One day the Hutchinson Chamber of Commerce president, Mary, who happens to be one of my favorite people in the world, introduced a hashtag to me that she wanted to start using, #LoveWhereYouLive.
Wait. Let’s back up for a second…
I live in Hutchinson, Minnesota. It’s a small town about an hour away from the Twin Cities. I moved here almost five years ago. I won’t lie. It took me a good solid couple of years before I felt like I belonged. Part of it was me not being involved or wanting to be involved. I had friends in the Cities I wanted to spend my time with instead.
My boss and supervisor encouraged me to go through the Hutchinson Leadership Institute through the Chamber. I was a bit skeptical. I had done leadership training in college. I wasn’t too sure what I was going to get out of the program, but I decided to jump in anyways. It opened the floodgates of what type of awesome community I found myself in. Since then, I have actively been involved in a couple organizations, and I find myself dipping my toes into a few more.
One that I am particularly passionate about is the Leadership Institute because of everything it brought into my life. After graduating from it in the spring of 2014, I have been on their steering committee, or Design Team as we like to call it. This has allowed me to still be active in a program I love and help shape it for future participants. Going through that program, meeting tons of new people, learning about the community and businesses really opened my eyes. It showed me how special of a place this is.
So why #LoveWhereYouLive?
A hashtag that Mary started a couple years ago that you’ll see float around my social media accounts is #MuchInHutch. There were two main things that I struggled with when I first moved here was one) meeting new people, and two) finding things to do. Whenever cool events are going on in town, we use that hashtag to show how much is happening around our community. There is a lot! It truly isn’t that hard to keep busy, you just have to open your eyes a bit and sometimes be a little adventurous.
I was one of those people for a quite awhile that wanted to be somewhere different. I wanted to be in the Cities because that’s where I thought everything exciting was happening. I’ve discovered over the past couple of years that I don’t need to be there to have fun, to have plenty of things to do. It’s funny how things can change…Now, I want to show people what you can find outside of the concrete road mazes and bumper-t0-bumper traffic. There’s some pretty cool stuff happening.
#LoveWhereYouLive, to me, is more than just about Hutchinson. It is about celebrating wherever it is that you live. No matter where you call home, there’s a reason why you’re there and why you continue to be there. There’s something about it that you love. Otherwise, what would be the point of staying? Whether you live in a large metro area or a small rural community, share with the world why it is you #LoveWhereYouLive.