In this week’s blog, I get to brag on my home state a little bit and tell you why I decided to make the move to Wichita. As you’ve read in previous blogs, I was born in Kansas, moved to Virginia when I was five, then came back for school at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. I stayed there for my tenure at college and then for an entire year afterward in my first big professional job. After that I moved to Wichita when I became Miss Kansas America in 2019; real talk, I never planned to stay in Wichita for as long as I have, my plan was to move to another city after my year was completed. It’s funny how the plan you have in your head usually isn’t the one that happens, but it was all for the better!
I had five cities in mind to move to, but how do you pick which one to go to? My plan was simple, I was going to write them all down, put them in a hat, and pick one! Sounds a bit scary right? To me though, it was exhilarating not knowing which one I’d pick, and truthfully, I was going to be super excited with any one that I chose. The pandemic came and showed its face and really took us all for a wild ride, right? When that happened, it was a time for me to just be still and meditate on what I really wanted; I knew I wanted to help and be involved in my community. I love the pandemic for this reason - it brought me to where I am now and gave me the stillness that I needed to take a breath and slow down.
The first year in Wichita was fun, I was doing events, traveling all around Kansas, getting ready for Miss America, and lots more but I wasn’t super involved with my own community and I wanted to change that. I started going to karaoke nights every week and developed a friend group that I adore. I was also reaching out to movers and shakers in Wichita and started going to events (there is literally always something going on in our city, I love it).
Whether it was live music, or theater, or something totally out of my element, I was going! Wichita has the coolest vibe, doesn’t it?
So here I was, getting involved in things that were way out of my comfort zone but it was also so freeing to just be with people I had fun with; that’s a big piece of advice I give people today! Do the scary thing, introduce yourself to other people, find a person to go to events with you, and go to everything! You never know what doors are going to be opened for you. I was so welcomed everywhere I went and I knew I would be, that’s just how Kansas is. I also had the chance to fall in love (more on that later) and become a big contributor and community member here. I’m thankful to be a small part of the thriving community that we’ve all built together which has transformed leaps and bounds in the past several years.
I am so proud of my city and what it’s become. The really exciting part is that we’re just getting started.
See you next week!