‘Cheerful and Humble’: Kansan Chooses Wichita over Nashville
By Emily Younger Barnwell
“A warm humble slice of pie.”
That’s how Kansas native Rachel Bruce, 31, describes the Sunflower State – a state she returned to after spending three years away.
“I really missed the humbleness of Kansas, how strangers wave at each other. We really care about our neighbors,” Bruce explained.
Bruce, one of six siblings, grew up in Conway Springs, a southern Kansas town of about 1,100 people.
“I now realize I grew up with a pretty simple life,” Bruce said. “I was raised in a family-business atmosphere, growing up on a dairy and wheat farm that taught me a lot about work ethic, family values and ambition."
Her ambition manifested in nearly everything she did. Bruce was cheerleading captain, student body president and ran track before attending Kansas State University.
After graduation, she took a job as a business specialist at Erie Insurance in Nashville, Tennessee.
“I chose to move out of state to experience adventure and push myself outside of my comfort zone, experiencing different atmospheres and cultures. I believed doing so would help me grow professionally and personally,” Bruce explained.
While Nashville offered valuable experiences and Bruce admits she learned a lot about herself and others, about a year in, she felt a pull back to her home state.
“I missed the wide-open endless miles of crop fields, the way the sun peaks through the horizon first thing in the morning and sunsets weren’t nearly as visible in the city lights of Nashville,” Bruce emphasized. “It may sound really simple, but that’s what I missed – the simple life of Kansas.”
About two years later, Bruce interviewed at 6 Meridian, an investment and wealth advisory firm in Wichita.
“It was apparent they are a firm that not only is passionate about supporting Wichita and its local people/businesses but is built to provide life-long opportunities to their employees,” she described. “By chance or destiny, the same week that I interviewed with 6 Meridian, I met my husband. It was a full-circle moment for me.”
Bruce bid farewell to the city lights of Nashville and embraced a fulfilling life back in Kansas. Today, she is a successful wealth advisor at 6 Meridian, balancing her roles as a wife and a mother.
“Wichita may not seem as ‘flashy’ of a city at first as Nashville, Dallas, etc. at first view, but that’s what makes it a city you want to live in long-term, to raise your family in, to be a part of a community,” Bruce said.
She explained the low cost of living is a positive and crucial element to the value of everyday life. Bruce added, “The cheerful and humble people in Wichita make it the most special. It’s a safe and vibrant community that’s continuing to evolve for future generations.”