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Every new place I’ve gone to in my (adult) life, I had this urge to BE a local, eat like a local, go where the locals go, do what the locals do. However, on my recent trips, I had a stark realization that I am a tourist. (I know what you’re thinking. NO DUH. Hear me out.) No matter how much research I do (from other tourists, btw), no matter what alley I go down (not recommended unless you’re in a group), I will be a stranger coming to a new place. I will be a tourist in the place I go because that place is not my home. As much as I want to be where local people are, I will inevitably be where tourists are too.

But that’s okay.

I want to see the Eiffel Tower,
I want to eat at Noma,
I want to go to Ha Long Bay,
and so many more things that you will consider “touristy”.

There is a reason why people flock to places and make it that way. It’s because it’s beautiful, highly-regarded and worth seeing (except Time Square, but also I’ve seen it and maybe it’s why I say that. Sorry to call you out, NYC).

Recently, I went to Yosemite National Park for the first time. It is one of the most touristy national parks I’ve been to, but damn, it is beautiful. I ate the expensive cafeteria food, I bought postcards, I did the hikes, I was among tourists (and locals! or frequenters?) and it was great. I would definitely recommend it, I’m definitely coming back to visit and hike it again. I will be a tourist the next time I come with just a little bit more knowledge than before, but a tourist regardless.

We are all touring an unfamiliar land at one point or another, why not throw up that “double peace sign” pose every once in awhile and live life a little (touristy)?

thu texas

It me.

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Wow, okay so it’s been a hot minute seven months since I’ve written my last post. And I can give you many-a-excuses as to why I haven’t been writing, but I will only give you one: I thought I lost all creative sense for writing. I still briefly feel that way, but with my one small stroke of inspiration, I’ll attempt. There may or may not be some (Houston) liquid courage involved…**

I’m writing about how I feel about Houston, Texas. The 713, 281, HOU, HTX, Clutch City, etc. The city has many (debatable) names. I’m writing about how I miss it.

YERP. I miss it for a multitude of reasons even though I’m in the city I’ve wanted to be in for nearly two years. The reasons that kept me from moving are the reasons I miss it (of course):

  • The people
  • Supper club
  • The [diverse] food
  • The Vietnamese grocery stores
  • The Heights and its esplanades
  • Some dude I have my blinders on for, whatever

This seems like a short list, but you’d be surprised of its impact. I mean, the whole lack of Vietnamese grocery stores (yes, I know about MT) could be a whole blog post itself. Yes, I’ve only been here a month and I know it takes time (ugh). I’m keeping an open mind, I promise. However, if you ask me, ask anyone, don’t you find Austin different than what you remember when you visited last? You can’t deny its growth. I mean, look at the new medical school on Red River…or the multiple complexes that have popped up on the east side (where it was once scary AF).

All in all, I’m saying something my thoughts will probably change again…because it happens. Change happens. (Gosh, Thu, what a revelation you had…) Houston will change, Austin will change. Heck, Dallas is probably changing (but who cares as long as the State Fair is still there?). This post is my appreciation and apology to Houston, its people and its food. How did you wedge yourself into my heart?

Recently, while driving in the rain I thought about Houston like this:
You’re like dry socks on a rainy day. (Caveat: I’m not very good at analogies, but go with it.) My friend, Eric, always told me to have a pair of extra dry socks, especially in Houston weather. There’s nothing like putting on dry socks after running from a flooding parking lot to your dry location. It’s kind of amazing. I guess what I’m saying, Houston, is that you’re amazing. When I have those “rainy days,” I’m glad I can look back and put on those dry socks and think of 8th Wonder Brewery, Coltivare, supper club and Viet Hoa (among many, many other things you have to offer).

Cheers to you Houston, but not to your traffic. I will see you again soon. Thanks for being those dry socks.

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Thank you for my reminder, JT.

**Drinking a 11th Below ‘Oso Bueno’ beer

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Missing. What a wonderful feeling. Or, horrible feeling.
It’s all about context.

It’s wonderful because you miss something/someone so much that it hurts, but at the same time wonderful. It’s a sign of true missing. It’s not filler. It’s not unauthentic. It’s real, and it’s visceral. It’s an aching feeling that can only be fulfilled when it/they come back. I say “it/they” because it can be your favorite tv show, your favorite YouTube channel, your favorite jeans or person.

It’s horrible…because it’s an aching feeling that can only be fulfilled when whatever you miss comes back. It’s even more horrible when you know that it/they can’t come back. When that show you love so much has ended, that YouTuber has decided to stop making videos, that company stops making jeans or person is no longer here.

What a juxtaposition. It’s confusing. How can you miss something or someone and feel so wonderful and so terrible, simultaneously?

I bring this up, because I feel this way currently. A simultaneous feeling of happiness and sadness, wrapped so closely that I can’t sort it out. What do people say? “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?” Winnie the Pooh said that…or his maker, A. A. Milne.

It’s true, isn’t it? How lucky are we to have something that makes saying goodbye? Even if it’s heart-wrenching…for a couple of days, weeks or even years. What I’ve realized and preached, is with some time, the feeling dissipates. Sounds insensitive, but that’s how we process and move forward. Breakups, loss of life, loss of tv show (not to trivialize the former two).

This was mostly a process, stream-of-consciousness-type post. To get through how I’m feeling and to…eventually move forward. I do feel lucky. You should feel lucky if you ever come across this feeling, too.

Remember: It’s about context. And it takes some time.

I’m glad to be home…in Houston.

Who else is shocked by that statement? Since the day I moved back to Houston (sometime last May, then February in The Loop), I’ve always had my eyes set on Austin.

People would never hear the end of my love for that city. Where did I get my favorite beer? Austin. Where did I get that Texas necklace? Austin. Where was I going next weekend? Austin. Where do I want to settle? Austin.

Always Austin, always. (?)

But for a couple of months now, I feel like I’ve been disillusioned by the feeling that Austin is my end goal. In actuality, I feel pretty far removed for the place I used to seek solace. The city changes every time I see it. And while my job and my career have led me back, I feel all sorts of feels.

Confusion. A little betrayed. Reconsideration. Like an adult looking at their childhood home. Nostalgia, but feeling replaced.

It’s strange for me to say all of this, to feel all of this. Austin changed my life (bold statement, I know). The city life, its people and school. I mean, even the damn coffee shaped me to be who I am today. There’s a reason why I have a triangle tattoo over the city, but now I ask myself, “Where is home now?”

…or am I in some weird transitional coping phase? Because I feel comfortable here in Houston. I know where I can dump my savings (aka the multiple local bakeries). If I need beer, Houston has plenty. Running has been a bit of a flop (Town Lake is #1), but I know Houston has some places…

Comfortability has never been something that I’m comfortable with admitting. Ironic, I know. But I think a little bit of all of us like that feeling. It’s familiar. It’s easy. Shit. It’s easy. Isn’t that supposed to be a BAD sign? Or am I so fixed on this idea that it’s a bad sign? You know what Sandy says, “Don’t fixate.”

Fucking forks in the road. Dad is wrong. Where is this straight path he speaks of? It’s nonexistent. Missed Exits, no feeder and no U-Turn’s. Only forward. But where forward?

I’m sorry if you’ve arrived at the end of my blog to find that there is no resolve. Welcome to my current world. I thought accepting my dream job was going to help me feel more stable and at peace with my future. Aside from the great opportunity, the end city was what got me. Instead, I find myself torn between a place I use to call my home, and a place I might see as home.

houston sky

I don’t get you, Houston.

[Sidebar: My boss is probably going to read this, and I have a feeling that he’s not surprised? I don’t know, we’ll talk about it at our next meeting…hi, Michael. *waves*]

 

Upon reading, speaking with others and experience- I think this is a necessary post. However with the saturation of information and media, it’s unlikely that this will make it to the eyes who need it the most-newbie Millennials who are about to graduate. Actually, this can apply to some people who have already graduated too.

Now, I’m going to go on with a disclaimer: I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, never have and arguably never will. But I’ve done a lot of shit (good and bad) and maybe my mistakes and victories can help you out.

A new dream of mine is to be one of those people who stand behind/next to their agency’s table and share the good word. A recruiter, but one who only goes to career fairs. Those daunting, awkward career fairs. Everyone’s muttering to themselves, timing when they should hand our their business cards…or when it’s okay to ask for the recruiter’s card. It’s more awkward than when you attended your 7th grade formal with your crush. Much anxiety. …am I hitting the right chord?

its-gonna-be-okay

If I were a recruiter, this is what I would say to the youths of the world. Some of these things are industry-specific. Some of these are University-of-Texas-specific. Nonetheless, I think you’ll be able to relate.

15 Important Things I Would Tell You at Career Fair:

  1. Whatever Murph tells you is probably true.
  2. Don’t send a resume with paragraphs of copy. Don’t send one that is more than 1 page. PLEASE check your dates and verb tenses.
  3. If you’re on social- be active or delete it. Ask yourself, “What’s the point?” Someone *will* look at it. Private Profiles are a thing though.
  4. Regarding Work-Life Balance: Successful ladies wake up hella early to exercise- so this should answer several of your questions (about me).
  5. You might work a shitty job (or 12)- but think of it as “market research…”
  6. Re: Shitty Jobs- get the hell out of there, ASAP.
  7. You will probably drink the same amount that you drank in college- but spread out. There’s a reason why Happy-Hour’s exist.
  8. Don’t get on your phone unless it’s for work, or unless it’s Tweet-worthy (this is mostly industry-specific).
  9. Always look at someone when he or she is speaking with you (don’t do #8 when this happens).
  10. Be kind, always professional but unapologetic about who you are and what you want. 
  11. NEVER be afraid to ask for more. More index cards, more work, more responsibility or more money. Make sure that the former two is followed by the last bit. Make damn sure.
  12. Re: #10- Never be embarrassed or weirded out by wanting to express your desire/geek-out for the job you want. People like that. …Anddd you should also like the job you’re applying for.
  13. SHIT AIN’T EASY. But that’s why you’re still in school. Relish in that.
  14. You will not get anywhere alone, but believe in yourself. These, I think, go hand in hand.
  15. This is super important- BE PUNCTUAL. Being late is like you’re screaming to your future employer, “PLEASE. DON’T HIRE ME. PLEASE.”

BONUS TIP: Always say, “thank you,” whether that is in email or card, after an interview, or any time really. Saying thank you goes a long way.

So fellow youths, if you see me at a table in the distant future- pretend like you’ve never read this, you’ll get your resume to the top of the stack (I kid, but also, am I? FIGURE IT OUT).

When in doubt…be like April, and believe that you are a beautiful, brilliant musk ox.

XO,

$thu$

I have a little fiddle-leaf fig plant that resides in my room. His name is Fig.

ANYHOW. This is the kind of fig tree that we have, and this is Fig:

vsco cam fiddle leaf fig tree

As of late, it’s been about feeding Fig (yeah yeah yeah, I’m a 62 year old woman, I know). It’s about making sure he gets enough sunlight and looking at the weather to see if he can go outside (they like temperate weather, but they also have moving trauma). If you’re a plant owner, you know it’s not easy. And if you’re like me, you’ve named and personalized your plant. This post isn’t about how to be a plant owner or taking care of a Fig- it’s about being a friend. A true friend.

Some of mine have left and gone overseas, some are not, but are still sufficiently distant. I consider myself lucky to have a few close to me. And I know who they are. I speak to them. And when I don’t, I still know what’s going on in their life. I know they’re invested in me and I am invested in them. There’s a mutual, intangible feeling that you’re on the same page. But recently, I’ve taken a look at who I surround myself with, and it doesn’t look too pretty. A part of me feels as though I’ve found community, and a part of me feels like I’m still grasping at straws. My friendship garden looks a little weedy, a little toxic and in need of care. Like Fig needs care. I believe that we should weed our weeds, people who are not beneficial toward our lives. People who do not add to our lives, just as someone would tell you to quit something that doesn’t add to your life (i.e. smoking, a fallen career, a significant other, eating too many chips, etc.). Just like a fig, or any plant, we have to weed in order to grow.

You’re allowed to do that. I think that’s something that people overlook, or something they let hang over them while the foster fake relationships. But friendships flow in and out. There are people who are no longer in my life, but I will always remember that 1 story or 1 lesson or 1 memory they’ve taught me.

I’ve never taken friendships lightly. I want to be able to really know my friends, support them and face hardship and dumb with them. That takes a lot of time, and we don’t have time for everyone. That’s why I take People Notes (but this is a topic for another time). The fact that we don’t have time for everyone saddens the crowd-pleaser, ideal person in me. But again, life is far too short to try and invest in everyone. Especially to enjoy and relish a relationship like a friendship. It’s sacred. Like gold-paint-feather-headdress-dance-around-a-bonfire-at-the-beach sacred.

If you have a good one: someone you feel comfortable with telling your poop stories to, someone you can rely on, someone who is on the same wavelength as you (despite differences), someone you have a good feeling about- and that’s not everyone- hang on to them. Feed them with your light and comfort and craughs (that’s crying + laughing, together).

Here at Thu, Texas, we like to please. I promise you won’t regret reading this, if you do, oops.

I had some thoughts, as per usual. But today it’s about SCHOOL:

  1. It’s my last days of undergrad. You heard it here first. FROM ME. I know many people are probably getting flooded by Facebook statuses, Tweets, & Instagrams of the bittersweet “omg it’s my last First Day!” posts. Sorry, it means something. Or something.
  2. Experience-based learning should be implemented across the board. My Spanish 4 class has a cultural-research/service-project component. Granted, it’s going to take time and commitment. I might end up hating it…but I might end up loving it. I’m going to think the latter, positive thoughts. “Volunteer more,” is on my list too! It’s like they knew.
  3. All advertising professors are, for lack of better words, smart asses. Take a look below. These are from my syllabi. “For reals” and seriously, what a wonderful concept Spring Break is (I will miss it). You don’t see that on a cellular biology syllabus…or maybe I’m wrong, I’ve never taken cellular biology.

    adv

    “For reals.”

  4. 9 AM is too early for almost-bike accidents…and Spanish. My first day, I almost died twice when I was in two different situations where a transportation device pulled out on me. Obviously, if I went up against the van, they win every time. And it seemed like the cyclist didn’t understand the concept of looking both ways. I yelled at her. Sorry not sorry, be more educated so I don’t get another concussion. Spanish, look at #1. Also, I will undoubtedly need coffee for class.
  5. Sidebar: I am over running, help me please. I’m going to talk about running, because now that I have a new school schedule, I have to figure out how I’m going to incorporate training. The Austin Half is in roughly a month. SHIT. I know I wrote about motivation, but as I expressed, it’s hard to keep yourself motivated. I’m in a [figurative] valley right now, wanting to stay there because running uphill is stupid.

Stay tuned to read how a 22-year-old-almost-graduate journeys her way through her newest endeavor: job searching. Suggestions welcomed.