Friday, September 20, 2013 | By: Brianna

The City Slicker

It was a while ago in the dining hall over plates of lukewarm chicken and waffles (mine with maple syrup but sans the hot sauce because I forgot and wouldn't have known where to find it anyway) that a student staff member asked me if I was writing a blog about myself being "a city slicker in Nebraska."  [This is where I remember that it's Friday and that I could totally do a Poetry Friday thing.]  I told her that I wasn't, thinking that I am writing a blog...kind of...and that was a kinda mishmosh personal blog mixed with poetic things and writing things, all of which no one reads.

So this leads me to the question "Should I start a new blog exclusively for my Nebraska adventures?"

But maybe I should rewind.

A long long time ago in June, I interviewed for and got a position at a college in Nebraska.

Things you should know:
1.  I'd never been to Nebraska.
2.  I'd never heard of this college.
3.  When I looked up the town on a map, there were two major roads that intersected in town and the rest was blank open space.  Presumably, cornfields.

I had three weeks to pack up my worldly belongings, load them into the rickety gray mini van that my brother and I grew up in, get my affairs in order, and voyage to small town Nebraska.  The stress of preparing for my voyage was more personal than it was professional--for instance, I discovered that the only dress pants that I owned no longer fit (because I lost weight).  I also discovered that a very small amount of my make-up was work appropriate.  I had a second stage break-up with the boy, and every single one of my friends made fun of me for moving into the middle of a cornfields.  In fact, my friends wrote a scavenger hunt for me of things that I need to find while I'm in Nebraska.  Unfortunately, I'm not doing very well keeping up with that.  Oops.


When I told people that I was moving to Nebraska, they asked me, "Oh yeah?  Omaha or Lincoln?"  My answer?  "Neither."  For people who don't live in Nebraska, Omaha and Lincoln are the only two names you'll probably know, and both of them are on the far east side of the state.  Everything else (just about) is small towns and cornfields.

So I've been here in small town Nebraska for a little over two months.  Based on my observation that I get restless weekly on Sundays, and the tendency for business establishments to be closed on Sundays, I have begun to learn that the pace of life is indeed slower here.  I'm not pretending to know everything about Chicago, especially since I only just started exploring and meeting the interesting people right before I left the city, but I do know that on a Sunday, it wasn't really a question of "Oh, is that place going to be open?" unless we were talking about Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-a.  I'm not saying that being closed on Sundays is a bad thing, I'm saying it's different and it's an adjustment for me.

It also occurs to me that I don't really know what a "city slicker" is.  But thanks to Wikipedia, I now know the technical understanding of the term.  I like to think that I don't fit this type.  But that could just be me.

Small town life is interesting.  I'm not 100% enmeshed in the town life because I work at the college, but I do frequent the same grocery stores and coffee shop as the locals, and I like to think that maybe one day the checker at Pac 'n Save will recognize me as "the girl who buys SO MUCH TEA" or "the girl who buys plain yogurt and asks about jasmine rice because she's dumb."  I'll take what I can get, frankly.

For now, I'm still getting used to Nebraska life, but according to the welcome sign on the highway, Nebraska "...the good life."  (and it's also the home of Arbor Day)

"One of these days I'm going to leave Nebraska, cut all those strings and ties and travel to the other prairies of this earth.  I must know if the people who live on those other prairies feel the same way about their horizons as we do about ours."