The rest you can Google.
June 12, 2013: Portland, Oregon
Upon arriving in the PDX (just trying to fit in), I realized I had some extra baggage. CASEY RAMIREZ! My teammate from Denmark got the call to be a Thorn, too. It's pretty amazing because every superhero (me) needs a sidekick (Casey) and she has been great playing that role. Except she has this thing against capes ... She watches too many animated films if you ask me.
So, the past month has gone by extremely fast. Time has flown by since I've been here. Not in the cliché way that everyone uses it, but because I actually mean it.
I think the best way to get through everything that has happened is by making a "GIST LIST" -- which I think is pretty self-explanatory. But before we get to that, I need to dispel a couple of rumors that have been circulating.
1. I did not decide to play for the Thorns to steal my, err, Christine Sinclair's two Hermann Trophies.
2. When people say, "Get the cones" at training, Cindy does not think we're talking about her and her husband.
With that out of the way ... let's get into why you're really here ... to hear about my life as a Portland Thorn.
GIST list (I decided to make the list using analogies)
1. "Keep Portland Weird" -- Saw this written downtown on a building. I'm pretty sure no one will try otherwise, so don't worry Portland. It's like saying "Keep Iowa Flat," it's all good.
2. For real though, Portland is beautiful and wonderful and although I'll always be a hard, sarcastic, fast-paced East Coast girl at heart, I really do enjoy this side of the country. It's kind of like when Jay-Z remade "I Just Died in Your Arms" -- it's weird and a little out of place at first, but it eventually it works.
3. My teammates are badass. I don't have enough space to write all the things I want to about them. But let me put it this way. Hanging out with them is like going to college classes that I actually enjoyed going to.
4. Playing at JELD-WEN Field is an unbelievable experience. More than 10,000 people have your back every time you step on the field. It's like nothing I've ever experienced actually. I got nothing.
5. In my free time I still get to work on my other loves -- Our Game Magazine and girlsCAN Football. Check them out. Plus, some of my teammates will be writing for the magazine and they are, as I've mentioned, badass. It's like being in a glee club and getting challenged to a dance off, then finding out every one can dance, too, and no one knew. CRAY.
6. Since I'm one of the older ones on the team, I'm a little late to learn about anything that's trendy ... like being a vegetarian, Snapchat, country music, Candy Crush, "The Voice," fedoras and the fact Miley Cyrus can now "twerk." So, having younger teammates has really broadened my horizons. It's what I imagine Mary Tyler Moore being like if she was learning from Beyoncé.
7. The soccer. It's not always easy to manage a team with players in and out for the national team, new players arriving midseason and such ... especially a team with a lot of strong personalities. But it's coming together and it's going to be beautiful. It's like when you try to get your foot in your shoe without untying it a few times, then you finally give in and untie it, and it fits perfectly.
8. Last but not least, I'd like to talk about my support. My friends and family have been rock-solid throughout my career. No matter where I am in the world, they watch my live streams or follow along on a match tracker in a foreign language. They are the reason I get to be here. They are the reason I remain sane and continually believe that I'm the best player in the world. (Dude, that's their job). Between my friends and family, my new teammates, coaching staff and everyone that doesn't have a specific classification -- I'm able to do the one thing that brings the most joy to my life every day and call it my "job". There is no greater reward than becoming the person and player you always dreamed of with the help of all the people who helped create that dream. Real talk.
If you made it this far, you must be really bored with your day. Or I'm an awesome writer. Either way, I'll leave you with this little piece of gold.
"Life is not to fear, life is to enjoy." -- Third Eye Blind
Take risks. Make friends. Laugh at your own jokes and take selfies until your fingers fall off. Seriously, just enjoy it. And if you need any help, I am always around.
Aside from that, follow me @tiffanyweimer for more on my life and the rest of the Portland Thorns season in the NWSL.