Farewell to Austin

Austin morning

So begins a new era.

Austin has been my home for the last decade. In many ways, it’s where I grew up. It has taken me through my twenties and into my thirties. It’s where I made the transition from a student to a professional. In my time in Austin, I’ve made many close friends and gained two wonderful nephews. Austin has been more than the place I have lived; it’s been a great home to me for all these years.

Austin has been the setting for an amazing chapter in my life. But, like all things, this chapter has come to an end. However, endings are also beginnings; and so begins a new chapter in my life; a chapter of my life that I will build with my beautiful and wonderful wife, Hang.

So begins my life with Hang in Arkansas… and may it be the start of something truly spectacular.

I now realized that Arkansas has been pulling me all my life… even before my life began. It started in 1981 as my family made a three month trip to see the country. While traveling through Arkansas, my parents came to the realization they might have picked up another member on the journey. About 9 months later, I joined the world. About 10 years after that, our family visited Arkansas once again with the intent of moving to start an organic farm in the shadow of the lush Ozark mountains. While this move never came to be and I continued life as a Michigander, Arkansas finally pulled me back to where I was first discovered. As of early May, I’ll finally be an Arkansan.

My decade as a Texan has been a good one, if unexpected. It was about 6 months before moving to Austin that I declared that I would “gladly live anywhere in the world EXCEPT Texas!” Less than a year later, I’d be eating those words. Ten years later, I’d come to see them as rather hilarious.

Austin is one of the best places to have spent the last 10 years and I’m grateful for every moment.

Austin is home to family; to my brother Jason, my sister-in-law Cheryl and my nephews Nash and Gray. Being nearby to family for the last decade has been wonderful. I’ve been closer to my brother than ever before and was introduced to Cheryl, Nash and Gray. Over the years, I’ve watched my nephews grow from belly bumps to talented and charming boys. I’ll miss them greatly; but I know we’ll always be close, even with the distance.

Austin is also home to many great friends; friends I hope to keep over a lifetime. From my running friends to my film friends to my work friends to those who are just friends, I have many ties to Austin that cannot be broken by distance. Friends are not easy to replace. I dare say they can never be “replaced.” However, more great friends await in Arkansas… as yet undiscovered. Still, I will miss my Austin friends.

Austin is where I started my career as a professional. I will be leaving my position at Dell with the Rugged team. Rugged has been a part of my life for over 8 years, from the growth of the first seeds at the Augmentix Corporation to the current stellar product lineup that I helped to create and bring to market. It will be sad to leave my team… but once again, endings are also beginnings.

I will be beginning a new phase of my career at Walmart. I will work in the Home Office in Bentonville as a Manager II, Store Communications. With my new team, I will help to craft excellent messaging and communications to Walmart associates in stores across the country. This will be a chance to hone my writing and make use of my graphic design skills as well. As I say goodbye to all I have known in the last 8 years, I look forward to what I will learn in the next phase of my career.

So, goodbye Austin. Goodbye for now. I will miss you always.

But… here is to what’s next. Here is to my life with Hang and the family we will create together. Here is to a new chapter, full of new and exciting possibilities. Here is to the start of the rest of Hang’s and my life together in our new home. Here is to Arkansas!