Thursday, September 15, 2005

Home, Perfectly O.K., Home

Last night Sarah and I both woke up in the middle of the night wondering what the hell we were doing here. Austin is not our home (a lovely city, don't get me wrong, but not our city). For the past two days we've been in a state of constant "decision thrash", making choices, reversing them, revising them, and reverting back to our original choices - over, and over, and over. When you have no information to base your decisions on, there are no good decisions. When you have no information, each new little scrap of information radically reshapes your decision-making landscape. Choices which made sense an hour earlier are suddenly untenable. It's been two days of this. It's been exhausting.

So at three o'clock in the morning we had a conversation and essentially decided, "Screw it. We're sticking with what we've got." And a lot of things came together very quickly today. We've found a half-day program for the girls at the YWCA, a place where they can play with other kids and have a bit of structure (and Louise can learn some Spanish). We found an apartment. It's nothing special, a completely generic two bedroom in one of those anonymous apartment complexes. But it's cheap, and the lease is monthly, and it's great. It's great to have a place, any place, to call "home". Even if it's really just "home for now".

In the afternoon we ate good Mexican food (and drank good margaritas) with friends. It was nice.

And I just found out that I might actually still have a job working remotely for my old company. The nice thing about the geek business is that it can be done pretty much anywhere. My employer is a small New Orleans software company, but they've managed to set up a virtual office with folks working from their various locations around the country.

As we were making plans to come to Austin I had a fear that I would fall in love with it, that I would fall out of love with New Orleans. Despite its reputation as the "Big Easy", New Orleans is actually a hard place to make a life, and it just got a lot harder. I was afraid that if I actually experienced life in a "functional" city where things are clean and the schools work I might not want to go back. The opposite has happened. I miss my home more than ever.

We want to return to New Orleans as soon as it's a viable place for us to live. But that may be a while, and we need to be somewhere in the meantime. Today we made a lot of progress. It's been good.


  1. Congratulations on finding an apartment and some rhythm to life. I hope every day gets just a bit more "normal" for you and your family.

  2. I know how you feel about being afraid that you might fall out of love with New Orleans. At 18, I thought of New Orleans as a tease. I wanted to break it off so I ran to college in Philadelphia without hesitation... until the night before when I cried to my mother and said, "I could go to Tulane. I could!"

    I've lived in a million places since then and while they all (on the whole) function better than New Orleans, NOTHING matches the feel of home better than New Orleans. New York City/ Brooklyn may have it "all." But they don't have the fish market in Bucktown, Bayou Saint John, sunsets over Lake Pontchartrain, Rue de la Course and PJ's, Hansen's SnoBalls and most of all - they don't have the people.

    Enjoy your time in Austin and hopefully NOLA will be up and running sooner than we think.

  3. Anonymous10:50 AM

    very encouraging that everything is coming together and it's particularly cool that your job is still viable and, even, virtual.

  4. Ms. NOLA has it exactly so. The whole time we lived there, the only way we could accurately think to describe it to friends and family was that New Orleans was the world's largest small town.