I call Houston “home”. And I use quotes because even when I don’t live there it still feels like home.
I’m originally from Atlanta – spent the first 25 years of my life there. Then I had a job opportunity in Houston and moved there because… why not? All of my family are from Georgia and with only one exception they don’t leave the state. I didn’t want that. I knew there was more out there than Northern and Middle Georgia. Had to be.
When I moved to Houston at 25 I didn’t realize exactly how my life was changing. In the day-to-day I was focused on making enough money to eat and pay rent. But what was actually happening in the background was something akin to what most people go through in college. I was learning to stand on my own 2 feet and making all the mistakes and friends that come along with that.
I met 4 of my dearest friends in Houston. Hello Mitch, Candice, Alex, and Cindy! I met my first real boyfriend in Houston. Hello Kevin. I did a lot of stupid things in Houston which won’t get covered here but I also learned how to live in my own skin in Houston. How to be alone in Houston. How to make the best of bad situations in Houston.
I continued my flying education in Houston – taking lessons out of Hobby Airport of all places! I pushed myself to be exposed and make mistakes and laugh at those mistakes by being an airborne traffic reporter in Houston – on TV! (pretty unforgiving)
I really came into my career in Houston. I guess I actually owe Westwood One a lot of thanks for that. I learned how to do IT things on a $0 budget. I learned how to monitor networks and servers using Linux and old desktops that were about to be tossed in the trash. I learned how to operate a datacenter and how to survive hurricanes in Houston.
I went through 2 hurricanes in Houston: Ike and Harvey. My first hurricane would have been Rita but after seeing what Katrina did to Louisiana I decided to high-tail it out of town for that one.
Houston is where I keep coming back to. The first time I left Houston was to work for Westwood One in Manhattan. That gig lasted 6 months before the company went through MAJOR layoffs and I moved back to Houston. The 2nd time I left Houston was to move to DC to be with my on-again off-again boyfriend, Kevin. In DC I started working for Urban One (TV One back then) and several years in and one final breakup with Kevin later I decided it was time to move back to Houston. Urban One was kind enough to arrange for me to work out of the Houston radio station.
A year or so later I decided to move back to Silver Spring to focus on my career. I felt detached from the “action” of our corporate HQ. This time in Silver Spring I met my soon-to-be husband, Troy. On a vacation to Houston Troy admitted he’d like to live there. We were soon making arrangements to move back to Houston and keep working out of the radio station again.
A year later there was a promotion opportunity at work but it would mean moving back to Silver Spring. I wanted this promotion so bad we moved. Now that I’ve been in that position for a year and my time with the company is coming to an end we are once again moving back to Houston.
We may leave Houston again one day. Who knows? I’m pretty sure I’m done with the Washington, DC area though.
If you’ve never been to Houston please put it on your vacation list. I know it’s not NYC or LA or Miami… but it’s a great city. Houston has plenty for tourists to do and is also a cheap and forgiving place to live. As long as you’re willing to work and know how to drive you’ll most likely do well in Houston.
Houston also has a little bit of everybody. If the US is the “melting pot” then Houston is the flames beneath it – heat and all. I very much appreciate the diversity of Houston. When Katrina hit New Orleans I saw my city open it’s shelters and it’s arms to those who needed refuge. Many never left because they realized Houston was a great place.
When Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017 we saw Houston’s celebrities step up to help EVERYONE. If you don’t know who “Mattress Mack” is Google him and what he did during the hurricane and after. While you’re at it Google what Houston Texans’ player JJ Watt did for the people of Houston after the hurricane.
Houston truly is a city where people step up to help people no matter what.
This isn’t to say Houston is without it’s problems. It gets hot as Hell down there in the Summer. Traffic is horrible – mostly because Texas in general is reluctant to invest in mass transit both within cities and between cities. And as I said before, Houston gets hurricanes.
Every city has it’s problems. If you’re not prepared for hurricanes perhaps the fires of California or the blizzards of the North are your thing? You take the good with the bad.
Where’s your “home” and why? Leave a reply in the comments!