Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Generalizations

bee skeps photo found here

I think you could think of any one area and totally generalize it or its population. Texas = cowboys. Not true, my husband only started listening to country and wearing large belt buckles since moving to the Beehive State. New Jersey = big hair and people who pop their gum. My friend Lindsey does neither, although she has only lived there for about 1 year, so maybe in time. Seattle = coffee and tree-hugging liberals. This might be true. My niece, who is 5, wants to vote for Hillary, sadly no longer in the race, but if you listen to some talk she might be soon. But I don't think she drinks coffee, but she does talk to trees, and a chicken named Strawberry, but they talk back.

In any case, I think all states can be misunderstood. I live in Utah. I only have known one polygamist, in high school, and he was the child of a polygamist - at least that was the story. I can't remember his name, but it started with a G. There are a lot of Mormons, no doubt. But, not everyone is, and most the people who live here like the values of the community, the ideals, the abundance of outdoor activities, the family centric-ness (or is it family-centricness? familycentricity?), the good Diet Coke. It's true that there isn't a lot of cultural diversity, but there is a lot more than you think. And from what I understand, the majority of us a pretty tolerant. No, really. Doesn't mean we are without opinions, but we can be tolerant.

What I like about being in this state, just to name a few:

1. The seasons. I may not like them all equally, but you don't get bored too often and the changes are beautiful.
2. People. I love that most days, I run into some random person I know in some random place. Not just a neighbor in my supermarket, but my kindergarten teacher in another city. Or passing by friendly faces as I drive across town. Or an old college friend. Or one of my best friends. You can connect the dots with the 6 degrees of seperation with just about anyone you meet.
3. Familiar landmarks. I walked across the
U campus this Saturday and fall just gets me. It brings back floods of memories - running to class, living in the sorority house, how beautiful and safe it feels, the smell of fall and football. Trudging through snow was not my favorite but then you had Spring and it was all worth it. I guess I should say the education was great, it was, but like I have said before, time at a university is about more than just academics.
4. The endless outdoor options. I admit, I am not outdoorsy. I like the outdoors, but I am not a fanatic. But I have options. Like
here , here , here, and of course the canyons that have lots of camping, skiing, hiking, places to sit and places to do nothing. It is all so pretty. And you don't have to drive too far to get to any of them.
5. My neighborhood and its neighboring hoods.
6. Family. This is where I am from. I have lots here.
7. Friends. I have good ones.

I am sure there are an abundance of reasons I could come up with, but this just struck me.

5 comments:

Through the Looking Glass said...

Yes, I often can't believe that I ended up in Utah, for what seems like good, but there are so many things I love about this state. It's not my original home, but it will always be home to me. And Utah is much more diverse than almost anyone, including the people who live here, give it credit. You can find any lifestyle, belief, practice, culture and activity here, but I am proud of the Mormon heritage of this state that makes it a little more family-friendly and kid-centric than your average Iowa or Missouri or Florida.

Go Utah, Go Utes, Go Families, and Go Fall. Oh, and Go Whit. (Might I add that I LOVE that we live within five minutes of each other?)

Miss said...

I have only been here a year and am still struggling to see all the positives...but I will say that the best thing about moving here is seeing hubby get close to his family..his parents, brothers and sister. They never kept in touch when we lived in the great state of TEXAS...but since we have been here they have developed a true bond that was absent before. It seems like in years past they were just people who had the same parents and that was as deep as they went. But now they look for ways to hang out together.
SO...if Dave ever gets the chance to move back to TEXAS...don't pass it up for a moment. You will treasure getting to see him have what you have always enjoyed. And it will give you new perspective too..It's good to shake things up for a while.
Not that I am not anxious to go back Home.. but I can live with Matt having his day in the sun for now. But I don't know if I can say that in a few months when I am ready to jump off the nearest mountain because I am sick of the snow...but today its good.

Mike, Tia & Annabelle said...

It's true, we miss Utah - I think because Arizona seems to be skipping autumn, Mike is in mountain withdrawal. Great post. I think it is important to find positives about where you are (location wise and in life too).

Angel said...

Hey Whit- I thought the polygamist son that we went to school with started with a S. and was an awesome cross country runner. I guess we'll have to pull out the yearbook...

Jenny said...

Sounds fabulous - Now when I move in next door I'll have a clue about my new state.
Do you have any generalisations about Aust' or Victoria in paticular? Would be interesting to know. Maybe you've never heard of my home state!