Denial. I can joke about it, pontificate about it, recognize it in someone else. But when I look in the mirror in the morning and denial is staring back at me straight on, somehow I can’t see it.
I finally saw it last week. And now here I am, writing about it, putting it clearly into words, out for the world to see, making it real – JP and I can’t stay in Austin after he graduates.
I love Austin. It is home to me. I love that, since we’ve moved here, my biggest problem has been insects. Literally, insects – there are a ton of them here. But really, that’s it. My house is too cute for words. The weather is perfectly hot-warm-hot for me. I haven’t found a food vendor I haven’t liked. My pole studio is right down the street and has gotten me exercising regularly (like, 5-6 times per week for at 1-3 hours!) for the first time in years. And I have a great group of friends who (surprise, surprise) “get me.”
It was one of those new friends who kindly, and firmly, pulled back the curtain on my denial. We ended up sitting across from each other at a little pre-Junior League Meeting happy hour early last week. She grew up here in Austin, but spent 17 years working in international development in Washington, DC…the same field JP is in. But she was in program management which, in that field, is waaaaaay more versatile than architecture and urban design. So she found a job when she moved back here….but her husband didn’t, and had to take a development job working in the Middle East.
I knew what she was going to say before she said it. Before she softly and kindly told me there were no international development jobs in Austin. “Zero,” she said. I knew it. JP knew it. But I was hoping that something would just fall out of the sky. Well, something did – because the next thing my friend said to me was, “my husband and I are probably going to have to move back to DC too.” Oh sigh.
When I got home, JP and I talked about it all. We talked about Austin. His job prospects. My current job. Various opportunities, strategies, and cities. And somehow, in that conversation, I found peace with the prospect of leaving Austin. Austin has shown to me, to us, everything we want in a city…everything except a job. So really, Austin doesn’t have it all like we thought.
But someday it might! Being in Austin for the time we’ve been able to live here has shown us a city and home to strive for. Maybe Austin will actually have all we need at some point in the future. But for now it doesn’t and our time here will be limited. And do you know what limited time means???
Austin Bucket List!
(To be continued…)