Friday, March 6, 2009

Where's my damn answer?

The following post first appeared on the popular blog 'Where's my damn answer?' earlier this week.

Who’s in DA DAMN house Wednesday - Mancunian Moon
By Guest Blogger March 4, 2009

Introduction from our very own jodycakes:

I’d like to introduce everyone to Andy over at Mancunian Moon . It is nice to ask the men if they dare venture over into WMDA land. He was kind enough to do so, with this poignant post about being a foreigner in this strange place called Houston (pronounced Eww-stun for those of you not living here). You might wonder what the word Mancunian in the blog name suggests? This term refers to anyone who is from Manchester, England. Probably the only reason I know this term is because I’m married to a Liverpudlian, which by the way Andy says is so near, yet so far away (40 miles) ::read rivalry here::! He, like many other people from the UK, is a diehard football fan with an undying support for his team, Manchester United. As you will read, he is a transplant to Texas, living la vida loca with his brand new blushing bride Jennifer and their little furry friends, Boomer & Busby (who is actually named after the World Famous Sir Matt Busby, who managed ManU for several years). Without futher adieu, I present to you Andy…

You can probably tell that I’m not from around here. Texas that is. I was born in Manchester, England at the tale end of the 70’s. That’s not a misspelling, those are the days I always heard about growing up, you know “you’ve never had it so good’, “when I was your age” etc. You get the idea.

So I guess I’m a pint of real ale to compliment the wine (& tequila).

There are lots of things I miss about home that we don’t have in Houston - real fish & chips, good beer, driving lessons, the list could go on (and no, serving beer ice cold to numb the taste buds does not make it good). But I think there’s a danger in concentrating too much on what you don’t have rather than what you do have. This is a great country, and Texas is a great state. I have a good life and I prefer to think about the things I can experience here that I wouldn’t be able to back home.

I definitely think that the way you view things affects how easily you take to new experiences. I’m a long way from home, but pining for the things I miss will only cause me to miss out on a lot of opportunities that are available to me.

I know a lot of people who have moved to Houston from all over the world and it tends to be the older ones who settle easiest. This surprises me, as they have more memories back home, and seemingly have more to leave behind. The problem I think the younger ones have, the ones who have basically grown up here, is they have only romantic memories of the place they left.

I lived in Texas between the ages of 18 and 21. I found it hard to settle that first time because I was thinking about what I’d left behind. I hadn’t had the chance to experience life as an adult where I grew up so I knew I would always feel I was missing something. After six years, I returned to Houston wizened by the cold struggle I’d endured and looking forward to spending my days in the sunshine. I haven’t been back to visit since I left for the second time in. Not because I don’t want to, but because I don’t need to. My new life always seems to get in the way.

My six years back in England gave me the experiences I craved when I was younger. Experiences I wouldn’t have had staying in Houston and I don’t regret it at all. In fact, now that I’m settled in Houston with a good job, a nice house and a beautiful wife I feel I’m really seeing the benefits of that time served. I also think my kids (when they come) will benefit from my decision, although it is important they learn about their English and Irish heritage.

So it’s not where you’re from that matters, it’s where you’re at, and I don’t mean the city you currently reside in. It’s a state of mind, one open to new experiences and other points of view.

I try and follow my own advice about keeping an open mind so usually I never know what I’m going to blog about until I get to the 5th or 6th paragraph. I just start typing and see where it takes me, so I apologize that this isn’t the funny blog you might’ve been expecting.
Anyway, there’s so much estrogen in here I’m going to leave before my cycle is in danger of synchronizing…but try not to worry too much about your damn answers, sometimes it’s ok to just enjoy the questions.

Peace, if you want it.

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