I waited all week to write this. I have been putting it off for a number of reasons, the biggest being that I know that once I write this, it will really be goodbye. I've been thinking about writing this letter since the day I found out we weren’t going to be able to live in Des Moines anymore. I didn't have this blog then but at that point I had even contemplated taking out a letter to the editor. Anyway, it's been a long time coming. I wanted a proper way to say thank you to Des Moines and officially say goodbye.
I remember the first time I drove down Fleur Avenue and looked over to downtown Des Moines. I never thought of myself as a country girl but apparently my Idaho roots were showing because I remember being so overwhelmed by how big the city outside my window seemed.
Four years later it's funny to think about how giant Des Moines once felt. Now, I feel like it seems just right. It’s got that big city feel with a small town mentality. Everyone here wants to lend you a hand. That “Iowa Nice” business, well yeah, it really does exist.
As mentioned before, I fell hard for Des Moines. I never expected to. I never thought I could love a place so much but I do. It’s treated me very well these last four years. I believe I have become a better version of myself since living in Des Moines and much of it has to do with the people I've met here. Because the thing that really makes Des Moines special is the people. And I know that there are great people everywhere but the people in Des Moines are exceptional. They are one of a kind.
Last week I was reading an article that said something like, “you are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with.” After reading that, I kept thinking, well if I am anything like the five people I spend the most time with then I am pretty damn lucky. I realize this sounds corny, but the thing is, it’s true.
There are so many people that I want to thank. So many letters I want to write expressing my gratitude and appreciation. It's hard to even know where to begin. Finding the words to express how I feel is even harder.
There have been so many people that have impacted my life in Des Moines and don't even know it. They've taught me about leadership, the arts in all forms - from physical to musical to performing, being involved, music festivals, friendship, women’s leadership, hair, networking, fashion, karaoke, building relationships, science, throwing parties, food, event planning, friendship, politics, giving back and I feel like the list could go on.
Des Moines is a remarkable place filled with the most exceptional people. I feel so grateful to have been able to be a part of it all. I have learned so much. Des Moines brought out the best in me, and I can only hope that it prepared me for this next journey.
So thank you Des Moines, thank you for being the most wonderful home for the last four years. I really love you DSM. I will miss you and your amazing people everyday.
Wish me luck on this great, new and grand adventure!
A picture of me lighting off sparklers (one of my top 10 favorite things) seemed like the only proper way to officially say goodbye.