One month in a new state and I’m still a fish out of water.
San Francisco, a city I thrived in. Where my business was blossoming, where my girl gang resided, and where I knew the streets, the stores, and the restaurants. I knew the rhythm of the city like the back of my hand. I was only 2 hours from my family. So familiar to me… cozy and comfortable.
Whatever I needed to do, wherever I needed to go, whoever I needed to see, I had my systems of how to get it done.
Now I’m in a new city, Austin, and my shiz is ALL OUTTA WHACK. I’m back at square one. Before you think I’m complaining though, I’m not. I’m just honestly expressing myself to my girlfriends. You. Maybe even connecting to some of you on a situationally relatable level. And know that overall- I’m grateful to be here. It’s an adventure! But big moves aren’t easy. So let me keep it real with you.
I’m somewhere where the only person I know really really well is my boyfriend.
I’m somewhere where I’m glued to google maps because I never know where the hell I am.
I’m somewhere where I gotta rewrite my everyday norm- where I go. What I do for fun. Find new dentists, hairstylists, banks, grocery stores. Ughhhh…
All of it.
I’m still adapting to the different weather. Adapting to new roads and freeways.
The parking situation- omg. (Parking in SF might suck but I feel like it’s AT LEAST pretty clear. In Austin, it’s way more difficult to understand the signs. Am I crazy?! Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks this).
But along with the big things, it’s little things that I also need to figure out.
The people here -AMAZING- so kind. So welcoming. So fun. But it’s different. The culture, the way of life. What matters here, what doesn’t. What common conversations revolve around. It’s just a whole new landscape. (And yet, people are people, we are all connected. I’m just sayin’!) I can’t relate to Austin life yet because I have only had but a taste. Total newb.
It’s different. And with different comes periods of discomfort with the unfamiliar, but also room for growth.
I don’t have my “spots” yet (Okay, lies- I have 2 spots. Juiceland and Tyson’s Tacos.)
I don’t have people I can call up at the drop of a hat to get together with. (Zero lies– I miss having my regular girl tribe. This is tough. I’m going to feel a sense of loneliness until this is fulfilled.)
Right now what I have is people I have met, really liked, but who knows if a true friendship will take off.
I had a moment of I f*cking miss my friends back home so much this past weekend when Dan and I went to a party. Dan knew most of the people there and there was a moment where I was sitting on the couch with a few girls I didn’t know, trying to talk to them… be social, you know. Dan was in the other room with all these guys. The girls got up and started dancing to this one song that was “their song” and I just sat there like…. um, awkward? What do I do? I wasn’t just going to stand up and start dancing with these girls I didn’t even know to what they were saying was their song. That’s weird. I wasn’t going to go into the other room and nudge myself under Dan’s arm when he’s surrounded by 10 other guys. Guy time. PLUS I’M SHY. So I told Dan I was going to call a friend and jetted out of there for 20 minutes to call Kerrie.
BTW! Don’t think Dan abandoned me. He was suuuper great about trying to make me feel comfortable and even came out to check on me.
In that moment, hearing Kerrie’s voice, it felt soooo good to talk to someone familiar; someone who could read what was going on with me the second we said “hello.”
I’m going to have to eventually make my own friends here. That’ll be hard- as I’m not someone who goes out often nor do I want acquaintances, I want true friends. You know me Violets. I don’t do surface level anything. I want good friends who I connect with on a genuine level. Until then, it’s just test drives until both parties decide if something really has clicked.
*Le Sigh*… this will just take time.
Work wise, no one knows me here. I have to prove myself all over again. To other bloggers, to PR firms, to local brands. Events scare the shit out of me all over again because it means walking into a room of not knowing anyone. An introverts worst nightmare. No buffer?! LORD ALMIGHTY just kill me now! It’s rough!! I’m having true anxiety just thinking about Austin events. Knowing I am a new kid in town. Thankfully… there are lots of new kids in town. (Over 100 people move to Austin every single day!)
In San Francisco – I was guaranteed to know people. I had the luxury of familiarity. Knew what to expect and what was expected of me. By the time I left SF, events in the Bay had become a breeze. Not so the case anymore! You can hand me that slice of humble pie now, thanks! lol.
When it comes to readership, (which, work-wise, mean more to me than anything) I have to build ALL over again. Opportunities in Austin will be nilch if I don’t have a readership IN Austin. Establishing that trust will be its own thing. In SF, I could write whatever I wanted for the girls of the Bay Area because they knew that I knew the Bay Area. We have trust built between each other.
I feel weird writing about Austin being a newbie. Why would these girls want to hear what I have to say about their city… you know? Thank God I have universal pieces I write – but that’s hard to market when I’m trying to reach a specific audience: Austin women.
There are moments where I’m going about my day and I crave something that feels like home. I crave walking down the hustle and bustle of Market Street on a Wednesday night. The sunny cheeriness of Chestnut street on a Saturday morning. I crave my old coffee shops and couch nights with my girlfriends. PJs, wine and sheet masks.
DO NOT GET ME WRONG
Dan will do sheet masks with me sometimes. 😉 But it’s not the same and it’s not supposed to be. But yes, I feel I made the right decision to move here. I’ve prayed, I’ve written, I’ve self-reflected like a mo-fo. I’m supposed to be in Austin. This is right for me. And being with Dan does feel like home. He gives me a whole new spark to life. With him, I feel revived. I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety so much of my life- somehow each day he gets me laughing and feeling more “in control” in a healthy way. He’s great for me. But he cannot be my entire existence in Austin, you know? I like my independence.
I can’t sugarcoat – it’s tough being in a new city where everything is unfamiliar. I have so much to explore yet there are moments I feel trapped in the unknown. Moments I feel this worry in my chest that something is going to happen to my family and I won’t be able to get there in time. Moments where I feel I’ll be forgotten in the Bay. A city I love and will always think of as home base.
This is all normal and to be expected… right? And I know, it’s only been one month. I can’t be hard on myself. I’m going to need some time to really dive in and find my groove. And I will. It’s the “in the meantime” that gets me — but perhaps it’s building my character.
BUT I WILL SAY THIS. About being here.
Right when I feel like I might start crying (and regardless of what I’ve written, it’s not all the time.) But as I’m starting to feel a little down- there are plans in the making to see a live show that night. There is a new coffee shop to go to. A new taco to try (sometimes two). Just when I start to feel lonely, there is a nice girl reaching out to me for coffee or a workout or brunch. There is a beautiful walk to go on with green hills and sunny skies. There is Dan showing up behind me with his arms wrapped around my shoulders.
And for all my San Franciscans…. there is rent I can afford. 😛
The good outweighs the tough- so I know it’s all going to work out. Change is good for the soul. For reigniting the mind and tapping into new wavelengths.
So here’s my advice for anyone else thinking about making a big move or life event:
If you have big changes ahead. Expect it to be tough, but expect that it can be equally as wonderful too if you feel you are MEANT to be there. And remember one thing- even month to month life changes a lot. Keep that in mind when things aren’t happening quickly for you. When breaks haven’t been made or people haven’t been met. It will all happen in time – so long as you open yourself up to it! But you don’t control the universe, you can only set yourself up for good things. And that’s what I’m doing, in Austin. 🙂
Will update soon. Do tell me stories of your big moves!!