This year, as I found myself, I also found people around me fading away.
As I grew out of friendships, it seemed that because of one friendship expiring, I kept losing entire communities of people.
At 25 years old, it’s hard to make new friends, let alone find new communities so you focus on making the ones you have stronger.
June of 2010 was an incredible month for me as I found myself smack in the middle of a sisterhood that had already embraced me unconditionally. I just didn’t fully see or understand it until we were all in the same room together. They had watched me grow over the last few years, some intimately & some from a distance. When a friend I had met online who had watched me from a distance invited me to her wedding around the same time someone I thought was a friend told me I wasn’t welcome in her life (In addition to her wedding), I understood what true friendship & community meant.
I also found the Social Media community of Washington, DC. I was intimated at first because I felt like I didn’t have anything to offer. I was timid & unsure, like the new kid in a high school where everyone had known each other since nap time. I still put myself out there, through my fear & insecurities. Boy am I glad I did. I have met some amazing people who have made a name for themselves and are still offering insight to the newcomers. The sharing of knowledge, insight & the friendships that form in this community are priceless. (This is obviously nowhere near a comprehensive list of all the amazing people I have met & you should join the FB group if you want to join the great discussions)
You have to make it through the fluff.
The reality is no matter what community you discover, there will always be fluff. It’s when you get down to the nitty gritty that you find the true value in the community, the people and most important of all, yourself.
In 2011, I’ll keep being the new kid where it counts.
Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)