When I was younger all I wanted was to get out of Kansas.
I was going to do big things. I was going to live in a big city. (Despite my inability to ever know where I am going). I was going to travel. I was going to see the world.
Small minds. Small towns. Small people. That’s how I saw the Sunflower State. I was ashamed that we were often the laughing stock of the nation — whether it was rejecting evolution or being the last to catch on to the latest fashion trend, Kansas always seemed to be behind. And I wanted to be ahead.
I applied for jobs all over the country when I graduated in 2011. The only place I got an offer, however, was for an internship. In Kansas. I still thought I would get out. It just might take longer than previously anticipated.
That summer I also visited a friend of mine who had recently moved to New York City. I had been dreaming of visiting NYC for years, and I was totally pumped for the trip. I knew I was going to fall in love. I was worried I would become very jealous of my friend, and upset that I did not live there as well. I was prepared to be heart broken upon my arrival back in that fly-over state.
But then, that actually didn’t happen at all.