Culture Shock

Generally, when you hear the term “culture” you think of a foreign country and their way of life versus yours in the country you live in. This post is not about that type of culture. As I briefly mentioned in my “About Me” section, I am originally from the South. I was born and raised in Houston and lived there until I graduated high school. For some crazy reason I had been fixated on going to school in Oregon and have now been here for a little more than six months. Boy, are things different!

For a while now I have wanted to openly discuss the things that make Texas so awesome and also not so awesome while doing the same for Oregon. So here I go:

Texas PROS: 

  • Southern Gentlemen
  • Southern Hospitality
  • What-a-Burger
  • Immense love for football
  • The Hill Country
  • Pecans
  • Steakhouses
  • Cowboys
  • George Strait
  • My family
  • HEB
  • ChickFilA
  • Mexican food
  • Last but not least.. It will always be my HOME ❤

Texas CONS: 

  • It is ALWAYS hot pretty much
  • Houston and Dallas traffic
  • Lift-kits
  • The smog and pollution around Houston area

Oregon PROS:

  • No pollution
  • Beautiful trees and greenery
  • Small little coastal towns that look out onto the Pacific
  • hiking
  • Clean, fresh water
  • Portland
  • So many thrift stores
  • Cool fashion sense
  • REAL seafood

Oregon CONS:

  • Rains almost every day
  • A-lot of poverty in some places
  • Substances out of the wazoo
  • Hypocrites about tolerance
  • Low supply of meat
  • Hippies and Tree Huggers

So, there you have it. A list of Pros and Cons about my home place and where I currently live. Honestly, a big reason as to why I came to write it all out had to deal with yesterday, Ash Wednesday. Like a good Catholic should I went to Ash Wednesday Mass yesterday at noon. Of course I also wore my ashes for the rest of the day like you are supposed to. For some reason I felt that I got more stares at people for the ash cross on my forehead here on campus than I ever did back home. Surprisingly one of my good friends even asked what had happened to me as she did not know what it meant. This is strange to me because where I grew up in Houston there were so many religious institutions that not many people didn’t know about such practices.

Yesterday definitely showed me the differences in faith culture between the two states. I had always known that all over America there could be different sorts of culture identified with their different areas, for instance the South and our use of the words ain’t and y’all. It’s funny how people always talk about learning ’bout new cultures and ways of life in a foreign country when all they need to do really is go to another part of the country.

(Also, if you couldn’t tell by my PROS list for Texas.. I am a major foodie.)


No pain, no gain

This phrase relates to what is going on in my life so well. Just this past weekend I went on my first ever hiking trip and this coming up Weds. is Ash Wednesday while Spring Break just keeps on creeping up. [Hopefully, I’ll be able to drop some pounds during Lent like I did after hiking! ;)]

To start off, for all those who read this and don’t know me personally, I am one of the least athletic people you will ever meet (sans swimming). This isn’t because instead I was Miss Pageant Queen or Miss Intellectual (lie… I could be considered being the last one). No, for all of my life i’ve been living with a bum knee that would come out of its socket randomly off and on. So it’s easy to see why I never got super into doing sports or anything of the sort. With that being said, I also have never been hiking before either. I may have gone into the trip with rose colored glasses because what I did was not at all what I had expected. Never in my life did I think i’d be climbing up a freaking 70 degree angle slope of a sand dune not just once but twice (by the third time I just slid my way down…wheeee!). Honestly, I am still suffering from it all while typing this in my nice n’ cozy bed.

Also, being the bad Catholic that I am I totally didn’t know what day Ash Wednesday was until this past Friday (tsk tsk on me). So while collapsing after getting home from my hike last night I contemplated what I could give up for Lent. Not wanting to get all big headed, but it was hard to come up with things that are considered vices. I don’t drink alcohol nor coffee, I don’t smoke and I don’t eat that much chocolate (allergic). So I was stuck… Until I thought of my routine every other week day: “Go to Geology lecture..wait an hour at Dux while eating a poppyseed muffin and Chobani yogurt..then go to Math”. Simple? Yes..but there is a culprit amongst that routine and that is that damn poppyseed muffin. I don’t know why but I love those things, just are so yummy! Yet, I didn’t feel like that was enough. So I looked back at my daily routine and was noticing how I like to frequent Facebook a few times a day (hey, who doesn’t?). Therefore, adios Facebook and poppyseed muffins for quite a few weeks! And I know it’ll be tough and there will be lots of temptation…but it’s okay, Pinterest and blueberry muffins/banana bread will help me cope 😉

Looking from both situations from a “glass half full” perspective, you can speak of how from hiking I got some exercise and from Lent I distanced myself from the drain of Facebook….. which leads me to how Spring Break is coming up! As we all know, this time of year is when more and more gym memberships are being activated and you see more women out there on the running trails. Yes, swimsuit season will shortly be upon us. Therefore it is time to “feel the burn” and get going on that body! I myself am even wanting to get in better shape (meaning to TONE, not go all supermodel SKINNY–don’t do it girls, you’re just hurting yourselves!). It’s hard not to get into a mindset of wanting a “killer bod” when people keep on pinning cute swimsuits on Pinterest or while flipping through a magazine you see an editorial featuring the latest swim concoctions.

The hiking trip and Lent can then, inexplicably, be narrowed down to helping me. If I eat no poppyseed muffins, then I am therefore eating less bread in general. By going on that hiking trip I learned that I can physically accomplish a-lot more than what I thought I could meaning I can go on more strenuous walks in the park. Lastly, the less time I spend on Facebook equates to more time enjoying things that actually have value. Therefore, the phrase “no pain, no gain” can truly come out meaning that even if you “lose” something there can always be something better to take its place. 🙂

(Have a good beginning of the week y’all!)