I’ve lived in Texas for five years now. Safe to say, no native of the state would remotely consider me a Texan, though. Being a true Texan, I think, is not so much a matter of hometowns and habits as it is something that exists in the ethereal zone where there is an overlap between a spiritual state and an art form.
I don’t begrudge this; I merely stand in awe of it. It’s as intense and intrinsic a form of identity, I gather, as any birthright. I also believe that regardless of where on earth you had your nativity, you either are or aren’t born to be a Texan. Some people born in the state of Texas can take it or leave it, some just need and can’t wait to leave it, period, and can’t take it at all. And as the slogan here goes, there are non-natives who swear that ‘I was born in X, but I got to Texas as fast as I could.’
Kind of the way of all callings, I suppose. Some have a clear sense of destiny or vocation, and some don’t. Some adore what that purpose promises them, some are indifferent, and some will go to the ends of the earth and beyond, if necessary, to escape it as if it were Toxic Doom, Incorporated. We all have our ways of ridin’ the fences.
So if I can’t be a real-live ranch hand no matter how that suits my romantic image of what it ought to mean to be a Texan, at least I’ve found my ways to make living in Texas suit me just fine, for as long as I desire to live here or the Real Texans don’t hogtie me and ship me out of the state in a rickety hay-wagon with a busted axle.