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It is the middle of the month of June, which means this gal has officially lived in Texas for TEN. YEARS.

!!

I can’t remember the precise date, so let’s suffice to say that the entire month is my Tex-iversary. I grew up for most of my life in Florida, near the beach and attended pretty tech-savvy/artsy schools. Halfway through high school, my dad retired from the military and relocated our family to a teeny Texas town near where he grew up. There was quite a bit of culture shock, to say the least. I am ashamed to say that when I thought of Texas, I literally thought of people riding horses to school. (But if we’re being honest here guys, the truth really isn’t that far off the mark in the small towns.)

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Eventually, I found myself in Dallas. Both for college and then for my first industry job at an animation studio. And I fell in love with several things there.

First, the city. I had never felt a “home” connection with a physical place before in my life, and I never realized it until I spent some time in Dallas. When I see the skyline after spending time away, I literally feel relief. I’m not sure what it is about the city. Maybe it’s the architecture, the art, the people, the neighborhoods, the dog-friendliness, the little lake, the closeness of it all, but it’s my first real home.

Secondly, myself. I struggled a long time with my identity, trying to impress the wrong people and blaming any negative experiences on my own shortcomings. In Dallas, I met wonderful like-minded people at my school and my job that showed me that whatever kind of odd artsy person I was, was totally perfect and acceptable. And outside of my family, I hadn’t really experienced much of that before.

And thirdly, I found my sweet Andy in Dallas. It’s so funny to think that the whole time I was struggling and wondering and waiting just outside of Dallas, my soulmate was just inside the city the entire time. We’ve discovered that years before we met, we had hung out in the same neighborhoods and even attended the same concerts and festivals. I’m so thankful that we didn’t meet until we did though. God’s timing is perfect and we both had our own trials to walk through before we were ready to know each other.

To celebrate my ten year anniversary, Andy and I are planning on just filling the summer with Texas-y things that maybe we have or haven’t done before. Visiting some of the cities and waterholes and parks that I somehow just haven’t found time for during these last ten years.

I’ll admit, that when I first moved here, I used to roll my eyes at how fired up native Texans would get about the state (I mean come on, it’s just a state guys). But now, I find myself cheering for the Rangers, planning girl’s nights around margaritas and queso, thinking 100 degree summer days aren’t that bad, and all the while with an odd sense of scorn towards the state of Oklahoma.

Yee-haw, y’all!

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