Since high school I’ve contemplated the location where I’d eventually “settle down.” Back then I thought bigger cities were better, especially big cities not in the South. Now that I’ve traveled to and lived in those big cities with the bright lights, my mindset has changed.
Houston is a big city in the South. Because it’s so close to home and so common to me, I never considered it as big, but Houston is large. It covers 8,778 square miles (larger than some states) and has a population of about 2,257,926. These numbers put Houston as the fourth largest city based on population, but because of it’s land mass, it’s not very dense. Houston, therefore doesn’t feel like other big cities such as NYC or Chicago which have higher density.
This fourth of July I was back on Interstate 10, this time going west to Houston. My cousin recently bought a house there near Pearland (which meant we also took 610 and 288). After spending most of his life in Lafayette, Louisiana his job moved him to Texas. Eventually he and his family settled down in a new home in a suburban neighborhood in Houston.
We also visited friends who lived on the other side of Houston. They relocated from Louisiana and Mississippi when, again, favorable opportunities presented themselves.
The same is true for all the people I’ve met living all over the world. With current technology, it’s easier than ever to get mobile. We move, we migrate, we immigrate, we stay, we travel, we return, we say goodbye, we say hello world! Perhaps what I really longed for in high school was not an escape to one designated locale, but mobility and lateral freedom. Since high school I’ve experienced compulsions for movement geographically, spiritually, and intellectually.
In addition to the fun with family, friends, and fabulous food, in Houston I realized the need to be flexible and open to the myriad opportunities life presents. I no longer plan to settle down, much less predetermine where. My mother says I remind her of the song my dance class performed to, “The Wanderer.” Though I’m not as promiscuous as the voice in the song, I understand where he’s coming from (or going to). I know I’m not the only one who understands.
Sarah L. Webb
What’s in your hand?
- Houston: The Most Affordable City to do Business (coydavidson.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Q&A: Historian says Houston has stories to tell (chron.com)