yyyyMake no mistake – I realize that I am dramatically affected by the goings on of my every day life – some mundane, some unbelievably extreme, but today was altogether different.

I went to a town meeting with my husband Jason. I wasn’t on the original list of game-changers but was invited to attend by a new and valued friend. The meeting was about making our town great again – (My term! – for lack of a better slogan). Not great like it used to be, but great for what it continues to offer and can better offer in the future.

We were asked to stand and introduce ourselves. Everyone did. Our community leaders each stood, stating their name and business affiliation, retirement status or simply expressed their overall concern and unyielding support for our community.

Then, like the dork that I am, it was my turn – and I stood up.

I have never; NEVER stood up, ready to introduce myself to a group, swelling with more pride than I did at that moment.

I kinda giggled, kinda squealed, kinda did that weird ‘Julie’ thing I do when I put my hands up really close to my mouth trying to hide the ginormous grin (that I can’t contain) beaming from my face.

I announced, “My name is Julie Ufema and I am the Director of the new Evolution Arts Center on Valley Street.”

Full disclosure, I almost cried while getting that out.

I think I had been waiting for that moment my entire life. I wasn’t someone’s Mom, employee, student, wife, daughter… I was the founder of a dream I dreamt a zillion years ago. I was standing in front of community leaders, go-getters and truth seekers ready to let me into a vision of our town’s future.

It was more to me than they know.

It was more to me than I expected.

It was a great day.

It was a REALLY great day.