Updated: Jun 20
Dear Wyoming. I’ve known you for at least three decades now. There was a time in my life when I thought I’d be happier somewhere else, and I left. It didn’t even last for a year and I came back. I missed the Bighorn Mountains, where I spent many of my childhood birthdays. I missed those teenage years when summers were spent under the waterfall on Casper Mountains. I didn’t know it yet, but I missed the ability to be able to walk from my house up White Mountain and back in a day. I haven’t been lucky enough to recreate those days in Gillette when we lived on two and a half acres tending a mini-farm. I love the “rurality” of Wyoming and I also love its people.
Our experiences define us. Our beliefs. And the way we treat others. Growing up in Wyoming always made me feel like I’ve gained a sense of strength and intelligence that other places couldn’t offer. There’s just something that screams accomplishment when one can push a shopping cart through a moderately plowed parking lot in 50 mile winds. Then there’s our energy industry. Those jobs usually require brute strength and a type of intelligence that can only be understood by watching Macgyver. I know not by doing, but by watching and listening to my Dad all those years in oil and within the last decade to my husband who was in coal and now in trona. Although I’ve tried to enter into those industries, Wyoming just seems to have other things in mind for me. Food service. This industry is not as easy as it looks and it is not filled with incompetence. It is filled with people who have to ask customers if they want cheese on their hamburger. Food service employees have a mental strength that endures physical threats over ten dollars and a physical strength to change pop bibs and unload trucks in the middle of taking orders. These are just the industries I know and populated by the people I interact with everyday.
When I lived in other places, I missed the way people would interact with one another in Wyoming. The common phrase “treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO” really sums it up best. I’ve always felt like I could talk to someone and connect in someway or somehow. I’ve had disagreements with people and still felt comfortable enough to say “bye” to someone with a genuine smile. Not only has living in Wyoming taught me to be strong and intelligent, but also have respect for others. Of course, there is “no such thing as a utopia”, but I am going to refuse to believe anything different about the entirety of Wyoming.
There’s always a different side to a story, to a belief. This is my story and although I may have deviated from it from time to time, as a general rule “I’m sticking to it”. I’m aware of the “trifectadness” of my state. As with my story, my belief has not changed. I research topics, listen to and watch elected officials, pay attention to how candidates run their campaigns and most importantly talk to anyone who wants to talk to me. My beliefs are not built by the county party, nor the state party, nor the national party. I chose them first. I’m not speaking on behalf of any of them, I’m speaking for myself right now. Wyoming people are intelligent, strong and know the meaning of respect. Continue to have the intelligence to know that we are all different, but also have at least one thing in common, Wyoming. Continue to be strong and get past our political differences to come to solutions instead of insults. Continue to have respect for each other, where at the end of the day we are all human. I encourage all of us to not let national politics define us as a people.
Sincerely, a Democrat in Wyoming
February 26th, 2019