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Arizona: Can't Live With It, Can't Live Without It.

juliah's picture

As my friends love to point out, I talk about my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, well, a lot. It was especially intense when I first arrived at Bryn Mawr as a frosh last year, but I was honestly taken aback when this was first pointed out. You see, I spent most of my time in high school working with the express purpose of getting out of "this place", so the idea that I might actually miss it catapulted me into a sort of mini-identity crisis (no matter how melodramatic that sounds). I had never felt at home in Arizona, differing greatly from the majority of my friends on ideological issues, and I thought of going to a liberal-minded college as my ticket out of what sometimes seems like the breeding ground for unstable racist bigots. Once I realized this foreign longing, however, I began to see my state in a new light. I had held so much resentment toward what are merely ideas, and now I am starting to realize that I can love Arizona for its parts, not necessarily as a whole. This picture highlights that idea: I care deeply for and about components of Arizona, and am trying to focus on them. I don’t mean to suggest that I am ignoring the pieces that infuriate me (which is still a good chunk), but this newfound acceptance actually motivates me to fight back for my state, instead of running away.