Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why my city isn't so bad

My wife and I have been stationed here in Corpus Christi for almost a year and I'm just now deciding that this city isn't so bad after all.  I've been in a funk almost since day one from the mosquitos and strip malls and Hoggish Greedly city planning.  But even then I knew I'd have to make peace before we left.  In these Navy towns I'm haunted by the allegory of the town that welcomes two newcomers.  They ask each how they liked their old town.  The first replies that he hated it--he hated the people, the buildings, the smell, the parks.  He was told that this new town was much like the one he left and that he wouldn't like it here either and was invited to continue on.  The second newcomer, when asked how he liked his old town, listed why he had loved it there and hadn't wanted to leave.  He was invited to stay and told of how wonderful was his new town.  I just know I act like that first newcomer and I don't want to.  So, I knew the way to like this town was to get into it and own it.  Riding with the cycling team I'm falling in love with some of the people.  And if you love even just a part of a place, then you can start explaining away its faults.  After thoroughly getting out of my system everything I thought was wrong with this place, which I'm now totally convinced stems from abundance in the same way a child can be spoiled or a culture can be slow to develop, I started finding charming and clever homes and parks and ideas and fine friends.  The group of cyclists I've trained to catch up with allowed me to join them as they started a new racing team.  Among them was a professional racer cum budding coach who agreed to let me join his forming stable of novice racers.  Building the team's website with my wife and keeping its blog, I feel like I'm marketing this city.  By the time we leave for Austin I'm sure to be the second newcomer.  This morning I even caught myself planning where I'd stay when I returned to visit friends.  

None of this is to let Hoggish off the hook, but by humanizing these bad decisions I can see my way through to solutions instead of writing off the entire town.