I always hated the way city people indirectly referred to the country as “uncivilized.” You know, you hear someone passing through a small town saying, “I can’t wait to get back to civilization.” I can’t help but laugh at that, because sometimes the city seems so much less civilized, at least by the standards I knew once upon a time. Where I grew up, you smile and nod to just about everyone you see. People hold doors for each other, and everyone, even ladies, have a good firm handshake accompanied by eye contact. You say, “Yes sir,” and “no ma’am” and “please” and “thank you” — even to people you don’t know. There’s just a different pace and lifestyle there. A society all it’s own.
Now, I’m not dissin’ the city. I’ve grown to love this Kansas City chapter of my life. (Although, I’m still certain that someday I’ll be back out in the wide open.) It’s civilized here, but civilization is different.
For instance, in the city, life moves so fast. If a bus stalls out in the middle of the street, you best be certain that there’s a dozen or more people who are certain that they need to get where they are going RIGHT NOW and that their delay is a bigger issue than yours. While it’s easy to get caught up in that rush, I think I learned valuable life lessons about patience by spending countless hours of my teenage and college years held up by farm equipment on rural highways — or, better yet, willingly following at a distance with my flashers on when added caution was necessary.
It’s not a bad thing — city living tends to demand a faster pace. The high-stress corporate world that urban centers tend to revolve around requires it. My slower-paced country friends ask me why I’d step into a stressful job in a “big city” when there are easier, more accommodating lifestyles. I kind of like the thrill. While I need a routine, I also need variety, and my dynamic, busy, exciting lifestyle right now fills that need.
When I came back to Kansas City (through snow storms, bad traffic, and a very long day), I don’t really think I came “back to civilization” really. It was kind of an anthropological readjustment. My mom and stepdad live about ten miles outside of a town of 400 people. My hometown was a rural “metropolis” of 3,000 people. Civilization isn’t lacking there. It’s just different. Slower. More pastoral. But, Kansas City is home nowadays, and I’m incredibly happy to be back.
Now that I’m back to the “new normal” here in Kansas City, let’s talk about 2013. I boldly say that 2012 was the biggest year yet for me, but 2013 has some exciting possibilities:
- I’m planning on doing runs. As in, actual races. I don’t plan on “winning” any of them, but I do plan on training for and completing them.
- I’m planning on reading the Bible. I’ve never really taken the time to make it a conscientious part of my life. While I remember stories from Sunday school, I never gave it the thought or time it deserved. Luckily, Christ Community Church is having a congregation-wide program called Open Here that lets all of us embark on that journey together.
- I’m planning on losing the rest of my college/bad life decisions weight. I often refer to a lot of it as “emotional baggage weight” because most of it was gain as a side effect of an eating disorder. Diet and exercise. No quick fixes, no tricks. Just self-control, focus, and less dependence on elevators and cars.
- It’ll be my first full calendar year in Kansas City. That, in and of itself, is huge. But, it’s also my first full year as a college graduate and a full-time professional.
- 2013 is also my first year of student loan debt repayment. I made my first payment last night. Now I get to go through the nonsense of trying to get things as consolidated as possible and figuring out the right finance readjustment options. (In case you didn’t know, I don’t do numbers.)
- This is going to be the year I get involved in the Missouri Farm Bureau. Thanks to Chris Chinn for helping me get the ball rolling on my Missouri Farm Bureau involvement. I’m looking forward to a great year!
- I’m also looking forward to an AMAZING year with Relay for Life of Kansas City Missouri. If you aren’t familiar with Relay for Life, it’s a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. $.80 of every dollar raised goes back to resources for patients and research. I talk about Relay for Life of KCMO and American Cancer Society in another post.
- 2013 is the year of the ukulele. I’m not that good at it, but I enjoy it. So, dangit, I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can while I can!
- Overall, I aim for 2013 to be the year of the Best Kelly I Can Be. I look forward to it being a healthy, happy, busy, thrilling, rural-and-urban year full of all of the amazing people, organizations, and causes that God has brought into my life.
Let’s make 2013 amazing. What were your biggest moments of 2012? And what are you looking forward to for 2013?