Good Morning Nebraska! February 10. Today officially marks 6 months since I’ve joined the KHGI – NTV News team. It’s also been a little over 6 months since I’ve moved away from the one place I spent 23 1/2 years growing up, my home sweet home, San Diego, CA.
Now I want to take this moment to “clear the air” so to speak. Initially, when I got this job offer, I thought to myself “NEBRASKA!?!?” I’m sure many of my friends and family experienced a similar reaction. Who in their right mind would be willing to leave the beautiful city of San Diego for… NEBRASKA?!
And of course, when making any major life-changing decision, you’re going to experience doubt. But I’m sure I’m not the first to tell you that “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
I did a lot of thinking, a lot of praying, a lot of weighing out my options, a lot of talking to others for a second opinion…before making my final decision to take up the job offer and move out here…yes, all.by.myself.
My friends cracked jokes (all in good heart, though) saying I’d be eating nothing but corn, that I’d take up cow-tipping as my next hobby and once I came back, I’d be farming my own food in San Diego. Sure, I laughed with them, but in reality, thinking that might.. just.. be.. a possibility.
That’s of course, all before I moved to Nebraska.
Never stepping foot in the Midwest before, I’ll admit, I’ve had my share of ignorant stereotypes. A quote from a marketing executive in New York said it best:
“I think the Heartland is a nice place to raise children. People are nice, but they’re dumb, overweight, and gullible. They wear tacky clothing and jewelry. They’re racist, unworldly, and dumb.”
Ok, that may come off a bit harsh, but can you really blame those who haven’t traveled to other parts of the country for thinking this way when media paints us this image? (One movie that comes to mind for example is “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”) No. You can’t blame them, however, you can educate them.
So here I am, sharing with you my very own experiences living in the ‘heartland’ of America thus far, and hopefully providing some insight about the reality of the Midwest lifestyle.
Number one, the people are gentle and super friendly (at least the ones I’ve met so far). Most folks will help another person without hesitation if given the opportunity. Neighbors enjoy small talk (something you don’t see often in San Diego) and you can count on every stranger you encounter to wave at you with a smile on their face.
Number two, it’s a laid-back lifestyle. Growing up in a bigger city, you get accustomed to bowing to the almighty clock, where the popular mantra is “time is money.” Here in Nebraska, not so much. People here are more in touch with core values and less affected by the fast-changing trends (here today and gone tomorrow).
Number three, you don’t have to drive more than 10 minutes to obtain your essentials. I live in the small town of Kearney (pronounced CAR-KNEE here) with a population of roughly 33,000. Surprisingly to many that grew up in Nebraska, this is considered a ‘big’ town to them. Crazy, I know. Anyway, everything is in close proximity to where I live, something I personally LOVE because I save so much gas! 🙂
Last but not least, I love the sunrises and sunsets here (hence my picture). Few places that I’ve been to can match Nebraska’s horizon. I’ve also enjoyed the change of seasons, something you don’t see in San Diego. I’ve never actually lived in snow before, and I despise the cold… but I’m learning to see the true beauty of God’s hand with the season changes I get to experience here (you should be jealous San Diego). I finally get what Boyz II Men feel when they sing “4 Seasons of Loneliness.” lol
The list goes on, there are a ton of pros (and cons) to living in Nebraska. Sure, I get homesick a lot and it’s not perfect here, but then no place really is.
Life is about embracing change and adjusting to your surroundings. Nebraska is home for me (for now) and I’m grateful to be here. There is a reason God has placed me here, whether it’s to teach me patience (He knows how much I need that), appreciate the most simple things in life or to push me to think outside the box and learn to take things with a grain of salt.
I encourage you, before you judge, EXPERIENCE. Travel and learn. After all, life is what you make of it. It all boils down to perception and your outlook on things that come your way.
Stay positive. God bless. xo.