Nearly four years ago I wrote a post titled the same.
I look back at that and think “Gosh, 2006.” The world was so different then. Lauren and I were in the earliest, most tentative parts of our relationship. We were going to test the strength of our relationship in the crucible of relocation, confusion, and new things.
And I was weary of the Bay Area. I was so tired of the traffic, of the dumpy airport, of vast fields of nothing to do. I was tired of the weight I was gaining, I was tired of the rain, tired of the struggle to make ends meet, just plain old tired. I needed to get away a while.
And I did. I ran back to the place that’s my healing place: Austin. Austin worked its magic, its lazy river heart washed out the toxic bits of mean and hard that had become embedded in me. Yoga, distance, Ruby, quiet, and the steady growing bond between Lauren and I changed me.
And then came schooling again, I reconnected with the learning, growing heart of me. I know this is not a part that I can ever leave to languish ever again. I re-learned mathematics and computer science. I learned new programming lanugages and then came Latin.
And I met wonderful people, from Ryan and Jamie, Matt and Nicole, Alfredo and Nicole, Marcus, Juan and Letty, my sister and brother-in-law and their sweet dog, the programmers of Sodade coffee house, my office mates…all of you animate the days of events and in giving yourself to my life gave my life color and flourish. I saw my sister wed, the gentlest-minded man I knew as a student wed and bring forth a sweet little girl, my best friend married and now has a young son. The sister of a friend I lost and I found each other again, and her life seems to be blossoming beautifully, a marriage looming next year. It’s been wonderful to be close to you all to see these events and positive unfoldings.
And I finished years-long work at my job. Things that were impossible, and unthinkable, slowly stones were broken by the slow dropping of water.
And adversities came: lung infections and appendicitis, but Lauren and I nursed each other, and those great friends mentioned above were there too.
Ultimately my animus returned back to the way it was in 2000 when I left Austin.
And in my world came new friends. We danced the nights away to the pulse of swing, we even dared Karaoke, I ran a 5K. I grew back into the healthy person I had let myself slip from. OK, well, I admit I still love the Chik-Fil-A too much and the Tex-Mex as well.
But this healing place, as big as it is, as tender and loving as it is – it and I need to separate for a while. I need to leave the summer heat and I want to go back to the bigness of a city, the biggest city I’ve ever loved: San Francisco.
When I was in 6th grade my Dad took my family there. The diners, the air, the bay, the tall buildings. I’ve loved the city on the Golden Gate since I before I was a teenager. It feels like going back is just giving into a fate that I’ve been fighting for a decade or two.
As I look back and consider going back to the place I’d lived before, I have to ask “Who was I then when I lived there?” My old romomate is now a father with a beautiful family. My haunts are not for he nocturnal eyeing and trading of phone numbers any more. I feel a break from my amor fati, my sickness unto death, my existentialist metaphor. So many of the things I sought there once I seek no more.
It’s a new day, a new time in this unknown but familiar city. I see something new this time, I see a place of boundless opportunity. It’s to that San Francisco I go. It’s there I go with the most loving girl I’ve ever known, it’s there I go to make, what I hope will be, our home.
And it’s scary there, the stakes high, the competition fierce. But I know that I can’t stay in my beloved Austin forever, I need the bigger confluence of this far-away place.
To the city I must say farewell, to the friends we have here, you are the best part of the friendly heart of my native state. You come with us in photos and memories and cards. I suspect my next post will be written with the Pacific to my left. Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year as well.
Let me close with the opening of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a work I studied this year whose beauty and wisdom is only matched by its silliness and brutality.
My mind moves me to speak of changed forms in new bodies