It is not a lie that thousands of Californian natives have moved to Texas over the years for many different reasons. It could be money, job, politics or simply just wanting to start somewhere new. Regardless of the reason, fitting in has always been a struggle.
Why I made the Big move
My whole family was extremely close to each other. For around a year, my brother-in-law had been looking for a job in California. He works in food management and there isn’t a whole lot of opportunities for those kinds of jobs in the northern California area and so he started to look out of state. He found numerous places that he he might have wanted to go but out of Nevada, Texas, and Tennessee, he chose the Lone Star State.
Being that my mom is retired, my dad can move his job, and I was just in my first year of community college, my mom was ready for a change. Just a year prior, my sister had twin boys and my mom was the babysitter for them and so it made sense why not to just move with them. We had no other outside family and so the seven of us up and made the move. The only person we left behind was my brother who had a great job and simply didn’t make sense for him to move the 3k miles.
In the summer of ’21, we had closed on a house and that is when our big move had started. Now this move was one of the craziest and longest things we had done. It was over 25 hours to drive with all our stuff and it was was a long and insane drive. Finally arriving in McKinney, Texas was a blessing. My current family resides just outside of there and I visit as often as I can.
Why saying you’re from California is so hard
Since coming down to TAMU I have always said that I am from about an hour north of Dallas. Often, in my community classes, I noticed that people would give me strange looks when I said I was from California. I would get side eyes and even have people scoff. People move often and you think this wouldn’t be an issue. As a result, I’ve delt with feelings of shame and a little bit of anger because it was where I was from. Being that I have grown up in California for over 17 years, it feels more like home than one that I have found here.
One of my biggest pet peeves that people say to me is, “Did you come to Texas because it was cheaper?”. When I lived in Northern California, the cost of living in was the same as our current one in Texas. The place I lived in wasn’t a big city and as a result the housing costs were fairly low. I just think it is odd to assume people who move to Texas from California are looking to take advantage of the economy. I have asked my mom and she has said it costs about the same to live in Texas as it did there. Which whenever I tell people that, they get upset. Moreover, another thing I get told often is to vote red. The whole don’t turn my Texas blue is just so weird. I understand caring about politics, but they were just way too extreme when it comes to politics. It always seems more like a threat than simply just sharing their beliefs.
What I have learned
What I have learned so far since moving is that it is okay to hold on to where you came from, but also know when is the proper place to tell it. Just because someone dislikes where you’re from, it’s okay to tell them not to be rude. I have had some acquaintances be super harsh about it and just letting them know that it’s not okay was an important thing. I also know to just simply enjoy my time here because this has become my new home. I take in the culture, the food and most definitely the people I have become great friends with.