I used to be a Texas hater. The politics, the Bible belt, the state narcissism. It was all a huge turnoff. Then I started dating someone who wanted to go to college in Texas (and still thought he was crazy). Then I went to Texas in February.
Living in Boston has taught me a lot about myself. First, I thought I would love living in a place where everyone agreed with me on all political issues. Growing up in Kentucky, I was ready to flee the legislative grips of Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul; however, I quickly realized that the flip side had its own downsides. I’m frustrated when citizens with conservative viewpoints are written off as inhuman or worthless, and I have found that without having contact with people who think differently than you do, it’s really easy to dehumanize them in your mind. Primarily, this comes in the form of assuming all Republicans are idiots. I’ll admit I occasionally let myself slip into this mindset, but I try to remember at all times that Republicans are humans, too, with different experiences and backgrounds than my own to form their opinions from. Their opinions should not be valued any less than my own.
The Northeast has also led me to realize that I love tacos, barbecue, and an amazing restaurant scene (read: Texas). Boston is an awesome city for many things and reasons, but food is not one of them. Texas has food on lock. I’ll make a separate post sometime about my favorite Houston eats and you’ll likely hear about my favorite Austin eats over the next week while I’m visiting, but I feel like people who are not from the south don’t quite understand what delicious food tastes like. Or maybe no matter how much I love to hate the south, I will always have a little bit of it with me in my tastebuds.
Final awesome part of Texas? The weather in winter. Picture this: Leaving Boston hours before a huge snowstorm hits and landing in 65-degree Houston before enjoying a weekend of sunshine and 75-degree weather. I get the winter blues like crazy and being able to go anywhere that has awesome weather in February is an absolute dream.
Brace yourselves to hear even more reasons why I’ve learned to love Texas over the next week while I visit John in Austin. Until next time!