A Return to Texas
I’m moving back to Austin this month. I left in 2005, when I moved across the country to be with a man I’d been corresponding with for 7 years. Together, we moved to the Austin of the Pacific Northwest: Portland(ia). We got married! We had a baby! We bought a house! We were living the American dream! And then the recession hit. My long-term job ended as the company cut back and cut back, then got bought out and changed direction altogether. I looked for other jobs. I started a day care. The parents of my kids lost their jobs and my numbers dwindled. I closed the day care. After several months of looking, I finally found another job. But I had a crazy boss and after only a month I was fired suddenly. With no income, no savings, and an underwater mortgage, we found ourselves left with only one option: return to Texas.So Texas, here we come. For the last month, as we've been preparing for our move, I've felt torn. I've been working on a playlist of music to listen to while I pack and clean, and this morning I noticed that there were a lot of breakup songs in the playlist. It feels appropriate. Moving across the country, leaving a home that you know and love so well, is nothing if not a breakup. In my case, it's an especially complicated breakup, because I'm leaving my current boyfriend...for my ex. Have you ever broken up with a significant other, only to get back together with him later? Did you spend the intervening time telling your friends about all of his faults, listing all of the ways that you were incompatible, maybe even making some declarations about how you wouldn't get back together with him if he were the last man on earth? And maybe you got a tattoo on your wrist that symbolized your relationship, or you wrote a cookbook which was an homage to him and his influence on your taste? Okay, this metaphor is falling apart, but you see where I'm coming from: I have spent the past seven years alternately pining for and bitching about my ex, and now I am literally running back into his arms. And you know what? It feels really good. I am so excited to be returning to a place I love. If moving to Austin were a pro/con list, I've spent the past month mentally adding items to the pro list as I pack boxes: Barton Springs! Polvo's salsa! Cheap avocados! SXSW! Breakfast tacos! Holidays with my family! (Wait, that one might need to go on the con list, too.) Rock shows! Texas Rollergirls! Backyard parties! Milo spending weekends with his grandparents! Margaritas! Did I mention Polvo's salsa yet? I know that I will miss Portland so badly. My memories of my son's life are intertwined with memories of Portland. We have so many friends here. I feel as if I'm not only leaving Portland, but I'm leaving an era of our lives. On the other hand: Texas, you get me. I can't wait to see you again.