MWF Seeks Tribe

We are suddenly settled.  It's not unexpected, since I did many things to make it happen.  But still, after months of waiting and packing and driving and packing and flying and unpacking and calling and all of the things you do when you have to establish residency, we are here.  Thump.  Everything is in position; I should be feeling really, really good.  The adrenaline is wearing off, and shades of grumpiness and ho-hum snuck in.

I'm out of sorts, but with little jurisdiction.  Houston is fine; it continues to offer an easy, high-quality life.  I've completed most of the annoying moving tasks, down to finding a new doctor and a new dentist.  Even my driver's license came in the mail today.  Except I don't feel good.  I feel a little bit the way you do when you fly somewhere instead of driving; you don't necessarily have jet lag, but you have brain lag...you are surprised to find yourself in warm, sunny ___________ when only a few hours before you were shivering in ____________ .

Things are good on paper, but questions buzz and creep: How is it possible that we suddenly live in Texas?  How long will we be here?  Should we buy our place instead of renting it?  Will I make lady friends here?  Where are they, and how will I find them?  Will we decide to have a baby even though we never thought we would? Will I try to start a company, or is sewing just a hobby?  Would I be happier working for someone else and learning on the job?  Will I ever solve the riddle of trying to be fashionable and still tread lightly on the planet?  Is it really better to try to make and buy local?

We have really nice neighbors and are also lucky to see old friends who pass through Houston from time to time.  In spite of that, I've been missing home this week.  I'm getting faster and more efficient at setting up life in a place, but there isn't really an efficient way to find your people, except for the pack-up-and-go-home method.  Except since I found a husband online, maybe I can find friends that way, too?  I recently saw a memoir in the bookstore about a woman who moved for her boyfriend and then set up all kinds of friend dates in order to find some girlfriends.  I didn't purchase the book because it irked me to think of her selling a book about something that I have to do all the time, but I keep thinking of one small paragraph I saw as I glanced it...the one where she describes drifting farther and farther away from her friends at home, incrementally more each year.  My heart broke a little when I read that.

One of the aforementioned old friends was here last weekend.  He works in oil like my husband, but he also has started to mess around with building and importing furniture.  A few years ago he started importing it from Indonesia, and now he has his own factory.  I gave him some grief about his sweatshop and he showed me some pictures.  It was light and airy, a sunny, warehouse-y looking place.  People were working but no one seemed upset about it.  It looked nice.  He told me that I should make some clothing samples and start my own factory.  Of course mostly my immediate response is 'no way', but on the other hand, is it true?

I'm chafing a little at being a student again.  My classes are pretty good, but I wouldn't say that I fit in, either.   I used to feel bewilderment at students who dropped out school because they could see a faster, more efficient way to their goals, but lately I think I understand...sometimes there is the right way to do something, and it must be learned, but at a certain point, maybe there is just trying something again and again until you know a way to do it that works for you.  On the other hand, I have started learning how to draw in one of my classes, which is something I need to know and haven't been successful at doing on my own yet.  I was scared to death before this class started; drawing is for other people, arty people.  Anyway, though, here I am, trying it.  It's unlikely that my illustrations will ever come to the professional attention of anyone, but I like learning how to make my brain think through my hand and my eyes.

Dissecting these out-of-sorts feelings has me thinking about the goals I made one month ago.  Here is it, February 1, and eight percent of 2012 has already passed.  I should be one-twelfth of the way there.  Am I?  More importantly, as I'm writing this, I'm realizing that only two of my goals for the year are related to those pesky, worrisome questions above.  Hmm.  Make more goals?  Ask fewer questions?  Houstonian-lady-crafty-types, are you out there?