Growing up in Oklahoma City, Dallas was the cool older brother we looked up to. It's where you bragged about going before the school year to buy new clothes at the "good stores." They also had the closest Starbucks when people were losing their minds about Frappuccinos. As someone from Oklahoma City, Dallas was always the varsity quarterback who hung out with cheerleaders while the rest of us cleaned up the used towels and sweaty uniforms.
There was a season when my dad worked for company based in Dallas. He'd work from Oklahoma City but make the three hour drive down a few times a month. His boss rocked the slicked back hair, drove a red Ferrari, and had a sweet pool in his backyard; there's no way that guy didn't do tons of coke. He killed himself a few years ago.
Doesn’t seem like much changed as I got older. Oklahoma City has grown and there's some great things happening there, but in my mind Dallas was still better than where I was from. There was something there that we'd never live up to and we'd never be good enough to do more than just visit.
Last week had me in Dallas for a job and this visit to my hometown's cooler older brother felt different.
Thank goodness for the Running Robot guys and them keeping me so busy in what’s typically one of the slowest seasons of the year. I'd show you some behind-the-scenes photos from our shoot and a few frame grabs of the interviews, but good grief if you've been following along you've seen enough of that already.
Somehow I'd traveled to Dallas with a TSA sized bottle of magical powers. On multiple occasions people who had no reason to be impressed were somehow wowed when I said I was "in town from New York." It wasn't like I was being superfluous in offering the information but small talk normally comes back around to "so where you from?" It didn't seem to matter that I also included "but I just up moved from Oklahoma a few months ago."
Dallas would've been the logical step both personally and professionally to this Oklahoman. Surely there would've been more professional opportunities for me, Anne would've easily made more money as a teacher, and my parents would've much rather we moved their grandkids across the Red River. A handful of friends made in college and during that weird season afterwards now live in Dallas and I wish we saw them more often. I’ve also had a few Dallas based clients over the years and I wish I saw them more too.
I can say with all honesty that Dallas was never really somewhere I wanted to live. There would always be that cooler older brother thing constantly overshadowing anything we'd ever accomplish. Somehow in signing that lease to our Brooklyn apartment we're now part of something allowing us to escape where we're from – at least in other people's eyes who've not lived in New York. Dear God don't I pray that never sinks in personally. But if it helps, I'm all about it.
I'm still hustling to connect with new clients and creatives in a new city that's incredibly expensive. I honestly feel like I'm making some progress but my bank account has only noticed an uptick in my coffee shop spending. I've shot a handful of images I'm proud of and good grief I feel like I'm learning a ton. I've always known there's some kind of magic here and I sure hope I end up finding a bottle or two.