I’m a little nervous about this post, so let me just get this out there: I don’t know how to tell you about Texas. I don’t know. Because I want to give you all these shiny gems of self-discovery that elaborate on some revolutionary transformation I’ve undergone since moving here… but I just don’t have that. What I have is more like a few flecks of self-discovery all jangled up in a mass of doubt and directionless dust. In fact, most of the time I feel like I am flailing around, trying to grab onto something that will give me purpose or validation, only ending up with a fist full of unanswered job applications and some sort of discount home decor that promises to make our Texas apartment feel like home.
So, now that your expectations are officially lowered — mine can be too. (Relief!)
I will now impart a few minor flecks of Austin life lessons:
1. You cannot hide reality behind discount home decor.
(Nevertheless, our apartment is pretty cool looking.)
2. I do not need to prove that I am strong, capable, and respected by landing some snazzy, independent-woman job a midst Corporate America and their Business Casual–clicking down the hall in my executive style heels.
(Not mocking these jobs– just mocking my delusion that having one might immediately increase my value as a person. Besides, I don’t have executive style heels. I have Pocahontas sandals.)
3. I feel most myself in times and places where I have opportunities to interact with people in meaningful ways, especially through meaningful conversation.
(This is why I feel like tiny, saggy-brained snail when I am at home for days at a time with no human interaction. This is why, when Ken walks in the door around 6 or 7pm, I’m hungry for conversation like a RAVENOUS BEAST. I’m dying for someone to talk with me about all our thoughts and feelings for the entire remainder of the night– which, by the way, creates an unfair strain of expectations on the person I love the most, who, reasonably so, doesn’t have four hours of feeling-soaked conversation which he is ready to provide nightly, on demand. Sometimes he tries but then I have too many pent-up feelings and can’t figure out how to say them because my brain is sagging and then I just feel needy and weird and want to eat sugar and watch TV instead.)
4. If you keep trying and keep praying, things will get better. God will help you find what you need. You will get a job with new, character-building challenges. You will find a routine that keeps your brain from sagging. You will make friends. You will remember that you are, in fact, still a pretty cool human being with worthy goals and legit things to offer the world. (Relief.)
Today’s title comes from a song written in 1903 by Jon Sinclair, now sung at UT football games and written all over the t-shirts of Longhorn fans.