Farewell to Kansas City

The date was December 18, 2006. Two days earlier I had just walked across the stage at Oklahoma State University. But the celebration of my graduation was short-lived. I was busy packing up my apartment in Stillwater, OK and moving to Kansas City, MO to start my new job, where I had interned the previous three summers. It was an exciting time.

Because of the summers that I had spent in KC, I had a handful of friends already and I knew the city pretty well. (Sidenote: It also helped that I got lost a bunch of times my first summer. The map in my car got lots of use. (Another sidenote: Kids, a “map” is like if you printed maps.google.com onto paper,  then folded it up, printed some lame tourist-y info on the back, and stuffed it in a glovebox. “Maps” existed before Google made them more… good.)) I had a church in mind that I knew would be my home. I had found a flat right in the heart of downtown where I would live. And I was excited about beginning my adult life in a new city that wasn’t too far away from my birth home in Oklahoma City.

Kansas City was… is my second home. My adopted home. It’s where I got my first taste of adult life (bills suck). I purchased my first (and second) car during my life here, and I bought my first home after living here for two years. But I also got my fair share of what it’s like to be geographically separated from family when loved ones get sick and ultimately die. The old adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” became real to me while I lived here. The importance of family became real to me once there was a physical distance keeping me from them.

For the first time, I lived in a city with professional sports teams (the Thunder didn’t arrive in OKC until I was already gone). I watched as KC showed undying support for its awful, awful football team that crushes the hopes and dreams of the city’s citizens every single year. I was there to jump on the bandwagon when KC’s perennially terrible baseball team made an improbable run to the World Series in 2014. Maybe I wasn’t the Royals’ number 1 fan, but I was without a doubt on the list of the first eight million or so. I was in there… Also, I was, and still am, poised to leap off said bandwagon if they decide to go back to losing. Am I fickle? Yep. Am I the worst kind of fan? Yep. And I’m fine with it.

The truth is that I love KC. I don’t know that I realized it before, but I realize it now. I’ve developed tons of friendships at work and at church that will be life-long relationships. It’s those relationships that make my decision to leave one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. But it’s a necessary one for my career and also personally.

atlanta_skyline

I felt like it was time to make a change with my job, so I did. So at the end of April, I’ll be starting a new job at a new company, which will cause me to move to the great city of Atlanta, GA. That’s right, man, your boy is moving to the A! As much as I love KC, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited. I look forward to sharing some new stories with you from my new city. Stay tuned.

-Erik (@WalkSays)

 

About Author

Erik Walker

Erik is black.

6 Comments

    • Chris
      April 8, 2015

      Oops, sorry, I’m typing on a phone. That last message was meant to say, We know you’re moving there for your manifestation of the destiny that you are living out in this lifetime.

      Reply
    • Brian Foster (mobrian93)
      April 8, 2015

      I’ll try to look you up when I’m down that way in October. Holla at Curtis Brown while you’re there…

      Reply
    • Ruthie
      April 8, 2015

      It’s God’s plan for your life, so go out and get started. God is waiting on you to touch someone else’s life. Big blessings, awaits you, Mr. Walker…….

      Reply
    • neverleftempty
      April 8, 2015

      It’s so exciting to move to new places! I’m sure you’ll find a piece of Atlanta to call home.

      Reply
    • mellissa
      April 8, 2015

      Great article! Good luck in your new adventure.

      Reply
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