Where do you keep your most inspired ideas, or the terrible ones for that matter? When I think of a great idea I write it down. Whether it be by journal, by napkin, by Post-IT, tucked into the margins of a book, or most recently via iPhone Notes, I write it down. I have not always done this and great concepts, quotes, musings or just weird facts have been lost to the abyss of my brain. My advice? Make note, but more importantly share. So many great ideas go unheard because they aren’t shared.
When I moved back to Yakima in June of 2010, the unorganized filing cabinet of my brain had enough ideas stored there to fill a novel— or at least a short story. And I wanted to share them, immediately. That meant friends, family, strangers I met at work, and anyone lucky enough to be caught in conversation with me longer than 30 seconds would find themselves on the receiving end of another Yakima idea. For lucky readers of this post, you are experiencing one of the benefits of my “over-sharing": I Heart Yakima.
But this was merely the tip of the iceberg. One beautiful Yakima afternoon, a friend mentioned she thought I would enjoy coming to Idea Jam, an event hosted in her living room that gathered local visionaries together to do what I loved so much, share ideas. Finally, in January of this year, almost a year from the initial invitation, I made it to my first Idea Jam. What I discovered was nothing short of awe-inspiring. This small gathering of friends in a living room had grown to 30+ Millennials milling about a large warehouse space (see previous blog “Beer Here”) buzzing with ideas, and forging connections to make these ideas a reality.
The largest shock to me, outside of the sheer number of young, inspired Yakimanians, was the fact that the majority of them were unknown to me (this being an unusual feeling as I see myself as an active, life-long community member who feels like she ‘knows everyone in this town’). Idea Jam was a venue bringing people together from new and varying backgrounds sharing ideas that they hope will improve not only their lives but the lives of those around them. This is a group of happiness seekers who are endeavoring to make their own happiness, not wait for it to come to them.
Rurban (rural-urban) towns such as Yakima have the distinct advantage of community support, which affords a group of people the collective power to affect change. It is just such an environment that you can find at Idea Jam. I have only been to two sessions. But in those few short months I have seen the birth of many ideas and what's more I have even seen the foundation of a new business! From humble beginnings Idea Jam has sparked a fire in many locals and I encourage you to participate in your own form of idea sharing every day. Large or small, you never know what spark might ignite the fire of a new movement.