Each time I travel to a conference or out of state to visit friends and family the inevitable question always arises.
The answers vary based on where I am and who I’m talking to, but they tend to include the same primary points.
First, I moved to Sheridan for a job. When I left Northwestern University just outside of Chicago, I needed a job. I didn’t want to fetch coffee or work an internship and two part-time jobs to afford rent. Being a city girl, I hadn’t planned to stay long. I thought I would get some experience then move on to a larger paper.
But, here I am 10 years (almost) later. And I love it.
People come to visit and comment on our community’s small-town feel. Then they ask what I do for fun. It doesn’t, to them, seem like there is much to do. There is no mall, no mini-golf, no endless list of restaurants.
Don’t you get bored? They ask.
We hear that lament from area youth consistently.
My response? If you’re bored you aren’t trying. Sheridan County offers any number of opportunities for activity and fun.
We have a downtown that’s easy to wander, a movie theater, ice rink, seemingly endless options for arts and entertainment and — of course — the great outdoors.
Seriously, if you’re bored you either must be jaded or just not open enough to all we have to offer. I don’t blame you; I had similar reactions when I first moved to the area.
Now, though, at times the number of events in Sheridan seems overwhelming. That’s right, the former city girl sometimes finds herself overwhelmed by all Sheridan has to offer.
Is there more our community can do to create opportunities for activities? Probably. But I think those action items include fewer new buildings and more creativity and ingenuity on our residents’ part. That could include more collaboration, more out-of-the-box ideas and more outreach.
Finally, creating more opportunities for activities requires less complaining and more elbow grease. If you don’t feel like Sheridan has enough to do, step up. What activities would you like to see hosted in Sheridan? Make them happen. Build a team and get things done.
Each time I am asked “Why Sheridan?” I pause for a minute, struggling to not simply reply, “Why not?”
As my conversation partners look at me incredulously, listing the reasons in their head, I can’t help but smile. That was me 10 years ago and now, I look forward to continuing putting boots on the ground to help continue making Sheridan home.