This is such an interesting feeling.
I've been in California ten months now. And I am sitting here missing Texas for the first time.
I think it's been a coping mechanism. Normalizing everything that I'm experiencing and going through. Moving to a new place completely alone poses so many possibilities for growth, improvement, maturity, lifelong storytelling opportunities and conversation starters; relating to more people.
These things are all great. But what I wouldn't give for my friends and family to understand what I talk about without it seeming like something totally alienated. The pier, the PCH, Abbott Kinney, the 405 or the 10 traffic, WeHo, The Bungalow, carne asada on top of everything, bringing socks to the beach so you don't burn your feet... Things that are my 'normal' life now that I have to explain or try to relate.
Even more so, I want to talk about the 12th Man, for someone to understand Blue Bell and bluebonnets. Mexican food is awesome but gimme some tex-mex! Football being the truest sport. I miss my closest friends and family. Seeing how things are changing and I'm not there. How I'm changing and I'm not there.
So far, I've been keeping them separate. California, and Texas. Home, and new home.
As I've been adapting here, meeting new friends, creating new memories and how those memories are slowly starting to feel like real life, I fear that my Texas roots are slipping away.
I know this is virtually impossible, but I have to admit to myself I've been so busy trying to not realize how much being away from Texas stresses me out, that I've been shutting out the fact that I am completely and totally homesick. I tell people I'm from Texas and it feels weird.
I miss country music (no Texan can truly dislike it), driving on backroads with the windows down and waving to EVERYONE you pass, the sunsets... Austin, College Station, even Amarillo. Texas Hill Country, lake days until you're tanned to a crisp and raw from the wind and water of being on a boat all day, July 4th holidays that are weeks long, the pride that cannot be explained or replicated anywhere else on earth. Texas flags outnumbering any other. Mountains, canyons, hills, lakes, plains, deserts.
It's about blending the two, not replacing one. When you are so busy trying to absorb so much new culture, so many new people, none of which understand your upbringing, trying to learn theirs and never getting a fair chance to explain yours...
I am a TEXAN. I bleed maroon, I wear my Aggie gold everywhere I go and being out of the state will never change that, I put my family and friends above all else.
I miss small towns and late nights, simpler times. The fact that those places still exist.
I listen out my window and can hear the dull roar of millions of people in LA. I love it here, it is beautiful. California has some beautiful places. But it will never be as beautiful as people that truly care for one another and where genuine hospitality is first nature.
It will never replace home. I need to work on combining my homes, not separating them. It's surprisingly harder than it would seem, primarily when you're trying to not miss home and accept your new one - especially when it's by force of job relocation or the like. Making the best of how life can really take you places. However, I like to think this whole concept is even more difficult for a Texan... We have a lot of pride! (And for good reason)
Remembering the four wheeling around hill country Texas until sunset, family reunions, The Dixie Chicken, wearing little red cowboy boots, Midnight Yell Practice, not really being aware that there were other states. Texas BBQ, swimming just to survive the heat, slow country songs, long road trips (while remaining in the state the entire time), bold Texas history, the importance of fried okra and sweet tea. Mostly the indescribable pride and camaraderie.
Wherever I live, I will always love Texas most. I am a Texan living in California <3