today i’m writing from our apartment balcony. it overlooks the greenbelt so it’s like living in a treehouse. it’s windy and vibrant green. the two crystal pendants i’ve hung from the railing throw rainbows across the floor. lately, i’ve taken to having my morning coffee here, sweetened with honey and cinnamon, and writing in my journal. i’m working through an old creative writing textbook and challenging myself to A)put down my screens and B)write uninterrupted. it’s hard. why do i need to compulsively check instagram? why did i let the muses slip away from me? why, when i sit down to write, do i suddenly decide that THIS is the perfect time to do laundry/organize my makeup/do literally anything else than write? even now, while writing this post, i have the compulsion to go, i don’t know, boil an egg or something.

but sitting in the trees i try to allow their verdant liveliness to rub off on me. i’m trying to recapture being unapologetically, creatively me again. i hate that i can hardly call myself a writer, an artist, anymore. i need to find that part of myself again. cultivate it.

i’ve been savoring the balcony because in a few months it will be gone. Matisen and i are relocating to houston for new opportunities. i’ll be managing a new JuiceLand on Montrose (eek) and d-day is coming fast. this green view has been my favorite in any of my living spaces in the seven years i’ve called austin my home.

austin is where i discovered my passion for writing. it’s where i met the love of my life. it’s where i’ve sat in many an amazing restaurant, and where i’ve sat on curbs and devoured street food. it’s where i took a drag of my first cigarette, and where i flushed entire packs down the toilet because i love my grandfather. it’s where i walked through a beautiful campus and earned a degree. it’s where i published my first stories. it’s where i’ve felt pure, raw emotion.

i remember the first meal i cooked in my first apartment: spaghetti and red sauce. modest mouse was playing. i remember boiling the water as two friends of mine arranged the furniture in my (my!!) living room and hung up my Dexter poster. when the noodles were done, one of them came into the kitchen and said, ‘here’s how you tell they’re done,’ and flung a cooked noodle at the wall. it stuck. we laughed with glee. MY OWN APARTMENT, where you can throw noodles! they were actually a little overcooked.

in this apartment, matisen and i have eaten our share of overcooked noodles, but we’ve also eaten homemade ramen, provencal lamb, two birthday dinners, too many bottles of wine. it’s where we’ve eaten cold enchiladas from styrofoam containers and watched weird movies from vulcan video. it’s where we’ve learned to live together.

‘it’s going to be weird not…knowing places,’ matisen said the other day. he’s referring to restaurants. it’s a point of pride for us to be able to say, ‘oh yeah, i’ve been there,’ when talking about austin’s best places to eat. in houston, we’ll be able to start from scratch.

but i’ll miss this view of the trees. i’ll miss the familiar streets, the way we crane our necks and look out of the window when we drive by a new place that’s seemed to pop up overnight. ‘we need to go there,’ we say. sometimes we go, but other times we end up at the shitty mexican restaurant on south first where we had our first kind-of date. there, the nostalgia makes the salsa taste a little better. soon the nostalgia will settle over the whole city like a cloud of thick fog. remember? remember? remember? we’ll say, a little sadly.

for now, i’ll savor it.

goodbye, 2016

thank you to my readers who have visited this space in 2016.

some quick (food-related) 2017 intentions:

  • quality over quantity
  • learn more about wine
  • eat less meat (i’ll still cook it for my carnivorous dude!)
  • make my own yogurt
  • stop buying so much coffee!!! i’ll make it myself, dammit!
  • blog more
  • work my way through THE FOOD LAB

any intentions you wanna share? best foodie moment of 2016? comment below! or don’t! either way, happy new year. 🙂