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Texas is the only state I’ve ever lived in. And I say that with pride. I’ve traveled to several: North Carolina, Iowa, California, New York, and merely passed through several others. Right this very moment, I’m headed to BlogHer in Los Angeles, my third trip to California in 2 years. I have yet to get to do too much sight-seeing.
I usually get a reaction when I say I’m from Austin. Sometimes people clutch their chests and say, “Oh, I love Austin!” We chat about Texas and cowboy stereotypes and live music and the city’s growth. We ponder whether or not people from other states have the pride that Texans have. As a native Texan, I take that for granted.
When I asked my girls why they loved living in Texas, their answers were simple.
“It’s where we were born!”
“We’ve never lived anywhere else!”
“Texas has the best houses!”
The have no idea the different between Texas or New York or Alaska, for that matter, or that Austin is in a category all its own, an island of good music, great food, and fantastic community where buying local is a way of life, even if for my kids that means visiting the local candy shop for outrageous amounts of sugar. (For me it definitely means coffee!)
How do you describe your love for a place you’ve always lived? How do you describe the pride you feel when you see the unique shape of your beloved state, the five letters spelling out TEXAS, catch sight of the University of Texas Tower while driving down I-35 (which we avoid at all costs, by the way), or the sea of burnt orange flashing the longhorn sign with their fingers?
I can only explain it like this: I’ve lived here all my life, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. But if the day comes when I do, Texas will always have my heart. We may complain day in and day out about our lack of seasons and the oppressive summer heat, but I will never ever complain about being able to wear flip flops in December.
And I always wear a Texas shirt when I’m traveling in other states.