Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Frustration to Exploration

Yearning for the motherland, I have experienced frustration, depression, and even despair at times of ever returning to Texas. 

Having lived in Connecticut now for over 11 years and traveling back to Texas only three times in that 11 years, I have become nearly obsessed with moving back to where I feel my real home is.  Although Connecticut is beautiful, parklike even, it is not Texas.

I didn't grow up in Texas.  I was a Navy brat who grew up in Virginia, Italy and Florida.  Because my dad was on an aircraft carrier for 6 months at a time, we didn't move around a lot.  That said, I never put down roots anywhere until I was 21 years old and moved to Austin, Texas from Miami with my mother and sister.  I immediately knew this was home.  Maybe it was the family roots that drew me.  Maybe it was the friendliness of Texas that cemented that bond.  Because my mother's family is from Texas and still lives in Texas (those that are still with us), I was immediately accepted wherever I went. 

After I married, my husband was recruited by an electric utility in Florida.  So off we went on that adventure.  The appeal didn't last long and I remembered why I left Florida in the first place.  It is homogenous, transitory, a melting pot of people.  Some native Floridians I met had their roots there but most people were from elsewhere.

Seven years later my husband was again recruited away, this time to Connecticut.  The draw here was that I have family in Connecticut and we could finally live in the country.  Another adventure and we were off.  I never even felt a connection with Connecticut, not even a little bit.  I felt as though I was living in a foreign land and still do.  New Englanders are typically reserved making it difficult to become close to people here. I have met some very nice people in Connecticut, some exceptional people really, but still it is not home to me.  The roots just weren't growing.  For goodness' sake, they don't even offer to carry your groceries out to your car for you!

I yearn for Texas.  I yearn for the extremes you find there in the weather, culture, landscape, and people.  It is never boring in Texas.

No, I don't miss the fire ants and roaches, but I miss the wide open spaces, the friendly people, the love of family, and the variety of lifestyles.  Just the festivals alone are enough to keep one busy! But there are used furniture stores, junk shops, restaurants, fast food, slow food, cafes, Mexican food, barbeque, Tex-Mex . . . did I mention the food?

After many years of frustration, life and circumstances not allowing me to return to Texas, I have decided to write again as a way to explore new possibilities in my life.  The great American novel it will not be, but the research I am doing for my first attempt at a real work of fiction has led me back to Texas.  I cannot move to Texas at this time in my life, can't even take a road trip right now, but I can travel back there anytime I like virtually.  Today I start having Texas Adventures in New England!


  1. Enlightening Michele. I look forward to hearing more about your life, your research, and your new writing work. I can't imagine living anywhere but Texas. If God sends me off to some other land He will have to grace me to live there! I feel your pain.

    I traveled to Virginia, D.C. and many places in between, in the fall (some of my experiences are in my blog). It was an awesome trip. But I didn't find any place I might want to put down roots. I met some beautiful people, some beautiful land, but as you say, it wasn't home. Praying you can enjoy where you are on your way back to Texas!

  2. Hello from a transplanted Texan living in Illinois. Yep, living outside of Texas is STRANGE! I want to go home, too, but, at least I get to visit often. My Texas 'twang' gets really heavy when I'm missing home more, or, the closer I get.