Taking a clue from your fears

Something just feels right about Texas. As soon as I landed at Houston Hobby Airport, I felt lighter. Freer.

Maybe it’s the huge expanse of land that makes me feel like I can just let go, let myself and my body hang in whatever way feels best.

I don’t know, and I don’t know what it means. Ever since visiting Austin a couple of years ago, I have been considering leaving my Brooklyn and moving to that wonderful, lively city. This is the first time I’m back in Texas since then, and it feels good.

New roots

At the same time, New York has never felt more like home than now. As I let myself unfold, I developed a lot of new friends and found a community I feel I can both learn from and contribute to. After almost 7 years of floating around, I started setting roots.

That felt good too. It gave me a sense of give and take, of needing something and being needed in return.

I’m afraid.

You thought I had it all figured out? Not quite. I still get scared. I just choose to not let it paralyze me. Instead, I examine where the fear comes from and what it means for me. That always leads to a clue as to how I can learn from it and resolve it.

In this case, I’m afraid because I feel a pull from Texas, but I built a meaningful life for me in New York. What are the reasons why Texas is appealing to me? What are the reasons I would move out of New York City? What would it mean to uproot myself, and move somewhere else?

Texas appeals to me because the pace of life is so much more relaxed. People mosey around, they don’t power walk on the sidewalks. Life is a bit more laid back. Rent and food are less expensive.

In short, it seems to me that living in Texas is less stressful.

That would probably be the case with most places outside of New York City. But Austin in particular appeals to me because it’s young and eco-concious. While still being a city, nature is a part of it. There are lots of parks, lakes, and swimming holes nearby. And tons of like-minded people.

I think that’s what scares me. It’s because New York City can be a stressful place where people get so lost that there is such a wonderful group of people working to resist and overturn the tendency to settle for less, to get down on ourselves, to destroy instead of build. I’m afraid that wouldn’t exist somewhere else because the community I have found in New York is a direct result of how the city and the people in it operate.

I crave that community. I crave being part of the “resistance.” I crave that craziness that is inherent to New York City. There’s the bad crazy parts, such as the insane amounts we pay for rent, food and entertainment, the stress, the power walking , the herds of people coming out of the subway. I don’t think I’d miss those so much.

But I would definitely miss the character, the sense that anything could happen, the energy that flows through the city, and those moments of peacefulness that are all the more incredible because they happen in such a restless place.

My fear is that, if I moved somewhere more laid back, I’d lose my source of inspiration and become complacent. That I would become someone I don’t want to be, especially not after years of looking for my purpose in this life.

For now, the plan is to return to New York after my adventure and build my life at my own pace, without letting the bad crazy parts of it intrude too much. If I can manage to do that, and still be able to pay my rent and bills in Brooklyn, I’ll be happy.

Luckily, I don’t have to make any decisions right now.

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