Welcome To Austin: Life moments and pursuits in the Texas Hill Country

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Faces of Austin Locals, Natives, and Visitors. The range of people start from a Portland transplanted MC, to a student from London, a visiting couple from L.A., and the native 6th Street Bartender, with a few others. All willing to be photographed by a complete stranger.

Welcome To Austin

My Welcome to Austin has come and gone. My fascination for this city has yet to deplete. I remain increasingly interested in this town (if not more so then I’ve been in the past). 14 weeks in a new city leaves you in a sense of false existence. Eh…ok, maybe “false existence” is a bit too harsh. I would say, I am now more than just a visitor. I am becoming a local amongst the natives, yet still worlds apart from both. I’ve managed to find a level of balance within the rambunctiousness of the “Live Music Capital of the World“…so I would like to think. As the weeks progress, I began to reflect on my original expectations of this town when I first arrived. I wonder if these expectations I set forth is still something that I want. I then began to ponder on what this self-assessment means moving forward.

Is this what I expected?

Taking on work in Austin meant taking on a job that allowed me the opportunity to improve the lives of others…beyond my own. Empowering a life with resources that leaves a lasting impact, while diminishing their misfortune, is what I identify as my vocation. This work that calls me to serve continues to be a driving force within my pursuits. And let’s be real…the thought of working at a State Capitol nestled within a city like Austin — deeply rooted in culture and heritage — is a pretty sweet deal to me. So overall, I would say my expectations of this town have been met , and it’s also arrived with all the intended growing pains.

What has been unexpected, goes the amount of breakfast tacos (or anything else tacos) I consume on a weekly basis…and yes, I freely partake. This is a staple of true Texas Heritage — being able to consume multiple meals all wrapped in a tortilla. Breakfast, Barbecue, and Tits…slap a tortilla on it and you’re good to go (ok maybe not the tits…unless you’re into that kinda thing).

Is this what I want?

My time here is what I want for the moment. I could easily see myself sticking around longer than intended. Life in Austin is very encouraging.  Youthful, Urban, Artistic, Socially conscious, Scenic Hill Country…A hub of new age living rooted in the heart of Central Texas.  I am sold. It’s what I sought out. It’s what I wanted. And it reaps all its toils. My work involves me in the lives of people. Though a temporary assignment, it gauges my intent for public service. Finding further opportunity that will allow me the capacity, to continue consuming all that is to enjoy of Austin, could be a thing. So why not go for it?

I straddle the line of existence that tells me, yes this could be the place.  Yet I constantly long for the next step that might take me elsewhere. Being here has given me a glimpse into how I should approach my vocation. Going beyond the office, I must join the community. I look to walk alongside its people, join in their struggle, share in their story, gain their perspective, and live out their memories. I am to be an advocate that goes into all the world proclaiming the good news (Mark 16:15). As I look towards to the next step, I embrace the potential of moving away from the comforts of this Texas town.

What does this tell me moving forward?

Moving forward, I accept the spirit of wander that encourages me to expand my reach. Steadily coming to terms with my call to public service, I’ve begun to focus my objectives. In order to fully understand my role as a man of the community, I must live amongst the people I look to serve. For what it’s worth, I must never forget my pursuant of true purpose.  As I gear up to take on new opportunities, I continuously seek out work that is meaningful. Work that calls me to be a resource for others, while constantly becoming more reflective and never seizing to seek out progress.

Will I get it?

At age 23, I still believe and seek to breathe life in these seemingly idealistic hopes. I accept that the only thing I can truly offer, is my spirit of youth and all that it encompasses.  I don’t know if I will get what it is I’m in pursuit of. I don’t know how it’ll look when I get there. But I’m willing to try. I’m willing to go for it. I’m willing to make it real. While the labour of my work here in Austin nears the end, I must maintain focus, continue achieving higher, and improving always.

In the spirit of Sebastião Salgado, Economist turned world Photographer, I end with this modified quote: “I’m 100 percent sure that alone my photographs (work) would not do anything. But as part of a larger movement, I hope to make a difference…”

About the Author
Mariel Kanene is Founder and Editor of TheArtOfPersptive.co and lead storyteller with a focus on music, startups and travel. His passion for storytelling was born in Kinshasa, Congo and bred in Washington, DC where he resides. By day, Mariel spends his days slowly trying to change the world—one meaningful interaction at a time. He loves reading factual-fiction, good podcasts, traveling, health and fitness, foreign languages and good conversations over good coffee and even better rum. He hates talking about himself in third person.Thanks for stopping by. Always appreciated. Find me on: Twitter | Instagram | Linkedin | Website.
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