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Living in your hometown

September 17, 2018 - Tiffany Larson
A decade ago I was packing up my apartment in Fort Dodge. At the same time I was officially closing a door to one career, and preparing to embark on a whole new journey of doors that would open in a place that I call home. I had fears, but knew deep down that it was a decision that I would not look back on and regret. You're a different person after living away from home so many years; whether after college, traveling, or working in other cities. Honestly, with the experiences and memories you have collected along the way, how could you not be? Living away from home is one surefire way to pave a path for learning, for growing, and becoming more independent. I was terrified that by returning home my history, my environment, my old habits, and my past connections would somehow revert me back to my “old self.” A decade later, and I am here to tell you that I was incredibly wrong to have such negative thoughts fill my mind. It far from worked out like that. I have grown more than I ever could have imagined, both personally and professionally. I have built relationships with old and new friends, enhanced my career, and entrenched myself in a community that I hold near and dear to my heart. My hometown. Over the last ten years I have gained some insight for making the transition back home a positive one. Here are some of my favorite tidbits to share on making life in our town a positive and meaningful experience. 1. Get involved! Try to make new friends, while not forgetting to reconnect with old connections. Plan dinner dates, go to the movies, and take time to visit. Volunteer for events and organizations. I have chosen several things to dive into. Finding a balance is key, and this is something I am still learning. Rotary has helped remind me to put service above self. Being involved in my local church has helped me find grace, and grow my faith stronger. Being a member of our Iowa State University Alumni Association Club of Hamilton County has allowed me to continue my cyclone pride, while networking and positively impacting the lives of our local youth. 2. Talk to your local baristas and local coffee shop patrons. Not only can they serve up a phenomenal iced chai with honey and vanilla, but they can also help unlock your vehicle when the keys are still stuck inside. We are lucky to have Morinin' Glory in the heart of our town. It is probably one of my absolute favorite places in town; to grab a cup of java, sit in the garden, and work when I am unable to make it to my office. The owners and staff are not only friendly, they also give back to the community. I have had great conversations with those visiting the establishment, traveling from near and far. 3. Find a job or career in the area that you are passionate about. This month I am celebrating ten years with Building Families. I have truly enjoyed every opportunity this job has provided. I have been able to network and connect with individuals locally and across the state, make a positive impact in the lives of others, get to know our local youth more, and continue to grow professionally. This busy bee wouldn't be celebrating this work anniversary if it wasn't for the support of my colleagues, youth, parents and caregivers, schools, and the communities as a whole. I truly have been blessed. 4. Embrace school pride. Go to a game. Sit through a concert or play. Attend the Homecoming parade. Help support our local youth through their education, their sports, and their extracurricular activities. It didn't take long to realize that once you are a lynx, you are truly a lynx. Our community pride is strong, and we rally around each other. 5. Find the positives, and know what your top 3-10 recommendations would be to see and do in town, and the surrounding communities. I share this because we have a part in telling “our story.” Webster City and the area has so much to offer. We have to work together to write that narrative. It is up to us to share about the local library, the walking and biking trails, the Boone River, the golf courses, the school and community activities, and more. This is what helps communities thrive. The entire world is truly a small town. It is the people, who know people, who know other people, things, events, and activities in a small town, that will help people along their journey. Hopefully their path along that journey has people that lead them to OUR HOMETOWN.

 
 

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