Wednesday, January 14, 2009

a little more at home.

It’s a brand new year. I’ve only recently processed this fact, and I’ve begun to act accordingly. I know, I’m just a little behind. Always.

For a long time, I’ve let myself know that I live in Austin, but I haven’t let myself believe that Austin is home. I haven’t embraced this city as my home. No wonder, since I am commuting 25 miles south to go to school, and most of the people whom I’ve met live in San Marcos, not Austin. There is an overwhelming sense of impermanence inside of me about Austin, and it makes me uneasy, unsettled. The sense of impermanence makes me feel like I’m drifting here – floating just above the surface, but unable to touch down.

I feel this way for many reasons. C is working, but he’s not working a full time job. I think we both thought we’d move here, and he’d land something great right away. I am in school, and this makes me aware that I have a looming deadline – in three years the program ends. Between my new status as a student and c.’s new status as a part-time employee, things feel, well – not permanent. Likewise, we are renting a house for the first time in 7 years, so I have had little sense of ownership. The yard is ugly? Not my problem. That’s what I mean. Also, no matter what I do – paint the walls, open the blinds, raise them, it always feels so dark in this house, and the dark feels…not like me.

Nothing is supposed to be perfect, and generally, nothing seems to happen the way we picture it will happen. So it’s time to feel grateful for what is and to let myself become rooted in the ways I can. It's high time. I’ve got to live here as if Austin is home. My home, and not a foreign city I’m taking in as a tourist.

Joining the local YMCA has given me the sense that I am part of a larger community, minor an act as it is. I started taking a yoga class, and today I began training for my next triathlon, a sprint distance all-women’s event that takes place in May. These things make me feel that I have a routine and some obligation inside of the city. MWF I go to yoga and my triathlon class. It feels good to get out in the world and be around other people on a regular basis.

I finally searched around for a place to get my hair cut. I had a haircut in October, but it didn’t feel like the right place or person. I’ve also had my hair colored twice by two different people, but that also has not felt just right. I need a hairdresser whose personality, sense of style, and skills I admire, and I need a salon that I feel comfortable visiting. Because, once I find a place and a person, I am remarkably loyal. This has been one of my top three moving-related anxieties. I really loved the woman in BR who cut my hair. She did a fantastic job. But she was all booked up when I went home for Christmas. I realized I better find someone here who I can depend upon. Earlier this week I got online and searched out reviews, and I’m hopeful that the woman I’m seeing tomorrow will do a great job – people have written tons of great stuff about her. It may seem psychotic, but today I did a drive-by of the salon. It looked like a cute place.

I’ve even decided to head to Book People and purchase an Austin Fodor’s guide and some kind of "Insider's Guide to Austin" type of book. I am tired of not knowing where to go out to eat beyond the few places right by my house. And I want to know where I should pack up to head off to on a long weekend.

Cooking dinner in my own house is an act that makes me feel as if I live here, as if I am at home and not on vacation. When we returned from BR, one of the first things we did was head to the grocery store and stock up. We’ve been really great about cooking dinner at home these past two weeks, and that has helped me feel more grounded about where "home" is.

The last thing I’ve done – it may seem insignificant – but I went out and bought a whole bunch of new clothes yesterday. I’ve been awfully attached to some of the clothing I brought with me from BR. But I have to face it. A lot doesn’t fit anymore. You can't stay trim and fit if you don’t actually exercise. I purged my dresser and closet. I bought some jeans and pants that fit. And I’m feeling alright about it. A little more at home.

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