By Andy Mendez
Ever since I left Texas Christian University, the kempt roads of Forest Hill have been what I call home.
While my current dwelling aligns with the geography of my childhood, my life has undergone dramatic shifts within the short span of my 22 years — especially since graduation.
Situated just southeast of downtown Fort Worth lies Forest Hill, an area quietly overlooked even by the city. Throughout my childhood, I had the opportunity to live in this neighborhood, meet various families and make many friends. And while petty street crimes were rampant, it remained relatively safer than other areas of Fort Worth.
And residing in Forest Hill offered a different kind of charm, one distinct from the hustle and bustle of other areas of Fort Worth.
Forest Hill isn’t just a residential hub, it’s a reflection of Fort Worth’s diverse demographic tapestry. It has a mix of ethnicities, with a significant Hispanic and Black population.
I left after high school but didn’t go far and attended TCU for the next four years.
Upon leaving TCU, I stepped right into the world of finance. Pursuing a career that matched my business information systems major, I found the abstract world of numbers and percentages play out in real and tangible ways.
I appreciate the precision and calculation, the sense of order I coax out from finance’s inherent chaos.
Sometimes, I find myself daydreaming about the towering skyscrapers of Wall Street, wondering if the finance life in New York might beckon sooner rather than later.
Still, nostalgia often seizes me when I’m in the familiar landscape of Fort Worth.
Forest Hill census breakdown
Total Population: 13,701
Two or more races: 1%
80 and older: 1%
No degree: 27%
High school: 36%
Some college: 26%
Bachelor’s degree: 8%
Athletic games at TCU cure my homesickness for college, the team colors are more than decoration — they are fragments of numerous memories and past experiences.
Then, there’s the cuisine; I’ve developed a palate for the local restaurants of Fort Worth, their unique aromas and tastes drawing me in continually. (Not talking about the many fast-food restaurants alongside Interstate 20 in Forest Hill). And were I to move away, oh, how I would miss barbecue.
Once again living in Forest Hill with my parents, we share dinners, futile arguments about who controls the remote, and conversations about everything and nothing at all.
They instilled in me the value of a dollar, the importance of knowing your worth — lesson threads woven into my finance fabric. Our bond is one forged in the subtleties of simple, everyday interactions rather than grand shows of affection.
It’s different with my siblings, though. Not that we don’t get along, but the closeness we once shared in childhood seems lost in our evolving personal journeys.
Living at home after tasting the freedom of college life is … challenging, to put it simply.
While I appreciate the comforts, I also long for a place I can call my own. Perhaps that is what draws me to New York City. The city doesn’t merely reflect the independence I crave; it symbolizes it, rebounds it back with a different, appealing hue. I love Fort Worth, but maybe I’m too tied to it.
My university years were defining ones. As part of the elite Neeley School of Business, I delved into the labyrinthine world of Information Systems. The camaraderie and community, the intellectual stimulation, the rigorous preparations for life beyond — these added a robustness to the otherwise dry specifics of my major, making the journey itself memorable.
Reflecting on my life, I see an image of scaling heights and navigating depths.
The quiet, picturesque expanse of Fort Worth holds its own special charm but the bustling streets of elsewhere beckon my spirit.
As I continue to carve out my space amidst the world of finance, I am learning to merge my humble origins with the expansive vistas of my dreams.
Who knows? Perhaps moving away isn’t a far-fetched aspiration but only the next leg of my journey.
Correction: This story’s headline was updated to reflect that Forest Hill lies within Tarrant County, not Fort Worth.