By Heidi Carter, Photo by Felicia Reed.
Heidi Carter reminisces on the vibrancy of Austin, a city full of opportunities.
To me, Austin is home! I moved to the Austin area when I was two. So most of my childhood memories are rooted in this inspired city.
I can remember driving on Mopac to go to my grandparent’s house in Travis Heights on Christmas Eve when I was about five. All dressed up and ready to open presents. We walked in, and there was literally a pile of presents stacked high. I went straight to the biggest present of all, and it had my name on it!
In middle school visiting Barton Springs for the first time was like a coming-of-age. In addition to feeling energized by all the cute guys milling around, there were many girls my age, as well as young women. I remember floating on my back in the natural waters. Gazing up at the sky and feeling like a woman for the first time.
In high school, Austin was the heart, and I wanted to hear it beat.
One Halloween I went to Sixth St. for the first time. I’d been to some Halloween high school parties, but this…this was a show. This was a massive, massive show. My eyes danced, my body felt the beat. I felt alive.
Whether I was climbing Mount Bonnell, eating prom-night dinner at the top of the Hyatt or visiting the capitol, it gave me a feeling of freedom and adventure to know there were so many exciting things to explore.
I moved away from Austin for my first year of college, only to realize Austin was the bomb. I moved back to attend UT and began truly experience Austin on my own terms. As much as I explored, there was always more, because Austin is always changing and growing.
Austin has helped me find the truth of who I really am.
Just by being an abundant, imaginative city. Money has been a loyal friend to Austin, to help it develop into what it is today. A city full of opportunities.
Driving through some of its most scenic areas such as downtown Austin, you can see innovative architecture, creative ways to connect with nature (like Lady Bird Lake Trail) and places that invite you to be a part of art, like the Blanton. Creativity and innovation are a priority in Austin, and money supports these ideals.
For many years, my husband and I took our children to countless events the city hosted for families. The first time we went to First Night, every tree, every step on the sidewalk was like a miniature experiential art show. Money was there to feed the fire and create this experience for us.
For these reasons, I donate to the Austin causes I love and spend on local businesses whenever I get the chance.
Austin has given me the tools and playground to truly know and embrace who I really am. Whenever I immerse myself in one of the mini environments within the Austin landscape, I feel expansive and ready to win at life.