See you later, Austin

The car is sold, the condo is sparkling clean, my bags are packed.  All that is left is to do is  ship a few more boxes to my new home across the pond.

Yesterday was a day of happy events and sad good-byes: lunch and happy hour with co-workers, and an amazing dinner with friends at Uchi (how is it that I have never been to this place before my last night in Austin??  Amazing!!).

Rather like my mood during my wedding week, the stress melted away the closer I got to the big day.  Today is the big day, my last day in Austin, my last day as a Texan (indeed, if I ever really was a Texan).  I am shamed to admit that I never saw the Congress Street bats.  I never bought a wristband to South by Southwest. I never went to a UT football game.  I never went to Hippie Hollow, I never bought a pair of cowboy boots.  I never made weekend visits to Dallas or Houston, or the Texas Coast. I didn’t take advantage of all of the amazing live music venues around town as often as I could.  There are so many more things I could have done and places that I could have explored here in my three-year adopted home town.

But for now, I will have to chalk up all of those things as a reason to come back and visit.  Goodbye, Austin.  I’ll miss your infamous “weirdness”, your hip, laid-back vibe, your self-confident knowledge that there is more to life then running around in circles and bone-grinding ambition.  There is pleasure, there is courtesy, there is friendliness.  Thank you for making me a more friendly person, a person who is more apt to talk to strangers and believe that those strangers are good people.  Thank you for making me a more patient person, a person who can go with the flow in a long grocery store line or traffic.

Thank you, thank you, for helping this culturally-conservative (small “c”) New Englander understand that there are many different ways to live and enjoy your life, and that the center of the universe does not revolve around the East Coast.  I think I get that now 🙂

by Caitlin McGauley


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