Yes, I'm an Okie. And proud of it.
No, I wasn't born there. But Oklahomans don't expect you to be born there. They adopt you. It gets in your blood. It's something you are, and then because of Oklahoma you become something more.
I lived in Oklahoma since the 9th grade. I moved away when I was 21. Moved to many other cities as well. But I went back in 1993 and stayed. It is my home. It is my love.
Oklahoma is knowing what's important in life. It's not what you can buy for your kids. It's not trying to outdo your neighbor or your ex. Oklahoma is losing everything you own in the latest tornado yet going out and helping your neighbor find their cat.
Oklahoma is standing brave in the face of mother nature, screaming like a child when it comes for you and takes everything you own, then getting back up, brushing off your knees and rebuild in the same damn spot.
Yes Oklahoma gets a lot of tornadoes. More lately than normal. But there is danger in life, in every corner of the world. You can't hid from life. You can only face it head-on.
As for me, I know Oklahoma. I know the people. I know how strong they are and how strong that has made me. I would much rather face a tornado than an earthquake. And I grew up in California.
You can run from a tornado. You can hide from a tornado. You cannot hide from an earthquake.
And compared to where I live now, Oklahoma is the clear winner.
Where I live now there are gangs and shootings and burglaries and stabbings. All.the.time. Every night.
I would much rather be home in Oklahoma with the nice people and the occasional tornado than where I am now with the rude, 'me first' attitude, back-stabbing people that live here. Unfortunately my love lives here, so live here I will.
Yes Oklahoma has had it rough the past couple of weeks. And many of my family members and friends have been in the path of the recent tornadoes. Luckily, either the tornado lifted before it got to my family and friends, or it hit them and took out their house(s). And my friends that did lose their homes still count themselves as lucky. The are alive. Houses and pictures and cars can be fixed or found or rebuilt. People cannot.
Mother Nature is glorious in it's beauty and scary in its power. Just remember, Oklahoma is beautiful in its simplicity and stunningly polite through its people.
And the sunsets are some of the most gorgeous you have seen on the face of the earth.