Men in Texas are different from those in New York.
In Texas, chivalry is king. Men open doors, pull out chairs, stand when you walk into the room, wait for you to seat before sitting down et al. So if you love all those, then Texas is where you need to be.
Houston is a hodge podge of different races. But, I have seen more mixes within the Spanish/Mexican community than really any other community here. But in New York, every race has an equal opportunity of dating another race. Of course, when you add religion to the mix, then it becomes interesting.
If you are someone who is more interested in internal factors rather than the external, then you might find that New York men might be slightly better. For example, in Houston, you really should not consider taking anyone seriously, if you do not have a job. Working is very integral to the Houstonian – so it is not rare to find individuals with Masters degrees working as an agent (cashier) or truck driver (these are jobs for those with a GED or a high school certificate. I will discuss Texas/USA and its underemployment culture at a different time). Having a job makes you more date/relationship worthy. This holds true for men and women. In New York, a person who is interested in you looks at your employment the least. Maybe,because in New York you are either “looking for a job, an apartment or a new boyfriend” a la Carrie Bradshaw.
New York men are more supportive of who you are at where you are. Now, do note that you cannot be ‘lazy’ in your process. You have to actively seek, show proactiveness, and be moving.
I think men in Houston are more willing to wait. I really do not know if it is because this is part of the Bible belt but here, men take their time to get to know you. In New York, sex is free. ( For clarity, watch Sex and the City). Sex is something you get out of the way and then focus on getting to know a person. Either way, wear a condom.
I think New Yorkers are more open to women not being traditional or typical. New York women have no constraints on who they should be. They are whoever they want to be that day and men are used to that. Houston, women are kind of constrained. They have to be ladylike aka meek, soft spoken, gentle, with knowledge of the womanly arts *roll eyes*.
So that’s it? If given a choice who will I date?
Actually, I am looking to date a man from Pluto. *cheeky grin*
In summary, these are the steps to take if you want to date in Houston:
a) Get a job.
b) Join a meetup or any organization that brings together like-minded people.
c) Leave your house and go out.
d) Let people know that you are interested in dating. Houston is like a village with everyone all up in your business.
d) Be open.
e) Enjoy yourself.
A truth that many will agree with is that as one gets older, it becomes more difficult to make friends. But, what do you do when you find yourself in a new town with no friends? How do you go about making new friends? Do you even bother? What of if you are an introvert?
I really do not know if I have friends in Texas but I do know that there are a couple of people here that I can ask their opinions and expect a somewhat honest answer. How did I do it?
a) By being myself. One of the joys of getting older is that it becomes easier to become who you are because you really do not care. You believe that those who like you will, and those who don’t will fall to the side.
b)By pursuing my own interest: Pursuing a hobby that you love provides an opportunity to meet people of similar interests. Sometimes, saying hello leads to something deeper.
c)Work relationships: One of the positives of working in crappy positions is that you meet with different people and gain a different perspective. Some of these work friendships continue after the work day is over.
d) Loving yourself: you might find out that you actually prefer your own company to the company of others. Introvert issues (finding that constant interaction with people leaves you tired). If that is the case, own it and pursue fun activities on your own. It isn’t a crime to travel, explore the city or check out a new restaurant on your own.
It is important to know who and why someone is in your life. Ensure that only authentic people are allowed into your circle. This ensures you do not get hurt. Warning: These are the reasons that some might want to be your friend. a) They want to get something from you. b) They want to copy you. c) They want to have a front row seat to watch you fall on your face. Understand this ,and don’t be scared to refuse to engage, if you think that you are dealing with someone who isn’t truly genuine. When you have the right people around you, things often end up working out the way they should.
Take away message: it is always great to make friends but it is more important to be your own best friend and advocate.
Houston is a city in which networking pays. It is very possible to see someone who has never had a job, gain access to a job in which he/she is trained to ensure that he/she has the professional skills necessary to be competitive. You will see this occur repeatedly.
When I moved to Houston and started my program, I was coming in with more than a decade worth of experience working in the healthcare sector. I came in with soft skills that were and are easily transferable into different sectors in the healthcare continuum but it was as if my years working in New York was wiped off as if it never existed. (At a point, I wondered if there was a conspiracy in place to bring me back to New York but then I had to tell myself to stop being paranoid).
This was troubling because I am someone who has always taken her work seriously and ensured that I put in my best,but, then I realized that in Houston, it really isn’t about being intelligent, or the type of experience you have but who you know. No, this is not about favor, for my religious folks.
How have I survived?
a) experience – Most of the time I lived in New York, I was always dealing with multiple issues and this actually trained me to think worst case scenario and to work around that.
b) budget and expenses – you will have to pay close attention to your expenses and think of alternative ways to cut costs. For example, rather than pay 33 dollars or so per month for the gym, look into what free services exists in your community, purchase cheaper gym tools and use them at home, join a meetup for sport activities etc. Do the same for other needs. Food – you might need to become a flexitarian, shop at the farmer’s market and explore foods from other regions that use less stuff. Housing – shop, shop and the list goes on.
c) staffing firms – I worked with several staffing firms in Houston, working several crappy jobs. But, with staffing firms you have to be careful, some of these workplaces are very tricky. They won’t tell the staffing firm, the position they want to have you working in, neither will they notify the staffing firms of what they want you to do. Do not stay in those places too long. I learned that the hard way.
d)others have survived by using other skills they have – cooking, baking, making repairs, tutoring, selling items, babysitting etc.
But, to really survive in Houston, you need to learn how to network in person. This might get you that job with absolutely no qualifications whatsoever. Being an introvert, this is a skill that I am still learning.
When I moved to Texas, my intention was to explore different parts of this very large land mass but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I have not visited El Paseo nor San Antonio, but, I am quite curious about El Paseo.
However, I’ve visited other ‘main’ places in Texas. Of all the places that I visited in Texas, my favorite was Corpus Christi. There’s just something about beach towns that get to me. I just fell in love with everything. Everyone was so friendly, I got to hang around the beach, visit some historical places etc. To be quite honest, if I receive an offer to move to the Corpus Christi area, I will be gone before anyone says, ‘Jiminy Cricket’. I am such a water child.
Have you ever visited Corpus Christi? What did you think of the area? What fun things can one do at El Paseo?
Wow! It has been a minute since I blogged here. I had to stop writing to focus on school. Well, the good news is that I graduated in Dec. 2015. So, I met my goal of not allowing anything make me drop out of school. I was tempted several times to quit but, as they say, a weakness (a.k.a stubbornness) can be a strength.
So, was it worth it?
I will like to believe that it was. I had an interest which I had been pursuing on my own for years and now, I have the degree to back it up. I took the risk, and even though I will be paying for that risk for some years to come, I do not regret it. That risk brought me to Texas.
Was your school a good school?
Yes. It is a good school. I am very grateful for the scholarship that I received which enabled me accomplish my goal.
Beyond the Educational bits, what else did I learn from grad. school?
So many things, namely:
a) Grad. schools are different. This was my second sojourn into the world of graduate schools and my first experience was actually nice even though I worked full-time and received some financial support from my organization but there was a greater symbiotic relationship between profs. and students. My second experience was not as ‘symbiotic’.
b) Grad schools are influenced by their environments: In New York, where I completed my first graduate program, there was a level of freedom that I had to ask questions. In Texas, before you ask your question, you need to wrap it up in pretty paper, place a bow on it, lower your voice, pretend to be meek and then ask. I did not feel as free in school. Of course, I had some profs. that were exceptional who wanted us to ask questions and be engaged in class. These profs. focused on their subject matter. A couple come to mind.
c) To survive the educational system in Texas (my experience at one school), you need to be psychologically prepared and resilient. There will be times, that you will feel that [the system/some profs.] might be going out of their way to break you (psychologically, physically and emotionally). Just be prepared.
d)Favoritism might be the order of the day. I will just leave this here.
e) There will always be a silver lining. I had some great profs. who came to class and focused on the subject matter. No attacks; no, I want to see if I can overwhelm you; just pure subject matter interspersed with stories of their lives. I will always be grateful to them because they helped me maintain my sanity.
How did I survive?
a) Stubbornness and persistence. There were several reasons that made me choose to leave the East Coast. One was to have a fresh start and the second was to acquire an education in an area of interest. I was sticking to that goal. I refused to be a statistic.
b) Avoidance: I ignored a lot of things and when I knew that I couldn’t ignore any more, I avoided. There were some classes that I spent more time studying on my own than in the classroom because I felt that the classroom situation was just too distracting.
c) Learn on your own. There are many tools/tutors online that can get you through a class, particularly a distracting class.
Well, I am still looking for a masters level opportunity that will provide an opportunity to utilize my educational backgrounds. But, if I can’t find that for whatever reason, then on to the next. I will not be returning to the East Coast.
Do I regret moving to Texas?
No, I do not. Texas taught me or is still teaching me that I am tougher than I think. Surprisingly, I like this very weird state.
Anymore schooling in my future?
I come from a family (extended and nuclear) of highly educated professionals. So, if I am not learning anything new via my workplace, then do not be surprised to find me back at school (either online, evenings or over the weekend).
If I find an interesting subject matter that brings it all together, I just might. My mother has one, so why not? But, it will not be this year.
Keep learning. You are strong. Go outside your comfort zone. Always, have a way to relax. Pray!
Hello there! I have been silent for a minute….don’t worry, I will soon blog about my first summer in the T State and what has been going on so far….
As you know, this blog is primarily about Public Health, so here goes:
This is a link to an interview that I did with Stephanie Okereke many years ago when I used to ‘work’ at a radio station in Harlem, New York. In this interview, she talks about her interest in the issue of child marriages and its effect (health effects). She talks about VVF (vesicovaginal fistula) as well in this interview. (http://pamelastitch.com/entertainment/film/376-life-movies-with-stephanie-okereke.html)
So, I was super excited when a friend of mine told me that she finally produced that movie that she was talking about.
Here is the link to the site: http://www.themoviedry.com/
I have decided not to share my thoughts on marriage and the African female or the African female in the diaspora but if you know my alias, you know that I have been pretty clear about where I stand. So, it is hump Wednesday, I will keep it positive and humping.