When I announced my choice to move to Houston, TX almost four years ago, all of my acquaintances in West Texas were taken aback by my choice to move to this particular city—why not Dallas? Austin is awesome, there’s always San Antonio!
Between the Houston is ghetto, there’s so much crime, and it’s too hot and the traffic sucks comments, I packed my bags and did it anyways. On January 7th, 2010, I paid for the gasoline for the nine-hour drive with the quarters I had been saving for over a year, and moved to the 4th largest city in the U.S. with a thousand bucks in my bank account.
The rumors were mostly true—although I have yet to experience acts of crime (knock on wood), I get to hear about them on the radio as I drive bumper-to-bumper in a massive 5-lane freeway that resembles a parking-lot more than a freeway. Add to this the smoldering, suffocating heat of the summer months and you’re in for one long, stressful drive.
*Between you and I: I don’t understand why having a beer while I’m at a full stop in the middle of the freeway would be considered “drinking and driving,” mostly because, well … I’m NOT MOVING!!
Houston Press has came up with a great list of things to hate about Houston drivers that you should check out to get an idea of the daily adventures Houstonians fare on their way to and from work every day.
To be quite honest, after living here nearly 4 years, I have come to decide that Houston is underrated. Houston might not be cool enough for Hollywood, and Carrie Bradshaw from Sex & the City might have immortalized her love for New York City, but I have taken it upon myself to tell the world why I fell in love with Houston in Houston.
Yes, the traffic drives me crazy.
Yes, it’s hot and humid as balls.
Yes, there is crime.
Yes, there are some ghetto bitches out there… trust me, I’ve seen them.
But you know what? If I didn’t love Houston for all of these things, my love for Houston would not be true love!
Loving Houston reminds me of looking for the perfect man. Somewhere along the many short-termed romantic relationships I have had, I came to realize that there is no such thing as the “perfect man out there”. I’ve been sold the lie that a knight in shining armor was going to rescue me from the evil witch, and I have finally woken up from the spell cast on me.
Houston is no different than a man—or a woman if that’s how you roll. Houston has great things going for it, but only when you’re willing to see the good in it you can learn to accept that just like your crush or your significant other, Houston is not perfect.
As for why anyone would love Houston, I will leave the list of “10 reasons to love Houston” to Harriet Riley; and allow bragging rights to Forbes about how they consider Houston the best city to live in the U.S.
Yes, you read that correctly. The best city to live in is not New York, or Chicago, or LA, but our very own Houston. So take that Carrie Bradshaw and Hollywood!
Loving Houston is as much about the many great things I can enjoy in the city: the great weather while the rest of the country is buried under snow, and the friendly people—as it is about loving rush hour and the humidity. Loving Houston is about accepting the good and the bad, and loving the place I am in at this particular moment in time.
Loving Houston is about understanding that it isn’t always greener on the other side. No matter how ugly the ugly things about Houston are, it always comes down to the choice of focusing on Houston’s beauty rather than the ugly.
There comes a point, however, when accepting the ugly is just as important as learning to focus on beauty or that which serves our best interest. To suppress or deny the ugly is to deny our very own humanity.
Loving Houston is about loving myself just the way I am now—it’s about loving what is great about me as much as my imperfections.
My questions to you are:
Can you love yourself for the beautiful and the ugly in you?
Can you forgive yourself for not being perfect?
What kind of love only accepts the beautiful and forsakes the ugly anyways?
What kind of half ass love doesn’t give itself fully anyways?
So when you are looking to love someone, love them fully and freely to the point that it hurts. Love the ugly and love the beautiful because it is the little things that make them whole.
Love without conditions.
That being said, unlike my infamous 4-month relationships, I do not foresee breaking up with Houston any time soon. We’re going strong on 4 years. And just like Anthony Kiedis from the Peppers sings:
At least I have her love, the city she loves me. Lonely as I am, together we cry.