Dear Houston

Dear Houston,

Before I met you, I had lots of stereotypical ideas of what I thought  you’d be like. I had lots of stereotypical ideas of what I thought Texas would be like; big hats, big belt buckles and big hair.  Coming from a somewhat sheltered life in the west,  I’d imagined this is what all of Texas would be like – except for Austin. Austin has a reputation for being artsy, hip and cool. So after my mom and step-dad moved there in 2009, I decided that I, too, would move to Austin to live out my ambitions of having an artsy, bohemian life-style.  But, the powers that be had other plans, and an opportunity landed me in Houston, first.

Shortly before I left for Houston, panic set in. What would become of my artsy bohemian life-style were I to be surrounded by all that oil?  What about the ranches and country music and  people who wear wranglers?

To my surprise, Houston was nothing of the sort. Houston was a multicultural city. The fourth largest city in the U.S.  Not everyone wore big belt buckles and ten gallon hats.  I did not encounter one head of oversized hair while I lived in Houston. Instead, I got to live in an artsy, walkable neighborhood with brew pubs and independent coffee shops that allowed me to become one with my inner hipster.

I had many first experiences in Houston:

  • I started this blog
  • I ran my first half marathon:
This is a before half marathon selfie.

This is a before half marathon selfie.

This is a photo I used in a previous post to demonstrate what happens when I see chocolate. I thought I'd recycle and use it again to demonstrate what happens when I run 13 miles. I couldn't take my own selfie because I was too busy stuffing my face.

This is a photo I used in a previous post to demonstrate what happens when I feel stressed and see chocolate. I thought I’d recycle and use it again to demonstrate what happens after I run 13 miles. I couldn’t take my own after half marathon selfie because I was too busy stuffing my face.

  • I got to watch actors audition for, and film, a pilot sizzler I wrote (nothing came of that one, but that is beside the point, here).
  • I gained the courage to work on art again and power through (some of) the self doubt that comes with it.


    This is some art

  • I got married.

We went to the courthouse

  • I had a baby.

Christmas and Bob the Dog

  • I learned to see my depression for what it is; a passing feeling, and not who I am. When sadness and self doubt sneak up, I learned I can acknowledge them and invite them out for ice-cream. Oftentimes, they leave before we get to the ice cream, but I eat it anyway because it is a good excuse to eat ice cream and not feel obligated to worry about what it might do to the size of my butt.

Now that we have moved to TN, I find myself succumbing to the same kind of  stereotypes about Tennessee; country music, wife beater shirts and MULLETS. What will become of my artsy bohemian lifestyle ambitions, now? This is even worse.

But, dear Houston, you have taught me that I can’t judge what I can make of my life based on physical location. I can still be who I am. I can get myself out there, be sophisticated,  and kick butt to the best of my ability.  Although I do still struggle with the fear that my efforts will be assaulted by a greasy, Billy Ray Cyrus-type mullet, you have shown me that I can still be me, wherever I am.

If my mullet fear too intense, I will acknowledge it and take it out for ice-cream. Preferably the kind with alcohol in it, which is something that you, Dear Houston, taught me about, too.

26 thoughts on “Dear Houston

  1. Love this Amy! I love Houston yet I have come to know that it was part of my life that I will always cherish but its a good time to experience another part of the world. I wish you could live in Durango, it is so YOU! But then, you have lived in Colorado. Best of luck in TN, hope to hear all about it soon.😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Patricia! You are right about CO, though. I think, of all the places I’ve lived, CO is the most “me” 🙂 I like the way you phrased it for yourself experiencing another part of the world. That is what I will do in TN…experience another part of the world! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG, where in TN are you?! I moved from L.A. to middle TN (Nashville area) ten years ago. You can read about that culture shock at
    from which you can tell it had nothing to do with country music!
    I moved to East TN (Oak Ridge, close to Knoxville) and discovered it to be vastly different from the middle part of the state. So different, in fact, that I am in the very early stages of starting a second blog dedicated to the wonderful people I have met here!
    The biggest shock in moving from L.A. to TN was really the change in climate, to which I have finally adjusted after just a decade or so! The climate change from TX to TN was probably not nearly as shocking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to get your comment! I clicked your link and started reading, but had to write back!

      We are just east of Nashville in a town called Cookeville, also because of my husband’s job. Ironically, it was a choice between TN or Los Angeles. I lived in Phoenix for a good portion of my life, and have friends and family in CA, so I would have been much more familiar with that! But, the job in TN was better for his career right now, so we moved here. Some days I find myself thinking it’s not too bad, other days feel a bit hard. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog and seeing how you’ve adjusted!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hahahaha!!! Amy, Amy, Amy… (shakes head laughing with huge sigh!) 😉

    Going from Houston, TX to Cookeville, TN is by ALL cultural definitions a step back — certainly in “time”! You might be around fewer rednecks, but they’ve simply become related hillbillies! LOL

    All joking aside, I applaud your sophisticated ass-kicking mindset, and RAISE YOU with more Bohemian Steampunking stoic sophistication firmly grounded in our hedonistic debauchery!!! I recommend several doses of Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and certainly some Noam Chomsky! ❤

    Don't make us strangers you neo-Hillbilly! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha! I am laughing at your hedonistic debauchery! 😀 I will see your Whitman and Emerson! And, Noam Chomsky is a definite in our household no matter where we live!

      Maybe I’ll look at this move as a spiritual pilgrimage….to the meth capitol of the United States…which is something else about Cookeville I just learned. AHHH!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. well hey howdy fellow Houstonian. Glad to have you and it’s funny how the old stereotypes have never really gone away (hee hee). There are some for every place on the map, I guess. Glad things seem to be working out for you. Hugs, and have a great one!

    Liked by 1 person

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