As we grow older we bring our baggage along with us. Some is not so good, some good, some has no meaning right or wrong but are our own preconceived notions of what we expect. For our recent family outing to Austin, Texas I was quite surprised by what I discovered to be in-so-much fact.
Having spent little time in the Lone Star state, my own baggage pulled along the idea I would find a less diverse group populating the capital city of Austin. I am hopefully not so much a dullard to believe everyone would be in chaps, boots, a hat and a big shiny buckle. However to some extent, there was much less of 'Texas' on display than I would have imagined. Most of the cowboy way was on signage and showed little in the populace.
Other than a slight uptick in the Latino group and fewer African-Americans I could have just assumed I was still home in my midwest abode. Other than a propensity for many to say ya'll, most had little or no accent that plucked at my ear which was as well a slight surprise although most Texans do not consider themselves southerners. They are Texans. They don't need an accent.
Too often people and places define themselves by what they think they should be. I'm southern so I should like stock car racing and guns, or SoCal so I should be like, well, you know, like this. I was glad to see such a variety in Texas. It was a true melting pot. People didn't seem to define themselves by the region or my expectation of what I thought they should be.
I would hope most people strive to be something other than a narrowly defined optic of what others would have them be. A truly unique experience is having a conversation with a belt-buckle wearing cowboy who can speak to oceanography. Limit your mind and you limit your soul.
(And if you ever visit Austin a trip to Cannoli Joe's Italian restaurant is an absolute must. I was truly in heaven.)