The saying is true – Nebraska Nice is totally a real thing. I spent the last week in the great state of Nebraska hanging out with our Chi Omega ladies at both the University of Nebraska Omaha and Lincoln. I was blown away by their hospitality and hard-work, and I don’t think I met a salty soul the entirety of my trip.
Being surrounded by good people encourages us to better ourselves. And I’ve learned, there are some good people in the Midwest whose kindness and humility rubs off on others in the best way. I was inspired by our chapter at UNO’s generosity, which I got to see displayed at their Dance Marathon, where our women sponsor a girl named Carly. Seeing how much Carly loved the Chi Omegas made my heart burst with joy. Seeing the sacrificial love our women have for their community made me so proud to be a Chi Omega. Not only that, but they also had such generous spirits toward me. Per usual, I was unprepared for the winter weather and my look-a-like president, Emily, went and bought me socks so I would stay warm. That’s putting others before yourself.
A huge moment of joy on these trips – being reunited with old friends. These visits allowed me to spend time with some women who inspire me and love me so well every time I am with them. I got to have brunch with my friend from TCU, Erica, who is out there changing the world. I always leave my time with Erica smiling from ear to ear because she just makes me feel so loved. She has this way of listening to people and affirming what you are saying so you really feel HEARD. I just love her so much!! I also got to spend time with my girl Morgan who was a NLC with me last year. Just being able to talk to someone who totally gets what you’re going through as you travel is so refreshing. Some familiarity and a good hug energized me to view this hectic month of visits as a blessing.
At the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, I was blessed to begin my visit with their Eleusinia Brunch, where we celebrate Chi Omega’s founding. It impacted me greatly to see so many alumnae giving back to Chi Omega by being there and hearing so many inspirational speakers about how Chi Omega has shaped their lives. Chi O truly does last forever. The Chi Omegas were positive, encouraging, and LOVED Gallop strengths, which I soon learned started at UNL, so that made more sense.
On this visit, we had some really amazing conversations about the culture of busy and success that a high-achieving group of women can inevitably create at times. We talked about imposter syndrome and the need to achieve effortless perfectionism. Yeah, the idea that we are expected to be “perfect” all the time AND do it without ever breaking a sweat or experiencing some stress?! NOT reality, y’all.
These women opened the doors to conversations about vulnerability and were honest about how it feels when someone else maybe gets the opportunity you wanted or how we might feel when it always feels like we can’t share when we are struggling because no one else is. And that is a LIE. And these lies are most powerful when they are kept in the DARK. Yes, it can be scary to be the first one to admit that we are struggling and “not perfect” all the time, but how powerful is it to be the impetus fighting back darkness and a culture of comparison.
COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY.
An advisor reminded me of this last week and it rings so true. Chi Omega is a space where women can be their authentic selves and by doing so, they then make one another better in all we do. It’s about celebration not comparison. And these amazing women reminded me of that this week.
I’m leaving these visits feeling extremely encouraged and thankful. This month was overwhelming me as I am on the road a majority of the time and am finishing my time as a NLC which just makes me all kinds of emotional. It’s beautiful to see God’s hands at work behind the scenes always, providing me exactly what I need when I need it. Thank you, my Nebraska loves, for showing me the impact that generously caring for others has on our lives.