me: Hello, my name is Brandi.
you: Hello Brandi.
me: I have been living in Texas for 4.5 years. I have been a legal resident for almost 2 years. I am the parent of 2 children who were born Texans.
you: Welcome Brandi.
me: Thank you, it's taken me a long time to admit it to myself, but I can now, and I'm ready to grow now.
So as with many other parts of my life, I feel like I need a support group sometimes to get through these things. I need words of wisdom and support and usually just a swift kick to the rear to get me in line. But I'm tired of living a double life. So that's why I'm here today. I love Arkansas. I miss it. I miss so many people there. Family, friends, the Razorbacks, restaurants, mountains, so many things that just aren't the same as they are down here. And now as people complain about the snow they are getting in Arkansas it just makes me want to thump them in the head. I will always, always be an Arkansan. But, there's more to me now.
I like Texas too. Before my family and friends freak out on me, let me clarify. I still can't stand UT and their burnt orange obnoxiousness. And I don't like that there aren't really seasons per se. But I do like my life as it is now. And a big part of that is because of where I am.
For a long time I lived in denial. We were foreign missionaries in Texas just trying to get our edumacation and get back to our roots. After we were done with that we were willing to engage in a little experiment where we start a family, I work full time and Stanton works more than full time to start a company. Still on the ready to go back to AR at the drop of a dime, hoping that's where God was getting us back to. But now, there's no denying it and I'm actually embracing it. My family is living in Texas. My children are Texans. And I'm not going to apologize for it any more.
God has blessed us beyond what we could hope for. And as my dear friend so eloquently put it, but being apologetic and denying what was going on for us, we were diminishing God's glory and grace in our lives. And I'm done. A while back I was able to say that I really enjoyed a lot about our lives, I just wanted Waco to be transplanted about 6.5 hours to the northeast. While I would still love for that to happen, it's really not very likely. So I'm just going to fully and completely embrace my life here. Yes, I live in Waco, TX. Yes, my children are Texans. Yes, I miss out on a lot of family things. Yes, I like the attention of being the event when we do make trips back home. Yes, I am happy.
I have a great network of friends. I have a part time job that I love. I have the ability to be at home 5 days a week with my kids. Stanton is doing a job that he loves and finds great value in. We are in a good place for our kids to grow. Our kids are healthy and happy. And quite frankly if I don't change my attitude soon, my kids might grow up thinking they are second class citizens because of where they were born. While I do want them to know how much we love AR, what it means to us, and all the great things about it. I've got to stop being so reactive to the few Texans I know who think they are somehow privileged because they were born here. It should just be a non-issue. There are some pretty neat things Texas has to offer. And we need to take some time to enjoy them.
On that note, part of this shift was due to the realization that we can no longer escape back to AR whenever we want. Stanton's job keeps him BUSY. He is allotted a good number of vacation days, but by the time you take some time for Christmas vacation, a summer vacation, a spring trip and a fall trip, there's not many days left. We no longer have the luxury of academic schedules. And we also want the kids to have more experiences than just traveling to and from Arkansas once a month (though we're not sure how this balances with how much we value their time spent with family). We want to go to zoos, maybe some camping, do short day trips when we can. Unfortunately, this means we won't see our families as much. But hopefully they'll be able to make some extra special time for us when we do come. And maybe start making even more trips down here.
It's a hard shift for me to make. But I'm not going to apologize any more for living in Texas. We truly believe that we're here because of God's grace and provision. And as another blogger put it, it's time for me to BWYP - Bloom Where You're Planted.
p.s. Speaking of being unapologetic, my background will remain Christmas-y until my house is no longer decorated. I set the minimum amount of time based on bowl games. Christmas lights and tree stay up and on through bowl season. Stanton is out of town this weekend, so I'm guessing you may see a switch around the 20th or so. :)
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