Take pride in where you come from

I used to think being proud of your hometown was cheesy, but I have learned to love Kansas City.

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Take pride in where you come from

by Anna Ronan, Design Editor

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I talk about my “Ladybird” moment too often — the moment when I realized, after years of desperately wanting to leave Kansas City and never come back, that I love my hometown.

In the 2017 movie “Ladybird,” the main character Christine McPhereson hates her hometown of Sacramento and decides to move to New York City for college. In one of the last scenes of the movie (spoiler alert), she drives through Sacramento just after getting her license. While driving, she realizes that there is beauty in where she’s from and she will miss it — even if it’s just a little bit.

While I’m not going as far as New York, I am moving to Iowa this August. I’m excited to go, but I realize now that there were almost 18 years that I didn’t take full advantage of the city that I grew up in. 

When I was younger, I didn’t think anyone knew what Kansas City was. I remember how on the Disney show “Good Luck Charlie,” Bob mistook the school that PJ was attending Kwikki Chikki University for Kansas City University. Needless to say, 8 year old me was shocked that Bob Duncan knew what Kansas City even was.

I even went so far as to think that loving Kansas City was corny and something that only happens on Instagram.

When I’m scrolling down my explore page, the same sort of posts pop up. Wedged in between memes and conspiracy threads are brightly lit, very aesthetically pleasing posts straight out of the Made in KC store. They feature t-shirts, enamel pins and so many smiling, proud faces. It’s a unification of the city through worldwide, popular media.

Part of the pride can be attributed to our sports teams. The Chiefs won the Superbowl this year, the Royals won the 2015 World Series and Sporting Kansas City has sent members of their team to play in the FIFA World Cup for multiple years now. However, while sports brings the city together in a special way, it’s not the only source of pride in the city.

There’s a Kansas City connection that exists here in town. I can’t really explain it —  it’s a deep pull back to this city that so many people feel. It’s comfortable here. Kansas City is just big enough to feel like a city but just small enough to feel like a true community of people.

The biggest reason why I never felt like I loved Kansas City was because I have always wanted to go out of state for college. If I was going to be gone in a little while, what would be the point of getting attached to now?

After seeing students from my school and on the Dart staff adore Kansas City and then choose to go to places like Washington D.C. or California for school baffled me — what was the point in leaving if there is so much love already here? I started to understand their reasoning when I started applying to colleges as well. Even if it’s cliché, if you love something, you have to let it go for a while.

As the day that I move away gets closer and closer, I’m starting to realize all of the good that is here and what I will miss when I don’t live here anymore. Even if it’s something as small as not having a Roasterie Cafe location around the corner every day, it’s starting to set in that I won’t have the comfort of my hometown by my side while I’m transitioning into adulthood.

There is a deep-rooted sense of pride that comes from being from Kansas City. After years of indifference and misunderstanding what it’s like to be from here, I think I’m finally able to channel my inner Christine McPhereson and embrace that pride.