After I published my post about Two Feet Brewing, I got a Facebook message from Ami, a member of Fusion Bangor.
She had heard of my blog at a Fusion meeting and reached out to me. Not only did I find this to be a friendly gesture to make toward a newcomer like myself, I was also thrilled to learn that someone I didn’t know had read my blog and had a reaction to it. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback and encouragement from my friends and family members regarding my blog and my writing. I’m thankful for it. On days when I am unsure of myself, it keeps me going. However, I started to wonder if people who do not already know me had any interest in what I have to say, too.
This past weekend, I met Ami at Fusion’s dodgeball tournament at Beal College. Teams “dodged, dipped, dove, ducked and dodged” (I know it’s been a while, but I can still only think of Rip Torn barking orders and throwing wrenches at Vince Vaughn’s team of underdogs) to raise money for The Shaw House.
I shared how I was happy my blog had gotten out there. Ami understood my efforts at putting myself out there—noting that “people want roots” in their communities, both old and new.
I was introduced to a handful of Fusion members and a small group of us started talking about the upcoming Magnetize Maine Summit which will be hosted by Fusion.
Maybe it is because I have been focusing on this event, but I believe there is a palpable energy buzzing around Magnetize Maine. I think it will be an opportunity to genuinely discuss how to make Maine vibrant and appealing to younger generations, all while preserving the timeless and difficult-to-describe qualities that make Maine, Maine.
As I drove home that evening, I continued thinking about what I wanted to get out of this upcoming experience. I went home and wrote down three points.
- I want to continue meeting people in the area. Everyone has already been so friendly and welcoming.
- I want to listen and talk about real problems and real solutions and get to the heart of both.
- I want to be able to bring something to the table. I’ve said before, attracting and keeping young people in Maine will need to be a well-rounded effort. An area that I have knowledge on, is the value of a creative economy. Maine’s beauty and unique way of life have inspired painters, writers and photographers for ages. The down-to-earth and caring nature of small-town (and small-city) life lends itself to being a place perfect for fostering relationships and providing cultural events, and even, (although this point is often overlooked) enabling economic growth.
Tune in next week for a post to recap Magnetize Maine. Hopefully I will be able to check off the above three points and add on a few more.