Being A Colorado Native Does Not Make You Better [Opinion]
I love Colorado. I have lived in this state many times in my life dating back to 1985, but I wasn't born here, so I am a transplant. There is an interesting vibe you occasionally pick up if you're not from here. Those that have lived in this state all their lives sometimes infer superiority over people that choose to move here.
Generally speaking, this community has been very friendly to my family. My kids love the schools and teachers. I have had many who have been very welcoming, but not everyone.
A few weeks ago, I asked why Grand Junction has all the streets with fractions. Some answers were very informative while others were hilarious. Then, there were a couple who basically stated if I was "from" here, then I would know. I don't know if they meant it this way, but I took it as I was an outsider and not really welcome.
Brief personal history lesson. I was born in Missouri. When I hit my teens, I became infatuated with the idea of living in the mountains. I would use free hours during my school day - feel free to insert your favorite Missouri educational system joke here, I know I would - to go to the library and research Colorado and the mountain states. It was at this point of my life that I decided to live here someday.
My first trip to Colorado happened in 1985 when I lived in the Four Corners. Radio can turn you into a gypsy so I ended up leaving a couple years later eventually returning to the Four Corners back in 1996 then in Colorado Springs in 2006. Due to illness in my family, I returned to Missouri shortly thereafter.
When I joined 95 Rock this year, it was my first time back in Colorado in nearly 10 years. My family was thrilled to be back in what we consider our second home. I would be lying if I said that the city has embraced us with open arms.
Let me be clear on one very important point. This is not a complaint just about Grand Junction. When I lived in the Four Corners, there was a big-time anti-California sentiment. If you were buying real estate down there and you were from California, you were black sheep. The same vibe happened in Colorado Springs. If you were not from there, you were a second-class citizen.
I have run into several other transplants - the word natives use for us, not my preferred term - they expressed the same thought that has been bothering me. Some, definitely not all, locals seem to resent and/or feel superior to people who move here instead of being born here.
I have tried to understand why anyone would resent other people who weren't born where they were. Shouldn't it be considered a good thing that someone loves your area so much that they choose to relocate their family and make it their home?
I may not be the most popular person for bringing this up, but I think it's time to call this what it is - geological prejudice. Last time I checked, you don't get to pick where you're born.
Grand Junction is such a beautiful area with an incredibly diverse population of smart and sometimes very cultured people. If you choose not to embrace those who choose to cross the country and live where you do, how will anyone ever learn to appreciate why you love this area?