Thirty Days of Thanks – Houston

I grew up in Houston, and as a little girl I couldn’t imagine ever living anywhere else. There was just so much here – why would I ever need or want to leave? And then of course I turned 18 and took off the moment it was legally acceptable; headed a few hours North for Austin and started college at the University of Texas. And like most people in Austin, I went for school and just didn’t leave. Fell in love, started a career; one thing led to another, and poof – thirteen years later and I was still there.

A year ago I was all set to move to California when fate intervened and changed my course, directing me back home. I came with my dog, knowing only a handful of people, and a job that I wasn’t really excited about but was grateful to have in this economy. And I came with the sense that there was going to be something really awesome for me here – I just didn’t quite know what it was yet.

Oh. Em. Gee. Y’all.

I’m thankful for so much in this town. For starters there’s the little coffee shop that was following me on Twitter while I was still living in Austin, which I thought was a little odd – I mean, why would @coffeegroundz be interested in little ole me hanging out in Austin? But, since I was visiting Houston a lot I followed back and made plans to drop in at some point. Which I did, shortly after I moved back, during the last big major TweetUp and met, oh, EVERYONE. And I do mean that – practically every person I am friends with today I can trace back a first meeting with to that day. We aren’t kidding when we talk about how influential Coffee Groundz is in the community. For me it was Groudz Zero.

And that just leads to the people. The amazing fantastic wonderful people. How lucky am I, huh? I get not one but TWO groups of rockstar folks in my life. I am blown away every day by how many talented artists, photographers, chefs, writers, designers, businessmen and women, and musicians we have in Houston – and that I call friends! And then there’s the knitters, the bakers, the cheesemakers, the crafty types that will knock your socks off with their skills (and then make you new ones!) – I am forever in awe of my friends, and honored by them. I’m thankful for each and every one of them, and so glad I have them in my life.

Finally, I’m so thankful for my awesome coworkers and the amazing work we’re doing at Schipul. Thanks to a corporate culture that allows us to have fun while working hard, pushing ourselves and each other. Thanks to great clients that trust us to make it happen for them. I’ve got to give a special shout-out to Fayza and Katie M for their parts in leading me on the path that got me here – this is really a very special place to be and I’m happy to a part of it, and thankful I’m able to contribute.

This past Monday I was lucky enough to join a dear friend on the front row 40-yard line for the Texans/Titans game. At halftime he remarked “I’m so glad to live in a major metropolitan area.” It’s the biggest thing I missed about Houston. The culture, the options, the variety. I’m thankful for the Medical Center that takes care of my mom. I’m thankful for the various stadiums that house all my favorite sport teams, no matter how often they break my heart. I’m thankful for 7-lane highways and drivers that view speed limits as minimums, not maximums. I’m thankful for the various cultures scattered about the city that give it a unique personality. Most of all, I’m thankful that you can go home again.