Why I’ll Never Leave Oklahoma

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I’ve lived in Oklahoma most of my life. In fact, I’m a third generation OU Graduate, a fact I’m rather proud of. My family is from Oklahoma, generations deep.

I’ve often thought about leaving Oklahoma, but deep down I know that I would miss it too much. This is where we’ve put our roots down. In fact, my husband and I discovered we lived in the same neighborhood growing up, before we met in high school. All of our family is here, within a few miles of each other. 

It makes me think of that popular question people ask- Mountains or Beach? And, personally, I always struggle to answer this question (Mountains if I really had to choose). Because in my heart, I’m a prairie girl. There is something so tranquil about this prairie land we call home. I love looking out the window when we’re on the road, and I feel a peace descend. 

I find so much beauty here. 

And one of the most beautiful aspects of Oklahoma?

The community. 

In fact, after the May 20th tornado back in 2013, I watched the classic “Oklahoma” musical. It had been several years since I had seen it- my sister and I loved to rent old musicals from Blockbuster on Friday night, classics like “Hello Dolly!” “Calamity Jane”. We’d get to sleep on the couch bed in the living room, and it was literally the best- and I was surprised at how emotional it made me. It was probably the first time I really felt pride in being an Oklahoman, I think. Watching that movie, seeing the community come together after the devastation of the tornadoes, and understanding what makes Oklahoma so special.

More recently, a small business shared a social media post asking for help because business wasn’t going well. In fact, they were at the brink of having to close the doors altogether.

How did our community respond? 

Wonderfully. 

Beautifully.

Perfectly.

That post went viral within a few hours. I saw it shared all over my newsfeed, in just about every local group there is . 

The community showed up for this business in a huge way. They sold out of everything and, I imagine, pulled a near all-nighter to prepare for the next business day. 

And they struggled to keep up the next day. 

Their story was shared on the news. 

Having watched this happen, I must admit that it made me feel good. I was (and still am) so proud to be part of this community, because when it matters the most, we show up to help one another. Always, without hesitation. 

It’s amazing to watch people rally around people they don’t know, to support their dream and their livelihood. I think it’s so import to remember that strangers are sometimes our biggest fans and loudest cheerleaders. 

This is just one example. I remember several of these situations happening the in the height of the pandemic.

It happens in the wake of storms or natural disasters. It happens at large, or even in the support of a single family or person in need. 

It’s the Oklahoma Standard.

It’s what makes Oklahoma so uniquely beautiful and so hard to leave.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not blind to the issues that face Oklahoma. It’s just, in this season where it seems like nothing but negativity in the world, it is such a great reminder that at the heart of the matter, we are a community, and we rally around our own. 

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