For my entire life, I have lived in the state of Colorado, except for four years spent in Nebraska for college.
My whole life, I have lived in what I consider to be one of the most beautiful places in the United States. I could see mountains outside my window, something I saw almost every day of my life before college.
Little did I know that the place I spent 22 years of life would not be the place I would spend my time after graduating college.
As I began my job search, I had never expected to look for jobs only outside of Colorado. I had some pull from my Fredericksburg-born boyfriend to be in Texas. From the five or six visits I had, I liked the small little town. But it’s very different from where I grew up.
Over the next few weeks and months, I want to share with you what it’s like to not be a native of Texas. I want to share what it’s like to live in a state that is so different from where I grew up. I want to share with you what it’s like to be an outsider in a state that has so much culture and tradition.
First, we should start off by talking about how much pride Texans have, which is funny because I feel like Coloradans have a good amount of pride for their state, too.
In Colorado, natives pride themselves in things like living a mile high. For those who don’t know, Denver is at 5,280 feet above sea level. Much of the state is even higher. The highest point in Colorado is Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet above sea level, also making it the second highest point in the contiguous United States. I pride myself in owning a T-shirt that says, “Sea level is for sissies”, and you can bet I will be wearing that as I walk down Main Street.
Here in Texas, you pride yourselves in other things. You pride yourselves in ranches, prairies and hard work.
I have never seen people care so much about something like that before. You care for your land so tenderly and work hard to keep it that way.
Colorado prides itself on being one of the most fit states in the nation. We love to hike, bike, run — you name it, we are out there doing it.
With an average of 300 days of sunshine every year, it’s hard not to spend time in the great outdoors.
Texas, from what I have seen so far, is pretty similar. You don’t have mountains to peak but you do have trails aplenty and when it’s not too hot, you are out there enjoying it.
I also want to take time to mention just how much both states pride themselves in sporting their flag on any and all pieces of clothing. Coloradans love to represent the famous blue stripes and a red “C” with a gold center in between. I personally own at least three or four shirts and hats with the logo. I also pride myself in a “Colorado Native” sticker, just in case anyone in town didn’t know I was from Colorado from my license plate.
Texans love to fly their flag. They represent the red, white and blue with the large star. You are also special enough to hang your flag at the same height as the United States flag.
These states may be similar after all. We both take pride in our state, we spend time outside as much as we can and we love to plaster our flag on anything and everything.
For now, I think I’ll keep my “Colorado Native” sticker on my car and if you see me around town, ask me about it. I would love to share with you why I love my state and you can share why you love yours.
McKenzie Wedel is an intern with the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.