Oh, dear sweet Wichita – How badly I wished you could see yourself like I see you. I can’t believe we just paid consultants to confirm your astonishing lack of self-esteem. Come over here and curl up, I’ll tickle your back while I tell you this thing…
What all the other towns and cities have been afraid to tell you… the reason they don’t want to hang out so much, is because you are constantly trash-talking yourself and doubting your coolness. It makes it really hard to defend you and build you up, Buttercup. Nobody wants to hang out in a village that is constantly asking if those jeans make their libraries look fat.
It’s time, well…not right now, right now you can rest, but tomorrow (or later on today after you’ve eaten well) you need to remember how cool it is to use your powers for good. You are going to have to make some difficult decisions that will have great impact on the future. And, yes. I’m talking about money even though I know it upsets you. You need to stare deeply into your Magic 8 Ball and drink up the future. It’s all on you now. You are perfectly poised to make a difference and instigate some change. You’re just going to need to be steely and smart – you might not love the process so much but you will totally dig the outcome. And, every dream needs an accountant. Just accept it and plan ahead.
I’ve been watching. You really are growing up beautifully. You have shown me a level of tenacity (in the face of a mostly unbelievable Brownbackistan/Machiavellian tragedy) that restored my faith in your ninja-like skill set. You grow more beautiful with the seasons, part by design and part by nature. I see you out and about – you’re more curious and alive than ever before. I’m serious: I think you got this. I think the training portion of this study has ended and now you’re going to be. I expect you to also go and do, with grace and verve.
Y’know what else I love about you? You welcome and cultivate a breed of competent and fiercely independent merchants specific to this place on the globe. Your crazy-low cost of living is the stuff of legend and your willingness to adapt has allowed for a vibrant and unique slice of goodness, right in the middle of the country. You’ve actually built a world where your citizens don’t HAVE to shop at big box stores. You’re super cool that way.
Surely you’ve seen what your Creatives are doing, right? Your artists and architects and engineers and musicians and chefs and writers are sharing parts of you, all over the world. Wichita is not a slightly embarrassing third-cousin anymore. Google yourself, or don’t, but trust me: The sooner you roll up your sleeves and claim your sweet little badass identity as an understated spot of cool on the globe to grow Creatives and promote tech-industry (or something equally attractive,) the quicker this will happen.
You’re going to have to Get Over a lot. You’re not the Air Cap any more. You can still say that because the air here is arguably, among the best in the world, but that ship has sailed. We do build some planes and that will never stop being cool. But, get over it. You’ll never be Lawrence. Yeaaa, you’ll still sleep nights, Lawrence will always be right there, 2 hours and 20 minutes away. It’s a college town, it’s job is to just keep getting cooler. The Airport (I stubbornly refuse to call it by it’s newly minted name) will never be a hub, no matter who you call or how many times you stomp your pretty little feet. Never.going.to.happen. You can’t leave the country from here on commercial aviation, without a stop and I promise it will be okay..
With all this beauty and brilliance, comes great responsibility and you are so gonna dig this part. Not many places have all the resources and opportunities that you do. Just look at you! You’ve got global bad guys with a lot of local money who need to rebrand themselves as good guys, you’ve got reasonably priced land, solid utilities and willing participants with strong backs and ambitious dreams. You play your cards right, you can weave this into a beautiful little recipe for a thriving community. You could be a leader instead of a follower. Shoooot, baby. You could decriminalize marijuana, get passenger rail, build a globally innovative new library or take care of your homeless population in tiny homes. You are kinda, quite literally, omnipotent.
I promise I’m not trying to be a buzz-kill here, I just gotta go for a bit and I want you to take care of this while I’m gone. It’s not like I’m asking you to make sure my cats and houseplants don’t die. I’ve heard that it’s empowering to ask for help. This is what it looks like when I ask for your help. It will always taste funny to me, but help me anyway.
It truly is darling how humble you are, and I can’t wait to see you when you’re full of critical thinking piss’n’vinegar.
Now. Go! More soon… I feel like telling you these secrets…