Growing up on the east coast, your perception of Texas is what you might see in old John Wayne westerns. When I told my friends and family I was planning on moving here, I could see wild visions floating through their heads: there I am, coming home for the holidays embracing denim like it was the 1980s, struttin’ my stuff in cowboy boots, and maybe even wielding a pistol on my hip like old western days… Annie Oakley, tumbleweeds, and YEEHAW, perhaps.
Sure, there was some concern that I didn’t know much about Texas other than that Texans are proud of their BBQ, chili, and cream pies (and mostly everything that they do); and, yes, there was true concern that I didn’t really know anyone here… Would I be all by my lonesome in the Lone Star state?
Let me tell you, there is power in the state motto “Friendship”, because even though it’s only been a few weeks, I’ve never felt more at home since I left for college nearly ten years ago. Everyone here at FSAM, their families, our clients, my neighbors, and even strangers on the street have made me feel welcome and at home. The kindness of Texans is unparalleled.
The (unexpected) amount of grace, warmth, and heart that I’ve received since I moved here got me thinking of all the clichés I’ve heard about this great state: “is everything really bigger in Texas?” I sure think so…
One of the biggest things about Texas is its economy– over the past eight years, the state has far outpaced the national average in job creation (31.5 % growth compared with 12% nationwide). Unlike other states, Texas has had a stable, affordable housing market since the bubble in the early 2000s. Much of this stability and growth is due to its pro-business climate and low cost of living: sensible regulations, and no state income tax. The state has made it easy for Texans to live, work, and play. Bottom line: don’t mess with Texas.
Out of Forbes‘s ten best cities for job opportunities, five of those cities are in Texas, with Houston being at the very top of the list. With the plethora of oil and gas companies, healthcare institutions such as MD Anderson and Memorial Hermann, and loose regulations on building commercially, it’s no wonder Houston has grown the way it has. With these stellar companies drawing in top talent (the best of the bulls), the city gets more unique, diverse, and appealing for residents.
Forbes also ranked Houston as the “No. 1 Coolest City to Live In.” I don’t know if it’s the coolest temperature-wise, but it’s pretty hot-to-trot. There appears to be a wide array of events and happenings, from the recent Livestock Show & Rodeo, to the sounds of the symphony, and imagination in performing and visual arts. Not to mention, you can be outside the majority of the year – at Bayou Bend, Memorial Park, or many other outdoor cultural events and festivals. Plus, Houston has one of the yummiest and notable food scenes in the country.
Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be in Houston: thrilled to be a part of the team here at FSAM, thrilled to be learning, and thrilled to be living in this wonderful city. I am truly blessed and undoubtedly proud to be a Texan – you can hang your hat on it!