It’s been 6 months since I made the spontaneous decision to pack my meager belongings and hightail it out of the bustling New York City to Dallas Heritage Village. Best decision I have ever made.
This past May I graduated with a Masters in Museum Studies from New York University and was slowly being drained of my love for museums. I needed to get out. I always joked that I would take a job in Idaho just to get away from the fast pace, bottom of the ladder, barely paid existence I had been living.
When I had seen the Reservations Coordinator post on the Texas Association of Museums website (which I checked daily) I was thrilled. Here was a job that I had an ample experience in, and not only was paid but somewhere thousands of miles away from the concrete jungle that is NYC. Having sent out dozens of cover letters and resumes daily, and getting zero calls for interviews, I was sure that my streak would continue. I am happy I was wrong. Having only researched DHV online, I had fallen in love with the Village. Not only am a huge history nerd, but I love being able to “travel back in time” to learn about history. Thus this job and the Village were like the Holy Grail of museum jobs for me. I interviewed with Melissa and Elaina over the phone and to my utter surprise received a call from them the next day offering me the job. I was in a state of shock. I immediately said yes. Without thinking about it, without discussing it, I just accepted a job in a distant city where I knew no one. Again. Best decision I ever made.
A couple of weeks later, I made a 24 hour trip to Dallas to find an apartment and to see the Village for the first time. Elaina was my tour guide and the more she showed me and told me, the more I fell in love. My mom joked on the car ride back to our hotel that she hadn’t seen me that excited about a job ever.
Less than a month after the job offer, I was back on a plane heading to Dallas, though permanently. Surrounded by a ridiculous amount of luggage that somehow we were able to handle ourselves, my mom and I set forth to my new apartment. This was a huge turning point in my life. I was finally living by myself. This was different from moving to Maryland for undergrad. This was real adult life with my only support thousands of miles away lounging on the beaches of Long Island. I was alone. Scary thought. I had been to Dallas a handful of times before, so it wouldn’t be a complete culture shock, but visiting
But that thought was immediately banished from my mind. From the beginning, I knew this was where I meant to be. It was all thanks to the people I met here; whether it was the Macy’s saleswomen who gave me her cell phone number after I bought a bed, telling me to call her at any point if I needed anything; or my AMAZING coworkers who took me under their wings, inviting me out for drinks or holiday dinners.
Six months here and I am loving my life, loving my job, loving Dallas, and oh so proud of myself for doing this. There was no period were I would rebel against the Southern culture, but I embraced it. I try to say y’all, I went to a rodeo in Fort Worth, I listen to country music (to the horror of my New York family.) One poignant day in my memory was a morning at the end of fall; the weather was glorious, not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was in the high 70s. I was driving with my windows down with a large smile on my face. I called my mom and said, “I don’t remember the last time in years I felt this relaxed and this happy.”
The Southern charm that I have experience here has been the perfect medicine for this jaded Yankee. I love exploring North Texas and its history as well as experiencing all my Village firsts. Spontaneous road trips to Granbury, driving to McKinney for the monthly flea market, wearing a dress and heels as I sit atop a Longhorn in Fort Worth, having a true southern dinner of fried chicken, green beans, and black-eyed peas, surviving my first Candlelight; the amount of memories and friendships I have created here in half a year is mind-boggling.
I can’t even begin to imagine what the next 6 months have in store for me but I’m ready. Texas, you might end up turning me Southern.