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As someone who vibrates with anxiety on the regular and about the dumbest of things, the mantra “don’t stress” sounds ridiculous. The problem is I love a good play on words, and I’m new to this wonderful and kind of insane state; basically, I couldn’t help myself.

Beyond the glibness, though, I really have a desire to make Texas feel like home. And to feel happy and excited that I live here. (So far, I’m knocking it out of the park.) I spent the first half of my life outside of Pittsburgh, and the second half in Chicago; I’m hoping for many more happy and productive halves (lolololol MATH JOKES) in this new-to-me part of the country.

Part of the way I like to process inconveniences and roadblocks and hard times is to be transparent about how difficult I find them, and how small and stupid they make me feel. Which is why I decided to start a blog in 2017. Sorry for not #snapchatting my #brandtruth about this but I am also #wordy and #contemplative and #old.

Earnestly and honestly, though, as a writer I need this outlet. As someone in transition I need it; as someone looking for connection in all of its forms, both to my loved ones from back home and to people in Austin and on the internet and anyone else seeking some kind and candid words about how weird and dumb it feels to have to Google Map your way to the grocery store three blocks away, I need it.

I blogged a ton in my 20s. And the reason behind my doing it a decade ago or so ago is the same that it is now: Life’s messy and hard and even people with pain-in-the-ass personalities need reassurance, empathy, support. When I was doing this a decade-plus ago, I was just trying to figure out how to be an adult. Now, I’m trying to figure out how to be in my 30s and be new at something again.

The issue is that I am stressed. Because it is Texas. And it’s not home. Yet. But I’m trying to be mellower, to tell myself I deserve the same patience and kindness I’m so liberal with doling out to the people I love. So maybe I made a wrong turn getting to the gas station, I went to the incorrect pharmacy or I was 10 minutes late to a doctor’s appointment. (Actually that last one is a pretty big deal.)

But, it’s a process, not an overnight transformation. And I’ve got to be a river, not a rock. For once I am truly trying to not self-flagellate because I didn’t have a phalanx of friends immediately upon touching down, because I didn’t know the cool tips at the neighborhood bar, because I needed a little extra time to read Yelp reviews of dry cleaners.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. I need to remember I’m just getting started.

Texas is big, and there’s a lot of air for deep breaths.

Don’t stress.