Texas grows on you. I must admit I don’t live in the most beautiful area of Texas, but it has its hidden charms. Namely, the people. I have never smiled at so many people, said hello to so many strangers, and felt so free to ask for help in a grocery store. In California, with some exceptions, I learned to avoid eye contact because I don’t know what invitation I might have just given with my smile. Or, and this really happened, I might “offend” someone by being too friendly…seriously?
I have always been a friendly, albeit shy, person. But I had no idea how guarded I was until I moved out of California. Texans might just take the cake for friendliness and I find myself at an awkward loss wondering when I should make eye contact and when it’s okay to walk past without acknowledgement.
I work at a small Christian University and the friendliness is exponential here. When I first started working I would purposely take the longer route to the mail simply to walk on a wider path so I wouldn’t be caught in the awkward “Do I smile now…no NOW!” dilemma. And I hate to admit it, but I appreciate the Freshmen who are just as awkward as I am and don’t know if they should smile at me or not. Kindred spirits.
I’m not a Texan, but I like them. There is a certain passionate loyalty to their wide open grass plains, mesquite trees, and heat that is to be admired. Their great-grandfathers fought hard for the land and they passionately protect it. I am more of a mountain and ocean girl with lots of green to greet me, but the most beautiful thing about Texas — thunderstorms. I have never seen such impressive clouds, heard such deafening thunder, or seen such a display of fireworks in they sky. It is stunning. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.
Texas has been good to us so far, and I’m sure it will continue to be. It may not have been my first choice of location, but if I’ve learned one thing through my travels it’s that there is something beautiful and special about every place you go. To be happy in the desert you must find the flowers.
The thunderstorms and, most importantly, the people are my Texas flowers. Stunning.