Well, Spokane, we’ve been through a lot together. From surviving Jr. High, to going through a house fire, to graduating High School, to getting my first job, lots of life has been lived here. I want to thank you for teach me some things. You know, the norm, the fact that the rest of the country doesn’t say “You guys” to a group of girls and that most people learn what “Pollo” means from Spanish class, and not the name of a restaurant (that’s pronounced “Poi-yo”). Snow actually sucks and a farm means work and meat doesn’t come from the grocery store. Apparently a lake qualifies as a beach and non-tan white skin exists and hair really does get blonder from the sun. Most people complain in 100 degree weather and 60 degrees means we take our sweatshirts off. Driving slow is totally fine and building a strong church community can be very rewarding. Yep, Spokane, you’ve taught me things I never would have learned in California.
I also want to thank you for something you may not have done on purpose. I want to thank you for instilling in me a desire to be different and stand out>> in a good way. You saw how tough those Jr. High and early High School years were for this girl. I just wanted to fit in and be like everyone else because I saw how everyone else was like everyone else. And they were so cool. I stopped telling people I was from LA for a little while because sometimes it meant yet another potential friend became a definite not. For most people, it might sound like I’m complaining, but seriously, not to sound cliche or anything, I’m totally not. I eventually figured out that it was okay that I was from LA and living in Spokane. In fact, I wore it like a badge of honor because it meant that I was different.
Now, I’m excited that I’m different. I rock my signature style and enjoy the glances at my heeled booties and intense eye-makeup. Bringing up California in conversation is my favorite, and I’ve found that a lot of people actually want to hear about it. I take pride in the fact that not all of my friends are white and grew up in the same town as me. Honestly, I attribute the fact that I can drive and actually stay in my lane and don’t freak out on freeways to the many hours spent on the 405. So yeah, I’m different. But, honestly Spokane, I love that.
I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. You’ll always be home to me in a sense that California isn’t. Of course, California will always be home to me in a sense that you aren’t. But I love you and I’m thankful for my years spent here. I know that if I had lived in California my whole life, I probably wouldn’t be much better off than some of the, to put it bluntly, somewhat close-minded people I’ve encountered here. I’m thankful that you gave me a sense of diversity, even if you did do it in a somewhat roundabout way.
So thanks a million, Spokane. If you don’t mind, I’ll keep on wearing my leather jacket instead of a school sweatshirt and staying inside instead of skiing because I’m cold. But never will I ever dread coming back when I leave because I love you Spokane, in a way that maybe people who have lived here their whole life can’t.
P.S. I’m the designated driver in California when driving up a mountain thanks to you. Snow driving is another thing you taught me and now I actually like it. Yeah man.