Three months. It’s been three months that I’ve been in Austin. Honestly it feels like three days.
I think back to a year ago, when the idea of living in a new place was just a little seed in the garden of my mind, and then I think of today, with my fully furnished apartment in a location I love, a running list of my favorite Austin places thus far and a longer list of the places I want to go, eating brunch outside because there’s a thing such as sun mid-winter here, after a church service I feel like I will soon call home with what already feels like people I will soon call family, and I think, I am proud of myself.
It still feels surreal that I am here. There’s one thing about talking about an idea, but actually acting upon it is an entirely different thing.
Building community from the ground up is scary, exciting, fun, and sometimes just down right weird. I think the last time I truly built a community from scratch was in kindergarten. Ever since then, there’s always been one or two people I’ve known to be with me as I cross into the next chapter of my life. I urge you to think of the last time you were truly in a 100% brand new setting, with no one or nothing to define who you were or are. It’s rare we are placed in those positions, but when you move to a city where you have no family and almost no friends to begin with, the whole idea of “starting from scratch” is the only available identity for wearing. There have been natural friends I’ve made through networking opportunities, I’ve been on a few friend dates (and let me tell you there were some strange ones), and then there have been the ‘friends of friends’ list that I am making my way down from my dear Seattle community. Out of it all, my experience thus far has been one of friendly faces and fun times that I am just starting to scratch the surface of.
I’ll be honest there have been a few lonely times as expected and ridiculous fears that I would be forgotten amongst my Seattle friend group, but the ways in which I have addressed those fears and lies, and reminding myself of the truth that my friends and family still know my name keeps me sane. A few things that I have been learning, listening, and living in the past few weeks from my time here…
The best kind of people are the people that welcome other people.
I’m usually the one doing the welcoming, the hosting, the “come join us” shtick, so being on the receiving end of that is unfamiliar but endearing. Southern hospitality really is a thing and I’m here for it. I have been welcomed in so many different ways and everyone has been so friendly I sometimes don’t know what to do except be friendly back and well, that’s how you make friends folks!
Never say no.
Unless it’s illegal, then it’s a ‘maybe’. Otherwise, to make the most of my time, my days, my minutes, I promised to myself to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity and event that comes up, because you never know who you’ll meet, what experiences you’ll have, and what you’ll learn if you don’t do anything. Inaction is the worst kind of action, including staying at home for more than 24 hours binge-watching Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ on rotation.
Trust the uncertainty.
Job wise, I’m still on the hunt and at times I get a little anxious (or a lot of anxious), but I remember that I chose this transition with a fire in my heart and seeing the fruitfulness of it thus far makes me hopeful. I’ve always been one to go-go-go though I took this move as a transition period, to fully rest and gain energy for a new direction, and I am now realizing God is giving me the opportunity to do just that during this break time. I trust in His providence and promise of knowing what lies ahead and remind myself that in patience and prayer this chapter is getting prepared perfectly for me.
Embrace the journey.
Right now, I get to keep saying I “just moved here”, but soon three months will turn into six will turn into a year, and some other new transplants will get the title of new visitor arriving. If I am so fixed on where I was or where I want to be, it’s all too easy to miss out on what’s happening right now. Who knows how long I’ll be here (though tbh at least two years because I am not about to get up and drive cross country all over again), but it’s in the growing and the pulling and the pushing that I spend the most time, transforming little by little, day by day into who I am becoming.
Setting no expectations, I saw a quote the other day that kind of sums what I do expect to happen here.
Long story short, I am a big fan of Austin and I can’t wait to update ya’ll on the great things happening in this city and my life. I can’t tell you what will happen just yet, but I can tell you what will happen. There will be challenges and desperation, joyfulness and whimsy, failures and victories, and a whole lot of tacos and outdoor patios to fill the time between.
Until ya’ll come visit me,