How does one become an Oregonian? Those of us who’ve moved here from a different state to live understand what I’m asking. We moved here 10 years ago from Chicago and sometimes I still feel like I am not considered to be an Oregonian by some. Oregonians are proud, easy going people, and very friendly, but like many people everywhere, some Oregonians have a hard time accepting change. I’m still told regularly that I’m not an Oregonian. I walk too fast and talk too fast and drive too fast. Many things that used to drive me crazy I now accept as part of the culture, like never pumping my own gas. I use to be frustrated that I am not allowed to do this basic task when I have been doing it for almost 20 years. Now I think of having a gas station attendant pump my gas as a little gift so I don’t have to get out of the car on a rainy winter day.
I’ve discovered there isn’t a magic formula for becoming an Oregonian. I do know that you feel like one before you are one. You can’t change Oregon, but it changes you. These days I am slowing down. I am starting to understand small town living, look forward to talking to people on 3rd Street, and I have found that as I’ve made friends and gotten to know my neighbors, I’m not too concerned anymore about not being considered an Oregonian. I just absolutely love living here and I can’t think of any place I would rather be than this wonderful place called Oregon.
Hey, I am an Oregonian!