finding yourself, somewhere else.

light2As someone who didn't grow up with a whole lot of routine in my life, I tend to thrive on it as an adult. One might say there's just something about knowing what to expect from the day ahead that keeps me from projecting into the rest of 2013 (okay, who am I kidding? 3013.) So, when I moved to Houston from Boston nearly one year ago and my whole universe was turned upside down, I was a little more than disoriented. Boston, home to all of my rituals and routines, was the place I went to get away from everything I’d known and become me. Boston was a part of who I was, and without it, I felt like a tattoo artist with no tattoos to be found on her body: a part of my identity was simply missing.

When faced with any major life transition (moving, changing jobs, experimenting with a pixie cut…), I tend to take a few unintentional steps backward.  In this case, I was flailing all over the place: it was almost as if the airplane didn’t take me back to Houston, but rather back in time. 

I began to try endlessly to dig my way out, to get “back” to where I was before all the crazy happened. I clawed and pushed and shoved and pulled to be Laura and live in Houston at the same time. At times, it felt like I was getting nowhere.

Then, it seemed apparent this past weekend as I headed out of my Sunday morning yoga class and on to my Sunday morning grocery trip that I've fallen into something of a Houston Sunday ritual: yoga, groceries, an Oprah Winfrey Network marathon, and a coffee date with a friend of mine who I meet religiously every Sunday at 5pm. It appeared that I, Laura Max Nelson, had a Sunday Morning routine again.

It also appeared that I was really happy.

But I realized, even after all of that effort, that clawing and fighting and trying, life still isn't like it was before. Happiness, Texas edition, isn’t happiness like it was before all the crazy happened:

It’s even better.