At the end of last August, the greater Houston area was inundated with the massive rainstorms of Hurricane Harvey. Although thankfully my own home and family were spared direct impact, our friends and our community did not fare as well. My place of business took significant damage. Despite preparation and the efforts of the entire team, it was still mid December before we were operating out of our old offices. I have other clients that still haven’t gotten that far.
I can only imagine the strength of will it takes for those whose homes are still not restored to go out each day and earn a living. It is the thought of those, who are yet to be made whole, that has motivated me to keep going. I drive through a neighborhood daily where some houses still have large debris piles from the work that is just now going on, almost eight months after the storm. Other houses have simply been boarded up and left. This was not a “forgotten” area. It was a working class neighborhood, filled with families that had already rebuilt once after TS Allison in 2001. And it’s not isolated to this area. All over Houston, homes of all kinds and people of all income levels still languish due to the scope of this recovery.
The transition to “normal life” is more than getting it rebuilt. There are things that can’t get rebuilt. There are personal mementos, photographs, the various collected stuff of a lifetime that can’t be put back. Hearing about the “new normal” is aggravating. Frequently it comes from those outside the community, who do not understand, and cannot understand. Of course, that’s not their fault, but it doesn’t blunt the knife.
Houston will heal. We always have. It will take a lot longer than anyone predicts, and cost a lot more, and some people will not see it through to the end. For some the loss, and the fear that it can, and almost certainly will happen again is too much to bear.
I certainly don’t want to go through it again. Twice in one lifetime is enough. But I’m rebuilding and I’m staying. And day by day, things are less about rebuilding and more about new projects, and ongoing plans, and the return to “normal life”. Refocusing myself on building up Digital I Productions and executing on some long planned projects is part of that.
You can’t live in fear.