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Remember: 300th Post: Guest Blog By Jaime K.

Friday, April 16, 2010

300th Post: Guest Blog By Jaime K.

(Before getting to this post, Thank you for reading and keeping me going. On the way to 400!)

After 299 posts, I figured it was time to turn the blog over to a guest author for the day.  Over the next few weeks, there will be a series of occasional guest posts here on Remember that spotlight the work of others beyond the parks, and even beyond the city of Allentown.

These posts are written by “young” people trying to make a difference.  We are trying to show the strength of community that has been here all around us even when we chose not to see it.  We are making the effort to turn the tide of “brain drain” or whatever else you want to call it.  “We are the ones we have been waiting for”

There are a lot of us out there. 

Tomorrow, We will Hike South Mountain.  Be there at noon.  If you need directions, leave a comment or send me an email.  Soon, we will clean and restore parks, we will build rain gardens.  We will start to make a difference.

Jaime K is a passionate,  inspired and inspiring  lady who I am very glad to call a friend.  Enjoy her words, I did. 

HEART OF STEEL by Jaime K

"It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say I had all but given up on this town. I moved to the Lehigh Valley for college in 2001, and have lived in Bethlehem for the last five years. I always recognized it's charm and it's potential, but other cities had it together, and I grew more frustrated through the years as it seemed like no matter what, we just couldn't collectively find our way.

I was preparing to apply for jobs in large cities all over the US, when a personal situation helped me realize the value of a second chance. And I thought, before I give up on this place once and for all, I owe it at least that much.

And I can see now, so much of it is about perspective. When you complain that no one is active and there's nothing to do, no one is. There won't be. Then, a few months back, I'd spend my afternoons walking through the various downtowns and notice a wall mural I'd never seen, a restaurant filling the air with delicious scents of food and laughter of conversation, and the people so unique in their character. This was a place to be celebrated. This was a place that earned it's second chance.

The more I looked, the more I found people that followed their passions when everyone they knew said they were crazy. The art students taping sketches to coffee house walls making improvised galleries. The business owners who take time out of their day to cultivate relationships with community members, their bottom line possibility before profit.

Every day I meet people who are passionate about something, and my new project is about celebrating them, and as residents of this city, thus honoring it, too. HEART OF STEELcity is about the persistence to keep pursuing what you love, even if it doesn't fill your bank account, even if people say you're too young to be serious it, even if failure is imminent or success temporary. It's about being brave enough to live your dreams and live your life.

We're not other cities. It's unfair to draw comparisons, because by population alone, we don't have "as much". But that doesn't mean we have less heart. The efforts to revive the excitement for this city, both intimately small and publicly citywide are no less meaningful, no less sincere.

I believe in the blinding bright future of this city, and it will come from the hearts of the residents that work every day to make sure it happens, with hearts of steel.”

Jaime K is author of Save The Kales and HEARTOFSTEELcity

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6 Comments:

Blogger Katie Bee said...

I think that this is a nice, thoughtful post. I had the same experience with Allentown - everyone I grew up around just talked about how there was nothing to do there and how much it sucked, but the closer you look, the more there is to see.

I've met my best friends through these two cities, and I hope to meet many more.

April 16, 2010 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Atomic Bettie said...

I loved reading this! And I love Bethlehem!

April 16, 2010 at 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting Bettie, Jaime did a great job.

April 16, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful to hear that, dare I say, "young people", with your talent and energy are staying or returning to the Valley.

April 16, 2010 at 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post!

April 16, 2010 at 4:15 PM  
Anonymous wendy said...

jaime k is the most awesome, and this just makes her awesomer, um, more awesome. whatever. well written and thanks for introducing me to the Remember blog!

April 18, 2010 at 12:24 PM  

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