In my travels, I’ve gotten to see countless different ways of living and being. I’ve questioned, and still question, where I belong.
I’m a Texas girl. Born and raised in San Antonio, I’ve spent the vast majority of my life in Texas (minus the years I lived in Florida). If there was ever a place fraught with stereotypes, Texas is that place. And here’s a little secret: some (not all) of those stereotypes are actually true. (Don’t tell anyone, ‘kay?)
If you know me at all, you know there are precious few stereotypes I fit into. In terms of what makes a Texas girl, a Texas girl, I’ve never fit the mold. Which has left me wondering…am I a good Texan? There have been plenty of times that I was confronted with a true Texas stereotype and thought to myself, “I don’t belong here…”
A few of the molds that I just don’t fit in:
I don’t like breakfast tacos. Or kolaches.
I do not now, nor have I ever, owned a pair of cowboy boots.
Boots in Texas really are a point of pride, and people will spend hundreds (thousands?) of dollars for a custom pair. They can be ornate or simple, colorful, or monochrome…people love their boots. And in Texas, they’re an every-season shoe.
I’m a flip flops girl. I really try to only wear shoes the bare minimum of time. Cowboy boots…? Thank you for asking, but no thank you.
I don’t country dance.
I have to say, I’ve never felt more like a fish out of water than the few times I’ve gone to a country dance hall. I can stumble my way through a two-step, and I’m all in for the cotton-eyed joe, but good lord, have you ever seen some of those people out there going full-tilt country-swinging?? I can’t even wrap my mind around how people learn to do that…
I don’t hunt or shoot
I can’t hit the broad side of a barn unless I have a laser site (even then, it’s iffy). I don’t like shooting, and I have no desire to go hunting. I personally have nothing against hunting for meat purposes. I won’t be the one hunting.
I don’t like tubing
Tubing (or toobing) the river is practically a religion in Texas. I went a couple of times, years ago, and have to say- I’m okay not doing it again. “They” say it’s relaxing, but all I can think about is what might be slithering around underneath me (there are a LOT of snakes in Texas! A LOT!), how many people are using the river as a toilet right at this very moment, how long do we have to stay out here…
This, more than anything, makes me question my Texan-ness.
So what makes a good Texan? Is the above criteria the measuring stick by which we should all be determining if we’re good at it or not?
Ironically, I never noticed my Texan-ness until I was living in Florida, working for Disney (where being Texan came in quite handy). “Being Texan” really is a state of mind. It’s a way of being and interacting with other people. It’s an inherent friendliness, in which treating strangers like old friends is the norm. It’s making conversation with strangers in the checkout line. It’s waving to people in your neighborhood, even if you don’t know them. It’s making eye contact and smiling. It’s sharing a camaraderie in support of sports teams, even when they don’t do well.
I’ve learned that “being Texan” can’t be pigeon-holed into a single descriptor. The art scenes are expanding, the tech industry is booming, and every single culture can be celebrated (as long as there’s a party of some sort, we’re pretty much all in).
So this summer, my quest is to explore. To take advantage of the natural beauty and resources central Texas has to offer, and discover the elements of San Antonio that have been reinvented and revitalized. Texas is so much more than “country,” and I can’t wait to experience it with you!
Stay tuned for my Summer San Antonio Bucket List!