So I am down to about 48 hours in Austin! Seems a little unreal. It was this time last year that I was sitting at a desk every day, just dreaming of what might be. And now it is almost over. It has been a truly extraordinary experience, one that changed my life. I am now right on the cusp of something new. I am not sure what that is, but I have faith it will all be as it is supposed to be.
As I think back over these last 9 months I have learned so much. New cooking techniques. Foods I have never eaten. Working relationships I have never had to deal with. So many lessons and much more than cooking. Here are a few of my take-aways!
I have spent the last 9 months living in a little apartment, with bad furniture, little space, noise from an upstairs neighbor, few kitchen tools, no art work….That said, this little apartment has served me well. What I found out is, it takes little to make a home. My sweet kitties. My favorite pillow. Unlimited hot water. A good cup of tea in a pretty mug. BIrds at the feeder outside. Tom and Beau. Freshly ironed sheets. (Yes, time consuming but so worth it!) My own little corner of Austin has most all that I really need. After living small, and thinking through every purchase since I have been living on savings, I realize it is best to love everything you have. If it isn't special or doesn't serve a good purpose, don't buy or don't keep it. That said, I love the things I have collected over the years and show the trajectory of my life. The weird chair, paintings, dishes, my perfect mattress. I miss them. Those things also make a home. As I look forward, I will welcome back my stuff. And hopefully in a home that has a garden to putter around in, a place to sit outside and look at the moon. A little more than my Austin apartment, but certainly no McMansion required!
Living in Austin where there are abundant areas to get outside has reinforced how great it is to get outside and walk. Not on a treadmill going to no where, but down streets, up paths, wherever. The fresh air, the exercise, the birds chirping….It all adds up to something good. Having a place to walk straight from your front door is ideal, but if not that, somewhere a short drive away. I have explored many of the good spots in Austin, and loved them all. In my next adventure, good walking will definitely be on the "must have" list!
Friends add to the true meaning of life. Over the years I had lost touch with so many people who were important to me. Who made me happy. Why does that happen? It seems the busyness of life just gets in the way. These last 9 months I have reconnected with old friends. Some through Facebook, some on the phone. I have missed them. I realize now how many good friends I have. Houston friends. Austin friends. High school friends. New friends and old friends. As I move on to NC, I have made a pact with myself to keep these friendships alive. No more letting them slip away. Life is just no good without friends and family. Totally worth the effort!
Fresh, real food is the only way to eat. I have tried so many new foods and I thought I was an adventurous eater. Some things I just don't enjoy (oyster mushrooms!) but others are growing on me (sea vegetables), or have become new favorites. Baby bok choy. Miso. Rice. (Yes, I never ate rice! I was missing out!) Daikon. Collards. So many good things to eat and new ways to cook. I am a true believer that food is medicine. I look forward to continuing to study Macrobiotics which struck a chord with me. Fresh, seasonal food, simply prepared. Eating what makes you feel good, and skipping what doesn't. Simple concepts but not always that easy to do. I look forward to learning more, cooking more, eating more. It's all good!
As I leave Austin, I want to thank you for reading about my adventures. I am going to keep on writing this blog and will share what comes next. The next two weeks I will have spotty internet and limited computer access. I will try to write, but until I get settled at my Mom's, you can find me on facebook. See you again soon!