Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sweet Home, Austin, Texas

Well, as many of you may know, I've decided to make the move to Austin permanent. It will be my new home shortly. I will be going back to Iowa next week and will have a lot to do there before I can return to my new home city. I have quite a bit of work to do to the house, not to mention going through things, etc., before I can expect to sell it and get back here.

A lot of people might wonder why I would move away from familiarity, family, and dear friends. I sometimes wonder that myself. But you must understand -- I am not moving away from anything or anyone. I am moving to something -- a place that I am absolutely in love with, a city brimming with passion, zest, kindness, and opportunity. The Avett Brothers (who I've mentioned several times in past posts) have a line in one of their songs that says, "When you run, make sure you run to something and not away from, 'cause lies don't need an airplane to chase you anywhere." I know moving to Austin wouldn't help me run from the truth of my life, even if I wanted that to be the case. That's not why I'm moving. I'm moving to Austin, not away from Des Moines. I just feel that I'm being called here, and I have to follow that calling.

What will I do? Well, I don't exactly know yet. I am licensed to practice law in Iowa and Arizona, and can likely get accepted to the Texas bar without having to take the exam if I apply this fall. In Texas, you can waive into the bar without the exam if you've been licensed and practicing for 5 years in another state, and I will hit the 5 year mark for Iowa in September. I plan to do this, though I don't want to return to the full-time practice of law. It is simply too negative and draining. I have been thinking about this for a long time, and there is just not enough that I love about the practice of law to keep doing it full time for the rest of my life. What I do love about it -- what I'm passionate about -- is appellate work. I love researching, writing briefs, and making oral arguments. A lot of people dread this, so I'm hoping I can do some freelance legal work in Iowa, Arizona, and Texas, as this kind of work can be done remotely. I also think I will get my Texas real estate license. I have always wanted to be a realtor, so this seems like a good time to try that out. In any event, I know everything will fall into place.

Where will I live? Good question. I'll rent an apartment, since buying a house doesn't make sense until I have my job situation figured out and more secure. It will have to be close to Lady Bird Lake and downtown, and it will have to allow for my two cats. I am going to spend my last week in Austin checking out some options. Of course, I don't know which places will have vacancies when I'm able to move back down here, but it will be nice to have some options picked out ahead of time.

This is a big decision for me, and I didn't take it lightly. I know I don't have a lot of the specifics worked out yet, but sometimes you have to make the decision and then figure out how to make it work. I liken this to a couple getting engaged. Both parties decide to get married, but a lot of times there are many "details" or even major issues to iron out, yet they both decide to commit to marriage. People get engaged all the time without knowing where they will live once they marry, or anything about what kind of wedding ceremony they will have. It is enough to make the big decision and commit to it first, and figure out the rest in time. Sometimes that's the only way to make something happen that you really want.

I might not have everything worked out, but I have purchased cowboy boots -- a literal reminder to take it one step at a time!


  1. Wendy - Austin is an amazing town and I know you'll do great there! I work at Baker Botts - so if you would like me to ask one of our appellate lawyers in Austin to meet-up with you some time to discuss ideas for work - just let me know!

  2. Tanya -- that would be awesome! I will get a hold of you once I'm licensed in Texas. Thank you!