They say the apple does not fall far from the tree. Based on where I grew up and live now, this would seem to be a fruitful observation! A few years after I was born, 1970, the population in Oregon was about 2.1 million. It has now doubled to about 4 million and shows no sign of slowing down. And why should it? Oregon is an amazingly beautiful place with Portland often rated as one of the most livable cities in America.
Almost two decades ago, I ventured south to live in southern California to chase after a girlfriend (who yes, became my wife) and accept a work transfer. I remember the months we were there feeling like a fish out of water. I spent hours on the freeways, longing to be back home where I could get most places in minutes. It was always hot, smoggy, and crowded everywhere I went. While the idea of living in Newport Beach, surfing the waves, and leading a more chilled life all looked good on paper, the reality is that we both missed Oregon terribly.
When we returned to Oregon I began a graduate program in Counseling Psychology. For one of my classes I did a project examining the psychological impact of the 2040 Growth Concept. The idea was to manage growth as best as possible, but one thing I discovered was that no effort had been made to assess psychological wellbeing over time. I remember writing up my findings and submitting to the folks leading the charge, but I have never followed up to see if any of my recommendations were implemented.