One of my best friends, Lisa, tagged me in a status on Facebook bright and early this morning. Lisa lives in Knoxville, which is an hour ahead of Dallas, so I woke up to this tag. It was a picture of us 3 years ago at Billy Bob's Texas which is known as the World's Largest Honkey Tonk. I got a little emotional, I hadn't even realized it had been 3 whole years since I moved here.
Lisa and her husband Justin were kind enough to spend 4 days moving me the 843 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee to Dallas, Texas exactly 3 years ago today. I had no idea what I was doing here, or where I was. Instead of getting my bearings, unpacking, locating a grocery store, finding a gym (I was really into working out when I moved here LOL!), we fell into the tourist traps. We toured Cowboys and Rangers Stadium, spent the evening at Billy Bob's Texas: World's Largest Honkey Tonk, wandered around the stockyards. We were total "Dallas" tourists, you know, by exploring attractions located in Arlington and Ft. Worth.
Throw Back Wednesday to when people used frames on their instas
Not knowing what I was doing, when I moved here I first lived in a suburb of Dallas called Carrolton. It was 3 miles from my work and my apartment was pretty cute. It was all hand-me-down items from my mama and the cheapest items at ikea that I could afford, but it was mine.
Although Carrollton had practically nothing for a newbie to do, two very important events happened when I lived in Carrollton.
By the time that year mark came around and my apartment lease in Carrollton was up, I was ready needed to be in the heart of Dallas. After looking at several different neighborhoods, everything from Uptown to Knox/Henderson to Downtown, I managed to wind up in a neighborhood that stole my heart, Deep Ellum.
I'm sure there are people in Dallas that will tell you how much they LOVE Deep Ellum, but I don't think they truly feel the gratefulness to this neighborhood that I do. Deep Ellum allowed me to enjoy my city solo, and not feel terrible or embarrassed about it. I have never once felt judged by anyone in Deep Ellum, the vibes here are all good.
When I first moved to Deep Ellum, although it was certainly transitioning in a positive direction, the complete overhaul that transpired while I lived there is mind blowing. When I moved there, there were several great bars and some iconic music venues, but still too many "for lease" signs plastered over abandoned buildings to count. Over the past two years, Deep Ellum got better with every passing day. As new bars opened, more crowds came to hang out in this neighborhood. It's now one of the hottest neighborhoods in Dallas, and I don't think many would disagree that it is a great place to be on a Friday night.
Hmmm was that a metaphor for my life in Dallas?
A little less than a year after living there, I met CB. I had my first date with him in Deep Ellum, at a little bar called Twilight Lounge. He's going to kill me when I say this, but about 6 months after we started dating (and 6+ beers into the night) he carved our initials into the table where we sat on our first date. Although it certainly doesn't scream romance to the naked eye, we celebrated our one year anniversary at Twilight too, at that very table.
Here I am today, a 3 year resident of the Big D, living in our new neighborhood of Oak Cliff. The rate at which Dallas gets better and better is startling. I cannot fathom what will happen in year 4, but I'm excited for it.
Happy 3 Year Anniversary, Dallas. I hope I've been as good to you as you've been to me.