4:23am CST on August 12, 2011. This was the time when I arrived at my new abode in my new city, Austin, TX. It has been exactly 2 weeks since my arrival and I feel that enough time has passed for me to objectively reflect on beginning of the newest chapter in my life story.
***Note: I am writing this post from the Red McCombs College of Business on the campus of the University of Texas. Never. Graduate.***
As I traveled from ATL to ATX with a buddy, I promised her that I would treat the entire first weekend as a vacation. We, along with my new roommate Dan, unpacked the entire U-Haul by 11:30am and proceeded to get down to the business of soaking in this beautiful new town. One of the best parts about living in SoCo is that everything is within walking distance. There are all types of restaurants and food-trucks along South Congress Avenue as well as being a 15 minute walk from downtown. Needless to say, we did a ton of walking over the course of the weekend. A ton of walking and a lot of (not so healthy) eating–maybe the two balanced out one another. In a nutshell, the weekend was a lot of fun. But, Sunday afternoon came, my travel buddy had to fly back to ATL and I had to get on with establishing my new life in my new city.
The first week was odd to say the least. I had to take care of all the little things that you generally only have to do when you move to a new place. The purchasing of basic food supplies, finding the nearest Bank of America, barber shop, etc…One thing I made sure to do that I did not do when I moved to L.A. a few years back was find the nearest tennis center. I’m committed to plugging myself into the fitness community here in ATX. Tennis is very near and dear to my heart so I want to continue to play and stay competitive as best possible. I also found a recreation center right next door to the tennis center so I was able to cross basketball off of the list as well. Score! But less about what I did and more about how it/I felt. You know that groggy feeling of awakening where you’re kind of out of it for about 30 minutes after you get out of bed? Well imagine that lasting for the better part of a week. There were a lot of just awkward and uncomfortable moments in those first few days. Little things, like trying to drive places using GPS because I knew the location of nothing, were interesting. I really felt like a tourist and it’s a feeling that I DESPISE. But, after a few trips to Whole Foods, I felt like I was getting a handle on the town. That uncomfortable feeling of not know what in the hell I was doing slowly started to subside.
The second week is when things started to feel like normal. I started sleeping normal hours, getting daily exercise and eating normal meals; ATX started to feel like home. I had a few interviews so the whole “job finding process” could be coming to an end very soon. I’ve enjoyed this two-week vacation but it’s time to get back on the grind so I can support this fun-filled lifestyle that I profess to live.
A few things of note:
1. I have vowed to visit 50 different restaurants or bars before repeating any. There a few caveats that will allow for repeats but so far so good. I’m up to 27 as of lunch today.
2. The theory of yes has guided my decision making thus far and I’m loving it. The basic tenant is when I’m invited to something or somewhere, as long as I don’t have other plans, I am required to say yes. It’s the best way (that I can think of) to see as many different places, things and events in this city. It also makes decision making non-existent. If I don’t have plans, the answer is yes.
3. No more chain restaurants. Outside of Starbucks, I haven’t touched the stuff.
4. It’s hotter here than it is in ATL and there’s no two ways about it. The humidity isn’t as bad but it has been a consistent 10 degrees hotter here everyday that I’ve been here. The sun actually feels closer.
5. The bar scene is pretty chill here. There are different vibes in different areas much like any other city, but every area feels like you’re in ATX. Also, it’s easy to avoid the undergrads–just stay away from E. 6th street and you’re money.
I’ve been asked multiple times, “so why did you leave ATL for ATX?” and my answer is always the same. I needed to hit the life ‘reset’ button and changing locations was the best way to accomplish that task. Sometimes, in order to grow, you must go. I didn’t run away from or leave anything in ATL. I love my city, my home and I’ll never forget where I came from. I will miss my friends and family but I won’t forget or try to replace them; I’ll always carry ATL/the dirty-dirty/Hot-lanta on my back. And even though I’m having a great time in ATX and enjoying every minute of being here, my feelings about ATL can be best described by Mr. Frank Ocean. I have loved the good times here, and I will miss the good times here.
Until next time, much success from the ATX!