Anyone who has ever moved, been an expat, or had a big life change, knows that there is a period of time, right when the change has happened and is freshest, that we call the Honeymoon Period. It's that lovely time when everything is new and exciting, you don't really miss the old way of life because everything now is so involving and head turning, and you haven't seen the ugly side of whatever it is you have just begun doing.
And that is were I am right now. Honeymoon period. (Because I know things won't stay this rosey long term, and if they do, why the fuck did I ever leave Texas, then?)
After I bought the car on Tuesday (I am giddy with excitement for the pickup day, that is my Christmas for like, 10 years, all rolled into one day), I treated myself to lunch at a Vietnamese place. I don't know if you know, but Houston has an incredibly vibrant Asian community, and the Vietnamese were big settlers here in the 70's, and they brought their wonderful food ways with them. I could eat Bun every damn day. Wednesday I finally managed to meet up with my old high school chum Anne (dang she hasn't aged a bit) for some drinks and we had a good catch up. Some people you just fall right back into the fun with, and you know it will always be so. It's that way with me and Anne. I usually end up laughing and snorting some sort of alcohol out my nose when I am with her.
Then Thursday (another short day at work, probably part of why I am so happy right now is that settling in to work has been easy as it is still post holiday and it's quiet, when the shit hits the fan, get back to me) the weather was PERFECT. I remember weather like that from when I was in high school, clear, warm, dry air, blue skies, I would skip school and go to Hermann Park and read Jane Austen. (Days like that are rare in Houston, land of 100% humidity.) Well, I sort of did the same, left work and went for a walk around Memorial Park, IN SHORTS AND A T SHIRT, IN JANUARY. I was almost deliriously happy. To be WARM and in SHORTS in January, to be outside, exercising, and have bare legs! Oh joy.
I had my iPod and I just bopped along and had a moment of allowing me to be proud of me. I mean, here I am, in Houston, having moved halfway across the world. I have a job, I singlehandedly bought a car, I have a place to stay, and I did it all myself. I'm rather proud, right now, of the changes that have brought me to this place, that I CAN stand on my own two feet if need be, and while I am sure Rich won't like reading that, I think it is very important for every woman to be able to say that. To be able to say that while she loves her man, she can also make it alone if she must. The ability to be independent should compliment a relationship, make it stronger, because you CHOSE to be in it as opposed to being in it because you have to, because you can't make it alone. It feels good to be in this position of strength. Really good.
Friday after work I finally did the thing that has been looming over me: I went to the Galleria. The Big Mall in Houston. The mall that everyone knows. I used to go there when I was in high school and still think of it as it was then, I keep looking for the arcade gallery and the movie theatre, and that McDonalds that was right by the back parking garage entry. Oh well, that's gone, but....BUT...
THE STORES THERE! They have French Connection and Monsoon and some of my favorite British high street shops! And then there's J Crew and Nieman's and Saks and Nordstroms and ohmyfuckinggod I am dying. I didn't even get to 1/20th of the stores. Not even close. And yesterday I hit the sales sweetspot, apparently, and everything was like 40% off the lowest price, which was already 50% off. I had FUN! And I am a size 8/10 now apparently, which is even MORE fun, because stuff looked GOOD on me! One dress I got at French Connection I can even consider it to be smoking hot. Black tight pencil skirt from knees to just above waist, then white blouson top above, slits in front and back of blouse. The perfect mix of demure and devastating. SIZE 8!!!!! (Note to self, quit eating these cookies you are eating or that dress won't fit for long.)
I made the Galleria my bitch.
Then I came back to the flat, did some laundry, did the dishes, had some wine, baked some of those dough-from-the-package chocolate chip cookies that I love so much (and tried to bring back to Norway a few times but it was always risky, what with the melt factor and all) and Facetimed my friend Marla and we had a lovely chat. I was in bed and asleep at 10:30. It was a good, career-gal on her own kind of Friday night.
Right now I am having my coffee and cookies for breakfast (I will admit I hate the coffee maker in this flat, so at least I know which one NOT to buy in future) and am going to go down to the gym in a bit and lift some weights. Gotta get back in the swing of that routine.
It doesn't take much to make me happy, really. But right now, in this honeymoon period, I am. (Remind me of this in a few months when I am BITCHING up a STORM and wanting nothing more than to go back to Norway, ok?)