I was born and raised in New Jersey and I have a lot of Jersey pride. Texas is the last place I thought I’d ever live. But a series of life events led me to begin my career as a social worker here. Hurricane (now tropical storm) Harvey has obviously caused devastation in Houston, and we’ve obviously seen better days. I thought I’d share why I love Houston so much.
Why I love Houston – The people
Texans have a lot of pride, so y’all may or may not know that Texas doesn’t have the best reputation in my neck of the woods (says the girl from New Jersey). I moved here knowing basically no one and I wasn’t sure how long I’d stay or how I’d be received. But contrary to what I’d been afraid of, I was welcomed with open arms despite my standoffishness and skepticism. Amazingly, people still wanted to be my friend. And I quickly learned that Houstonians are beautiful people.
Thanks to those Houstonians who became my friends and encouraged me to take on new challenges, I became a real adult here (although I rarely feel that way). And sure, I probably would have been fine anywhere, but I don’t know that I’d be as happy or confident as I grew to be after moving here. And I definitely wouldn’t have met this guy.
Why I love Houston – The landscape
It took a little longer for me to get my bearings in the city. I’ll be honest. Initially, I didn’t think this was the prettiest place. It actually took years for me to appreciate the landscape, and I can’t lie, the renovations to Buffalo Bayou Park and the revitalization of Downtown had a lot to do with it. But when the weather is tolerable, I take nightly walks on Buffalo Bayou and I have that that beautiful place is under water right now.
Taken on Saturday at Buffalo Bayou, just hours before Houston was truly rocked by Harvey.
There are so many things to do in this city. I never have to look too hard to find something to do on any given weekend. And no matter what people say, this city has so many great attributes: diversity, truly great food, culture, sports, nightlife, brilliant minds, and a neighborly spirit. It’s amazing how as city so large can sometimes feel so close knit.
Go home, Harvey. You’re drunk.
So these last few days have been tough to stomach. I’m so lucky to have not been impacted thus far. My home is fine, my car is fine, my power is on, my fridge is stocked, and I’m safe and sound. I so wish this were the case for the rest of the Houstonians who welcomed me into this city. There aren’t really words that haven’t already been said, and I hate that flippant “thoughts and prayers” rhetoric because it just doesn’t do the situation justice. I hope to be helpful in the recovery efforts when it’s safe to move about the city. I’ve seen so many people helping one another and it’s touching and inspiring.
So, Houstonians- I hope you’re able to stay calm in the midst of this horrible event. It is so hard to lose your car, your family heirlooms, everything on the first floor of your home, your sense of safety and security. The worst thing you could lose, though, is your life. Please stay off the roads unless you’re forced to evacuate. I won’t get too lecture-y because I know that if you’re here, you’ve already heard it all. My heart hurts for this city, but I know we are resilient and I know that after all this gloom I’ll find a million more reasons to love this city.