Brendan and I moved to Midland three years ago today.
I remember the actual moving day extremely well: We moved here on a Friday. My dad drove our U-haul, I drove my car, and Brendan drove his car. I was mad we took a wrong turn and added another hour and a half to our drive. We met a team of our new co-worker's church friends that evening, and they helped us unload everything into our third floor walk up apartment. I remember the co-worker asking us if we collected little tables (we don't, we just happened to have about twenty between the two of us). I remember ordering awful pizza for everyone afterwards. I remember going to HEB (grocery store) that night for beer and finding it overwhelmingly large. I thought to myself, we will avoid this place at all costs! I remember freaking out that we were actually going to live here, and I remember Brendan telling me to chill out. Honestly, that day wasn't the best day, but the days since have surprised me in so many ways...
First of all, I'm surprised we're still in the same apartment! When we moved here, I think we both saw the apartment as temporary, however, we knew nothing about the Midland housing market and how it was about to change. We also didn't realize we'd end up loving the apartment. Though there are a few things that discourage me about living here, and though I keep saying I'm "so ready for the house to be built," I can promise that I will bawl when it's actually time to move. We just signed a lease to stay here through February 2015, meaning by the time we move, we'll have lived in this apartment for three and a half years. We've experienced so many wonderful things here, it would be nostalgia overload to even go into. This is the first place we lived together, and it has been a comfortable place to live.
Second surprise? Remember the awful pizza from moving day? That place is actually decent. It turns out, we just ordered the wrong thing. Is it on par with pizza from New York or Austin? No. But once I gave it another chance (after a couple of years here), it wasn't so bad. Sometimes I pick up pizza there for dinner. Never say never!
Speaking of, that HEB is now my go to place for groceries. I even go there on a weekend afternoon. Heck, I've been in there on Superbowl Sunday. I'm no longer overwhelmed. I have that place memorized!
And while I may have doubted we could "actually live here" on moving day, we do. And you know what? I've found a lot to like. I love my job, my friends, my yoga class, the drive-in, the farmer's market, and exploring nearby areas. I've found a nail salon, my favorite lunch and dinner spots, a place to get wine, and a cleaning service that makes my life much happier. We've joined Midland Community Theater and Museum of the Southwest, and those places have added entertainment and social events to our calendar. Like all places, there is actually more to do and be involved with than we really have time for. I'm always hearing about cool things (wine club, outdoor club, etc.) that I'd love to join if only there were more hours in my week. While we don't envision ourselves staying here forever, one thing that Midland (and Lake Charles) has taught me is that I can be happy wherever I am, as long as I have good friends. I've also learned that there is more to a place than meets the eye and to reserve my judgement in the future. Plus, just because something is different than what you are used to, it isn't necessarily a negative thing. Different experiences can be good!
Here's to the places that you end up by chance and to making a home where you land. Thanks for a good three years Midland!