Ten years ago today (April 1st, 2001) Erin and I packed all of our stuff into a U-haul, bid goodbye to our college town, and moved ourselves to Austin. I vividly remember driving that giant truck out of town and thinking this is it, this is everything we own. We could go anywhere right now. What a feeling! Over the next day with the help of several good friends and family we would move into our new apartment, unpack our things, and start the process of putting down roots in a new place. I can clearly remember lying in bed that night surrounded by boxes thinking was this the right thing to do? Can we make it work? What if it’s a huge mistake? There were moments of fear, and to be honest, a few tears of uncertainty, but we had made a definite decision and the only way out was forward.
Over the next seven months we got used to Austin, figured out how to make our job situation work, bought our first house and watched it be built, then moved in the night before Halloween 2001. We had the scary experience of qualifying for our first mortgage loan in the confusion just after 9/11 when nobody knew what was going to happen to the economy, and I had the job of reforming my Sing duties to take into account a 90 mile commute. Since then we’ve repainted the house, bought cars, watched the oak trees mature and the grass grow (and die, and grow, and be replanted, and die again), traveled thousands of miles on I-35 to our respective jobs, made new friends, said goodbye to them as they left on their own adventures, and put down our own roots in what we have come to think of as our hometown.
I’ll always remember what it was like to stretch out from our old place and deliberately break those cords. How there was nothing pulling us- no new job or obvious opportunity- and how there was nothing pushing us- no job loss or uncertainty. We had just decided that it was time to go. And so we went. Not far, certainly, but far enough to feel like we were two young married people making our decision for ourselves. It may seem small but it remains one of the scariest and proudest things I’ve ever done. And I’ve jumped out of airplanes.
Austin is home now, and I couldn’t imagine a better place to live (well, okay, if it had mountains and was actually cold for more than two weeks of the year, but life ain’t perfect. Also snow.). But we love this city and feel like we belong here. We’ve trod the road not taken in a lot of ways and we’re unrepentantly happy with the lives we have.
Here’s to another wonderful decade adventuring through life with my best friend. May the next ten find us as blessed and happy as the last.