Home Again in San Antonio

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When I returned home to San Antonio after four and a half years of being away, all I could think about was my escape route. I wanted out of the predictable pace of San Antonio and into a younger, more vibrant city. I’m a woman on the move and I wanted my living arrangements to match my lifestyle.

After spending some time out and about in San Antonio, however, my perception changed. I liked what I saw in San Antonio. There was something real about it, a tangible quality of family friendliness and accessibility to all parts of town where mom and pop businesses still survive. I started attending yoga classes at Southtown Yoga Loft and I felt comfortable in the space. I sat, legs crossed, and observed the horizontal rays of sunlight on my mat, duplicating the pattern of the blinds that covered the window closest to me. I inhaled the air inside of the minimalist room with hardwood floors and exposed brick walls, and I felt at peace. I felt like I was home. San Antonio isn’t especially known as a yoga enclave, but I had found my niche.

I graduated from high school in 2010 and moved into a housing cooperative in Austin where I lived with 120 other students. At first, I was overwhelmed. Coming from San Antonio, the co-op lifestyle was like something out of a movie. I didn’t know how to cope with the constant chaos. I was experiencing sensory overload. But gradually, I adapted to the place. When I walked through the front door, the stink of spilt beer together with the aroma of that night’s dinner preparation began to smell like home. I probably learned as much from living in that co-op as I did attending the University of Texas.

At a themed party with some of my girlfriends in Austin. Courtesy photo.

At a themed party with some of my girlfriends in Austin. Courtesy photo.

When I graduated from UT with a Bachelor in Journalism in May of 2014, I felt like I needed out of Austin. Don’t get me wrong, I love the city, but I wanted change. I wanted an adventure. So I booked a one-way ticket to India, and my friend Marina followed suit. I perused the Internet looking for a yoga ashram, and I found one called Rishikesh Yog Peeth in Rishikesh, India. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but its website was the most alluring.

After six weeks of structured life at the ashram, I left India and flew to Nepal to meet up with my two older brothers. My middle brother, gainfully employed, would leave for home in College Station after two weeks, but the older one stayed behind and traveled with me throughout India for three months. So for three months I carried around a 50-pound backpack that held all of my possessions, and I guarded that thing with my life. India was all that I expected: exotic sites and sounds, inventive hustlers, strange customs, hostel camaraderie, vivid colors in dress and surroundings, a pulsing, surging mass of humanity, and animals and tuk tuks competing for space.

Marina and I at our graduation ceremony at Rishikesh Yog Peeth. Courtesy photo.

Marina and I at our graduation ceremony at Rishikesh Yog Peeth. Courtesy photo.

Once I was sick of curry and chai, I left India for some Vietnamese soup and coffee. Well, that’s not entirely true. I also left because I was meeting two of my best friends, two girls who I met at the co-op in Austin. We traveled through four countries in Southeast Asia before I left them to fly to Europe to meet family. On Christmas Day I concluded my journey and boarded a plane for San Antonio, relieved to unload myself of that backpack for good.

Once I was in San Antonio and the thrill of being home had worn off, I started to feel stuck. I applied for jobs in Denver and Austin, none of which felt right for me.

At the Swayambhunath temple, or Monkey Temple, with my brothers in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo by tourist.

At the Swayambhunath temple, or Monkey Temple, with my brothers in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo by tourist.

One night I met up with my friend Meredith at Local Coffee. As I lamented my failed job search, and my uncertainty for the future, she slipped in that she knew of this online news magazine called the Rivard Report. That night, I went home and read a few articles on the site. I liked what I saw and read. It was a breath of fresh air to read the Rivard Report stories. They were raw and real and unlike anything else I had encountered in San Antonio media.

So after hanging around San Antonio for some time and concluding that it wasn’t as bad as I had remembered, I emailed Robert Rivard.

I got the job, and now, here I am, typing away.

I arrived to work on my first day at 10 a.m., sat down next to the Executive Editor Iris Dimmick at her sleek bamboo desk, and started learning the ways of the Rivard Report. She was patient with me as I asked questions and made sense of the various duties of which I would be responsible. After I grasped the fundamental workings of the website, I was put to work. I quickly started editing freelancer’s work, uploading photos, and finalizing stories for publication. I couldn’t believe I was trusted with such responsibility so early on. By my second week on the job I was covering events and writing articles.

We held the first Pints and Politics during my first week at the Rivard Report, and the following day I made a podcast about the event. My podcast stint isn’t over, and I will soon be making short documentary-style videos. Keep your eyes open and ears alert.

The Rivard Report recently hired Photographer Scott Ball and I look forward to working with his creative eye. We’ll be covering Fiesta as a duo and I think our unique perspectives will mesh well together.

I have a good feeling about what the future holds for me at the Rivard Report. Our small team is efficient and willing to take on challenges. I’ve always been fearful of monotonous routines, but the Rivard Report doesn’t seem to have the word “routine” in it’s vocabulary. I’m doing something different every day, which is a quality I never thought I’d find in a full-time job.

San Antonio is a neat place – it’s teeming with history and culture. But most of all, it’s real, and it’s not trying to be something that it’s not, which I admire. Nevertheless, all of these real people need to come together and make some real stuff happen. I’m talking music, art, and outdoor activities. The Maverick Music Festival and the opening of the Paper Tiger are good starts, but more needs to happen.

“San Antonio has always been known to roll up their sidewalks when the sun goes down,” my mom said to me the other day while discussing San Antonio’s lifestyle. Although San Antonio is known for its sleepiness, I think the city is marshaling its diverse forces to become a 21st century city, and people are waking up to the opportunities in which they can take part.

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12 thoughts on “Home Again in San Antonio

  1. Cool to see a fellow San Antonian who spent time in S. Asia. I’m currently in kolkata, but have been living in India for the passed 2.5 years. In fact, my mother in law is from Rishikesh. Point is, I agree with you on San Antonio. When I first left back in 2006 for a couple of years of volunteering in Bangladesh, I felt that while I loved my city, I needed something more. San Antonio was missing some type of “umph.” During the past nine years of being away studying or working, I desire to return. The originality of San Antonio and grounded attitude are what make me miss it terribly. Lots has occurred in the past ten years, and it’s for the better. There is also so much diversity that one cannot ignore. And, it makes San Antonio so much more desirable. I can’t wait to return. Thanks for the article!

  2. Wow. Your travels seem beautiful. San Antonio has had an ample night life for quite sometime. I disagree in the statement that it “rolls it’s streets up at night”. I’ve never had a hard time finding something to do here. I know tons of people who will agree with me. I moved here in 1995. Great time for the music scene here in San Antonio. Within my time here I seen much progression that’s been on going. Cute article though.

  3. I wish you well and look forward to more from you. I’d think Fiesta in San Antonio would be a great time to join on – so many special events to “prose” on about!

  4. Beautiful photos, beautiful young lady, beautiful mind. You will go so far, you will do so much. You are amazing!

  5. What a great article. Thank you for choosing to complete your Yoga Training in Rishikesh. For improving the experience of users visiting Rishikesh to complete their Yoga Teacher Training program, we have painfully handpicked all the yoga schools in Rishikesh and listed them on our platform Book Yoga Trip.

  6. Thank you for such an amazing article,yes as Rishikesh is a birth place of yoga,so its a right place to do yoga teacher traning.
    Specially in Jeevmoksha Yoga Gurukul, they have such a nice place away from the local market of lakshman jhula bridge. Which is good for your yoga practice .

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