As I look at the calendar, it appears that I have been in Houston for two years now. I’ve actually been in my house for a year. The first six months I was out of work but since I’ve been here I’ve taken no vacation. I haven’t even left the city proper. I came here with a plan and a timetable. The plan is still in place though with some adjustments. The timetable is way off but there is still plenty of time to complete all my goals early, even with the new ones added.
Why is it taking so long? One reason is because it’s finally quiet in my head. The chatter of fake friends and family and those who quit actually being real friends is gone. The down side is that I have had to do this alone, without even the illusion of help or encouragement. Starting a new life in a new city from scratch is hard. Building trusting relationships is nigh impossible but I am committed to some success and I will have it.
The comfort and familiarity is gone too. The fog of home has dissipated. Houston is nothing like LA county. The streets don’t go in a straight line. The neighborhoods are all situated like suburbs with no zoning plan whatsoever. The weather sucks. Tornado season is real. The Southern charm is just a veneer. People keep feeling the need to tell me they are Christians while actually presenting themselves as anything but. I asked someone the other day why I should consider staying here and was told simply that it is the cost of living. Everyone here can own a home. He had a point.
Phase One of my plan is complete so I’m heading home. It’s not that I miss it so much as it is I want to look at it with different eyes. I want to reconnect with some people and places and disconnect from others. Houston is definitely not my new home but my old home is just my old home. When I left to join the military all those years ago I always felt that LA County was my home. I don’t feel that way anymore. It is interesting to me not having that anchor.