Note: Many of these posts will be hammered out on the road in short style fashion. Please forgive the potential brevity, lack of entertaining images and dubious punctuation.
You’re never quite sure when the second shoe drops.
The footwear fell when Jamie and I spent a afternoon pulling DVD cases and whatnot off the walls of old 490. Sitting with the growing stacks of boxes and packing material, the apartment, for the first time in almost four years, felt emptier. Like it was when I first moved in with little more than toys, goalie equipment and boxes of unopened kitchen stuff from IKEA.
My thoughts drifted back to those days of uncertainty. Alone for the first time in my life. The days turned to months and as the clock swung circular, New York became my home. With my new found freedom, I made new friends, found the love of my life and made my share of mistakes. With all of New York’s opportunities, it’s still an emotionally dangerous place. A place where nobody drives and cabs are the norm, it’s easy to get trapped sipping whiskey at 3 AM on a Tuesday. New York doesn’t love a drunk. It ignores them and lets them be.
But now we’re leaving, headed for the security and safety of the Austin outskirts. When visiting, I told myself to not compare it to New York. Nothing’s New York, for better and for worse. And Austin is super cool. Trendy, weird and diverse, Austin is about as close to a Texas Williamsburg as you can get. Again, for better and for worse.
But there’s something strange about retreating to the living style of my Jersey up-bringing. Compared to the constant energy and temptation of New York, Austin is safe. Almost serene. My fear turned to losing the forward thrust generated by eight million people pushing towards a personal goal. Waves of humanity crashing against the shores of the East River. Fail to move with them, and you risk getting swept away.
So is that what were doing? Escaping the tide because we can’t deal with the undertow? Even the word suburban indicates something inferior. Broken down, it reads “sub urban” as if to say, “Oh, you couldn’t hack it in the big city? Well come on down to the sub urban. It’s safe and easy down here.” The prospect of working from home and a quiet place to write is wonderful but my fear became one of inspiration. What good is a home office when you run out of things to write about.
I knew this would happen. The eventual, “Holy shit, we’re moving to Austin” freak out I alluded to in my first post. But time and thought has helped quell the anxiety. Moving to Austin isn’t going to stifle my storytelling. It’ll give it a place to breathe. Open expanse where my mind can swell and dream. A tighter community of artists with whom I can network and learn. A place where my girlfriend can smash the shackles of her current career and grow. Every time I imagine Jamie walking through the door around 6:00 with a smile on her face, the sacrifices instantly become worthwhile. Chill out, brain. We’ll make it work here.
When big changes come to town, the second shoe has to drop at some point. It’s inevitable. But when the footwear stops wobbling and rests next to its partner, things always settle down. So long as you learn from the madness, the panic is more than worthwhile.