YOU GAVE ME AN IDENTITY
Brett Kramer, Bates Hendricks Resident
I don’t consider myself a Hoosier. I’m what I like to consider a hybrid; born in Cincinnati, Ohio - spent time in Valparaiso, Ind. for a year - took a 10+ year hiatus in Perrysburg, Ohio before landing in Fishers (Go Royals!) for my formative years. In fact, I didn’t even go to college in the state of Indiana – Michigan State University and East Lansing, Mich. currently lock down some of the greatest years of my life. It may seem odd that my chosen passion project nearing the age of 30 is about writing love letters to Indy – so please let me explain.
When you’ve moved around a few times in your life, it’s pretty hard to form an identity. And by identity, I mean your 10 second elevator pitch about who you are and what you're passionate about. For years, approximately 22 of them, I was Brett Williams (pre-marriage) and one of three of the following options: 1. Allie’s little sister 2. three-sport athlete at Hamilton Southeastern High School or 3. student-athlete/catcher on the Michigan State softball team. Sports and family made up my identity (and still do) but when I graduated college, I was pretty shit out of luck for remaining viable options. This is where Indianapolis comes in, or as the educated locals say >> Indy.
Indy was a place where I could combine all of my passions in the workplace, so it was a pretty easy decision to head home after college to pursue the ‘real world’ (since apparently college is just a fantasy land). I’ve known for a very long time that I wanted to do two things in life when my athletic career was over – talk/write for a living and do those things in the sports industry. There’s no better place in the country to do this than Indy – we are, as my current employer states proudly, ‘Indiana. Where Champions are Crowned’.
It was love at first sight. Indy and I became wonderful lifelong friends since driving downtown for the first time from Fishers and heading the wrong way down a one-way street (I know you’ve all done it). Indy is forgiving, friendly and most of all filled with passionate people that want nothing more than for the city to thrive. It’s hard not to love a place like Indy.
Indy being the sports events mecca in the country isn’t the only reason I love it, although it surely makes my job a dream come true. I live downtown, I work downtown and most of my extracurricular activities happen downtown (shout out to Mass Ave and Fountain Square). Indy gave me my first job, is where I met my husband, rescued my kitties (hi Binks & Crash - mommy loves you!), got married and is full of individuals that continuously strive to make Indy a wonderful place to live, work and play. Not to mention the place I thought I was going to die eating shrimp cocktail, ran my first mini marathon, got to see my favorite bands in concert, owned my first adult library card and won a dance-off against a complete stranger.
Indy isn’t just another spot on a map for me or a temporary location before I figure out my next move in life – Indy is my home. I owe a lot to the city and its people – Indy helped me grow into the person I am today.
So, when I was looking for my new elevator pitch, it comes pretty naturally now “I’m Brett Kramer and I’m from Indy”. I may not be a Hoosier, but Indy is a huge part of my identity. I created this site to share a little bit about my story but more importantly, learn about yours.