Gettin’ started

Hey y’all. This is a phrase I’m told I’ll be saying soon enough, and I’m told this from those who haven’t been in Austin that long themselves. But I’ll start by introducing myself:

My name is Joel David Greatbatch, born in Dallas Texas on the corner of Wilton and Superior, May 1st 1981. This was no hospital, but a house chosen by the midwife for my planned home birth (home birth was apparently quite hip at the time). My parents are born and bred New Zealand stock, and we returned to NZ soil when I was just six weeks old. They attended a bible college in Dallas called Christ for the Nations Institute (I like to pronounce it “Cryist fo th naeshens instatoot”) and I graced the earth just before they left. Whether I was planned or accidental I’m not sure (the kid in me still avoids conception questions with my Dad). But as a result I became an American Citizen, a type that some Americans want to ban (my eyes had barely blinked when we left), and as years went by I had an inkling to use my birthright to see what the land of the free might have in store for me. So yeah, it happened.

New Zealand is a wonderful country, one I am grateful I grew up in, but as I approached my mid-thirties it started to feel a little boring, a bit too comfortable, a bit too routine, and the horrible realization I hadn’t achieved anything like others my own age gave me an impetus to try something different. While my thirties have been some of the hardest years of my life, I proved to myself I can weather storms and see the benefits of not giving up. So the thought of finally decamping to the US came at a time I was prepared for.

The thing is though, I really enjoy comfort and routine. I only really pursue employment so I can pay the bills and create savings. Getting up before 7am is hell on earth. But I know this is an unhealthy addiction for me, one which I often need to throw myself into pit of trepidation and uncertainty in order to be rightfully challenged. So that’s what I did. Stripped my life down to a suitcase and travelled to a city where I personally did not know a soul. Madness. But I haven’t regretted it and am thoroughly enjoying becoming one with this charming city. So I thought I’d blog and share the things I’m discovering, both about myself and about living in Austin.

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