Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dedicated to You. Yes, YOU!

Prompt: 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?

Prompt Author: Cali Harris

I'd just like to dedicate this to all of my friends, tribes, communities, and people who stop by here on occasion for helping me feel like a part of something.  

There have been times in my life when I have "hermited", like in my early twenties when I was crippled by anxiety and panic attacks.  Often, I would leave in the middle of a three hour art class and just go home.  Or I would wait to the last minute to run to the drug store for diapers and formula.  There was even the time I ended up in the hospital with a resting heart rate of 140, only to learn it was just anxiety. 

I was young, a mother, and all my college friends were still partying.  I was 250 miles away from family, and my marriage was on shaky ground.  Neighbors made efforts, but I chose not to reciprocate; I hope they didn't take it personally.  I heard, "join a church", "take some classes" (I was), and "go out with your colleagues" (I worked with developmentally disabled adults and rarely saw the other caregivers). 

This went on for a couple of years until I started working for this place called the Peace Learning Center in Indianapolis, IN.  I was working through Americorps and I made friends there that have lasted to this day.  I went through a divorce, a custody battle, and cried through many "check-ins".  But there was such a sense of belonging and community there, and it so positively changed my life for the better.

While I worked there, my bosses and colleagues made me feel welcome and accepted, "warts and all" as they say.  I was always so scared that people wouldn't understand me or relate to my situation.  I think I've carried shame around for far too long and am just now realizing how much it has permeated my daily life.  Well, as one commenter and new twitter friend, Creatively Sensitive, recently said, "Shame is a stinky-soul sucker" and boy is she right!

Over the past three years, I went into hermit mode again; I didn't want to face the world with my current situation.  I was embarrassed and ashamed to have "lost everything".  But the more and more I've thought about it, I still have all the important people in my life (including my BF from high school who has never given up on me, no matter where I've lived or my situation!), and that community is what has kept me afloat.

Now, I feel like I've gained a whole new community of supporters through blogging and Reverb10.  It means the world to me every time I get a comment, even if just to say a quick hello.  I try to comment as much as possible on other blogs, too, because I know there are others out there like me.  And they may need the support just as much, if not more, than I do.

So if you are new to this blog, welcome and thank you so much for stopping by!  If you've known me for a while, thank you for reading and responding to my posts! 
this post a part of Reverb10: Reverb 10 is an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Use the end of your year as an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead.


  1. Emily, I have a very dear friend from high school too. On the other side of the country. Isn't it wonderful to have that person who knows you through and through?

    Another possible, post-reverb, online community and challenge is Creative Every Day (creativeeveryday.com) I'm doing it!!!

    And thank you for frequent stop overs to say hello :)

  2. CS- I'm already signed up to do that one too! Crazy!

  3. Great news! The people I connected with through Art Every Day Month were so wonderful. You'll love it, just as much as I love this pink and blue text!!

  4. :( I posted such a nice reply and then on submit it told me I do not own that profile. YES I DO!

    Let me try again.
    I know hibernation mode. Took lots of courage for me to break through it this past year. It pulls you in and at first makes you feel all warm and protected and then one day it suddenly feels like cold steel chains.

    I am also enjoying the community of new found friends in this reverb10 adventure :) AND I've signed up for the ced2011 project also. FUN!