I’m writing this post out of frustration. The state I call home has been tainted by BuzzFeed-ish bullshit – articles full of Runza, cows, Dorothy Lynch, Husker football, and Warren Buffett.
I love Runza just as much as the next Nebraskan, but seriously? That’s the reputation of our state?
It’s all wrong.
Nebraska is a great place to claim. But it’s not because of unique fast food joints and billionaires. Nor is it because of a sold out stadium making headlines every week.
My feelings for the corn state run deeper. And my Nebraska-boy attitude stems from something unmentioned by the articles eating up my news feed.
Out here, the way of life is what makes this place special. It’s simple. People understand there’s more to living than national news or 140 characters on a screen. Nebraska natives find joy in the simple stuff. Like the one finger wave (no, not the naughty finger) from behind the steering wheel. Like the sun striking your face through colored leaves on a fall morning. Or a casual, evening drive to quietly admire life.
Out here, people aren’t afraid of feeling small. The “I’m really important and don’t have a second to waste not being on my iPhone” ego is swept aside by an appreciation of the bigger picture. A picture painted by massive skies touching the flat land. There’s enough room for imagination to breathe deeply. And enough space for creative exploring to let her hair down.
Out here, people work hard. Being wrong isn’t a problem. Not trying is. People don’t expect doors to open by merely asking. Doors are kicked down by tattered boots. We take pride in what we accomplish without beating our chests. Better yet, we take pride in what our neighbors accomplish.
So, sure. This state is full of cows, cornfields, Husker fanatics, and the occasional billionaire. But it’s also full of moments. Welcomed to be discovered by the next person who dares to reach a little higher. And think a little further. Nebraska raised me to never forget to slow down every now and then. To stop the crazy train of life and stress. To simplify. And let all the imperfections of living become things to smile about down the road. Knowing you don’t have to be in the business of changing the world to make a difference.
Out here, it’s the good life. It’s nice.
I may leave Nebraska. But the way of the good life, that will never leave me.