I’m feeling a little nostalgic. Graduation weekend tends to do that even if I’m not graduating. A whole new group of kids (to me anyway) are starting a new journey. Our own Gather owner, Talia, is taking a big leap with Gather and moving to a new (HUGE) space on the square. Acknowledging the new beginning for another often makes me reflect on all my own new beginnings. One of my most treasured- and life-changing- was deciding to attend IU and move to Bloomington. Many of us moved to Bloomington in a similar fashion. We didn’t grow up here. We aren’t the locals. But Bloomington has become home. And will always be no matter where we go.
A close friend, who now lives in Boston, visited this last weekend. We spent a majority of the weekend reminiscing about all the great times in Bloomington. “Do you remember that time…” “OMG that’s where…” Our perspectives have changed. Our priorities have changed. But our unflinching loyalty to our home, our Bloomington, has not. All the growth that took root here. All the lessons we learned. Bloomington has taught me so much. I’ve been truly shaped by my experience in this town. A community steeped in values of equality, education, and justice. A melting pot of many cultures continuously striving to grow and learn about one another. And most importantly, our city cares. We care about one another and the world that surrounds us.
I feel so fortunate to call Bloomington my home. My world has expanded exponentially. Every day I have opportunities to learn and grow. This blog series roots itself in all those experiences. I have access to incredibly diverse and fresh food at our local groceries and the Farmer’s Market. I can catch some of the world’s best musicians at Jacobs School of Music or Lotus Music Festival. I can contribute to better my community, myself, and the world around me through hundreds of nonprofits represented in the Bloomington Volunteer Network. I can enjoy nature and hiking. I can workout and get healthy locally. I work with youth every day who have not been given these opportunities. I see how small their world view is right now. And I’m waiting for that moment where it just bursts with all the possibilities right here in their backyard. My world was.
So explore. And make some Bloomington memories.