Last Tuesday I flew back to Austin, Texas from Chicago, Illinois. During the trip I came to realize that Austin simply isn’t home, not yet. It became unbearably apparent during the flight home.

Quality of life is up, but we’ve yet to settle into our new house. We lack a lot of the routine we had grown accustomed to. We don’t have many friends.

I don’t have any friends.

Fortunately, this all coincided with our first guests to the great state of Texas in my wife’s father and wife. Familiar faces help but seeing the sights perpetuated this false sense of being on vacation.

To help things along, we’re trying to finish up decorating the new house. Hang shit on the wall, make it ours. It will probably take another year.

Maybe then we’ll have a house warming party.

I’m reluctant to throw a party if we’re not there yet. The house would be full of mostly work folks, some of the neighbors, and a few others but then it would be empty again.

No resolve.

While working from home for the last couple of years, I had my co-workers (via Slack and periodic trips to Austin) and then I had my outside of work friends. Not a huge network of people, but enough to usually have some plans to hang on the horizon.

I miss lunch with my best friend.

Since moving, I go to work and I come home. The drive isn’t bad, but it’s thrown off the anti-routine that I had settled into. It doesn’t seem like anybody does much after work.

If they do, I’m not included in any of it.

I never realized how important a routine can be. Regularly seeing the same smiling faces. Having a place that’s your go to spot. Having somebody know what you’re having before you sit down. Getting everybody together to knock the shit out of some golf balls rapid fire to burn out the three minute overtime clock at Top Golf.

I am missing that hard right now.

The pieces are slowly starting to come together and I know it will take time. I think the lack of friends has been the hardest. I didn’t think it would be.

I fucking fooled myself.

Next week I’m planning to get a new tattoo. Something my daughter drew. First tattoo in Austin. First in Texas for that matter. Something to help make Austin a part of me and me a part of it. Spilled blood, symbolism, yadda yadda.

p.s. This isn’t trolling for sympathy, this is just part of my process.