Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Change Game

Sometimes I think about how far I've come in the five years since I moved to Dallas, and nostalgia has crept up on me over the past few weeks.

I can't deny the fact that my life drastically changed when I moved here. It was a lot like having an original Nintendo, and hitting the reset button: It was like you never even played the last game.

I moved to Dallas from Madisonville, Texas. I didn't grow up there, but circumstances from a previous relationship forced me to move into the mouse-infested home of my mother's childhood in a small, lackluster town, a place whose claim to fame is being the mushroom capital of Texas.

It wasn't all bad. It taught me exactly where I didn't want to be, which was reinforced during the 45-minute commutes to College Station, where I still had an internship.

Just a little over a month after graduating from Texas A&M, I had a job at Texas' Leading Newspaper. My family helped me pack a U-HAUL once more, and off to Dallas I went.

If I'm honest with myself, I'd say that before I started looking for a place to live in this city, Dallas had been little more than large letters on a highway sign pointing north from Houston. Before I decided to move here, I had visited Dallas all of once, and I didn't stay long. In fact, it was for a metal concert in Deep Ellum that I didn't really want to go to in the first place.

The first month was trying. I was alone in a foreign land. I tried to learn the landscape on my own, but it was difficult.

I'd read newspapers, try to find something to do, but it was a lonesome existence. It was made worse by the fact that Dallas was in the middle of a tumultuous political upheaval, with Laura Miller in office and "Strong Mayor" on everyone else's minds.

It was July 29, a full-on month since I'd moved there, and I told myself that if I didn't get out there and do something now, then I was just wasting my time. I'd might as well live in Madisonville.

I decided to go to a bar called Muddy Waters off of Greenville Avenue. There was an ad in the Observer pushing the place as a live blues joint with cheap beer. Good enough for me.

So, I packed up my black leather handbag, threw on a resale-shop T-shirt, and headed down to the bar.

I still remember that night like it was yesterday. In fact, I told the entire story to a group of my drinking buddies last Friday. The details are still fresh. And they should be.

Today is, after all, the fifth anniversary of the night I met the man that would become my husband.

Muddy Waters has burned down. I'll be married to Dave for four years in September. I was laid off from The Dallas Morning News on April 9, 2009. I am a homeowner with two dogs, two cats, and five chickens.

And although I feel like I've changed so much since that night on July 29 in a seedy blues bar, I feel so much more like myself.


lazyk said...

When's your anniversary? Brady and I will celebrate 4 years on Sept. 9. Are we anniversary buddies???

Miss Dallas said...

Ours is 4 years on Sept. 25. Close, though!

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

Hey, change can be good. I'm so glad it was for you.

Lemon Gloria said...

You are so brave! I love this story.