XiaoGui17's blog

A little over a year ago, I said good riddance to Austin. I wanted out so bad, I felt like chucking a nuke over my shoulder and watching the entire rotten city light up in a mushroom cloud from my rear view mirror.

Between it being a college town and the center of a tech bubble, there were three major things I hated about the place.

One, the cost of living was downright obscene. So many people moved in over such a short period of time that rent skyrocketed. A shoebox with shitty plumbing and a crumbling foundation is $1500.00 a month in Austin.

Two, the unemployment is ridiculous. The area is glutted with the overqualified and people who need to get away but can't afford to move. There are licensed professional engineers waiting tables. It takes five years' experience to get a job mopping the floor.

It was only when I met my husband, from Houston, that I even realized this was a boomtown effect. I just thought it was nigh near impossible to get a job. I didn't even realize there were other places where you could just walk into a job. That was unreal to me.

Three, fucking liberals. Holy shit, every day there was a new nanny-state law. Ban everything that isn't biodegradable! Ban innovative new technology even if it has caused no problems because capitalism is evil, so there must be something wrong with it! The prevalent culture was suffocating, a pissing contest of privilege-checking and self-flagellation.

I was sick of it. I couldn't take it anymore. That city was crushing me. It was fucking ridiculous, busting my ass just to scrape by and be lectured about how privileged I was for it, all the fucking time. I snapped. I said, fuck that shit.

I applied for jobs everywhere, hoping to get hired somewhere in Texas, anywhere but Austin. Sure enough, I did. I waltzed right into a job making three times more than I ever did in Austin, steady and consistent, with fucking insurance and hour-long lunches and shit. It seemed surreal. I never had anything like that before. At first, I was ecstatic.

I didn't mind at all that my new job was in the panhandle. Yeah, the entire area smells like cow shit. (Seriously, go outside and it smells like you rammed your head up a cow's ass.) Yeah, you can drive for 90 minutes straight without so much as a gas station. Yeah, the population is 65% tweakers and 95% jesus freaks (there's an overlap).

But I raved about the reasonable rent and the lack of traffic. As a coworker said, "Who cares if there's nothing going on here?" (And there isn't.) "I have internet access. I'm good."

I thought I was good, too. I was wrong. I'm going mad.

I miss having people. I miss knowing people. I miss being able to talk to and hang out with people I actually liked.

My husband warned me I would. I said fuck it, I'm a misanthropic introvert. I don't even like people. People can fuck off.

But then, there were my people. There were the friends who affectionately gave me a hard time, that pushed me to push myself. There were the people I struggled with, who I grew closer to for sharing that struggle. There were the drunken hook-ups, the inside jokes, the fond memories, the quirky art, the shared open defiance of how much we all hated that town and loved each other.

I don't have that anymore.

I have my husband, and he has me, and day after day we wear on each other's nerves because we are each all the other has, and no one can be everything to someone else. When someone is the one and only person one can confide in, every little difference becomes more pronounced, drives you more and more apart, because there is no one else to fill those gaps.

The people here...they try to be nice. They reach out. They really do. But it only makes me feel more alone, because they are nothing like me. We are from different worlds. We're not operating on the same plane of reality.

I've been indulging in nostalgia, more and more and more. I've been pulling away from life. My memories, my fantasies, my dreams of going back to the way things were are more colorful and vivid. Reality seems bleak and cloudy and grey.

Things can never be as they were. I am not the only person who ran screaming from Austin. Half the people I knew in Austin left as I did, but now they're all over different parts of the globe. I think there's a bigger geographical spread between my former Austin friends than there is on this site.

And the few that remained? Their existence serves as a stark reminder of why I left, in case I am tempted to return. And they are lonely, too, because everyone else got out, and now they are struggling in isolation.

And even when I was in Austin, those precious memories were few and far between. When your twelve friends have one car between them and everyone is broke, fuck if we found much time or money to hang. Half of the fond memories are tainted with the sting of knowing that when you invited a friend to see that midnight showing of that indie flick at the Alamo with you, it turned out he was being evicted, and you felt guilty for trying to have a good time.

But this place is grinding me into a fine ash.

I traded one set of problems for another, and I can't even go back. There isn't even anything to go back to.

I got this from Jason Sorrell last night.

For the record, I totes won the sock drawer challenge.


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