My Community: A Thank You

Today’s #reverb10 prompt is incredibly timely — I had already begun drafting this blog post and now I have an excuse to push it to publication. The prompt from @caligater reads:

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?

I’m going to try not to get sappy here, but I have a huge THANK YOU I have got to get off my chest. And this prompt is a perfect opportunity.

The Internet is funny.

When I first moved to San Francisco, I knew absolutely no one. Having grown up in Colorado and lived there for the vast majority of my life, I, generally speaking, had the same group of friends my whole life. Moving to a brand new place, I had no idea out to meet people let alone make friends.

Lucky for me, I used the Internet.

I had never previously used the Internet to meet people or make friends, but this seemed like the best option under my lonely circumstances.

So, I tweeted. I blogged. I reached out to girls and boys that I had been following and reading. Much to my surprise (and excitement!), many of you reached out right back. And low and behold, friendships were formed.

Thank you.

Adam, for being my very first friend in the big, bad city. (Side thanks to @the_architect, for introducing us). While it took me a little while to muster up the courage to meet you in real life, I am so glad I did. You are incredible, we are the gender-opposite versions of each other, and I am so grateful to have met you through my online community.

Nicole, for meeting me in the dimly-lit Swig, while you were fresh and new to San Francisco (and still even living in a hostel!). Your enthusiasm for the city and for life has and continues to inspire me. I’m happy you met James Bond at my birthday party, and I’m so thankful to always have your encouragement and inspiration.

Jamie, for being real. Funny. A true friend. I’m so glad we’ve been spending so much more time together recently (which also makes me sad you’re leaving me). With you, I can share anything. We get each other, and I love it.

Casi, for being my best friend in this incredible city. Thanks for our first date at the baseball game (where we analyzed a girl’s hair and made fun of each other). Thanks for always wanting to explore, try new things, or even just hang out. True besties. I am so grateful to have you in my life and so thankful for the Internet putting you there. You’re my counterpart, BFF, co-nomist, and partner-in-crime.

Julie, for getting me out of my apartment and into photography. Photography saved my life in San Francisco, and I owe it to you. You are moving mountains, and I’m so lucky to know you.

Jenny, for always being an inspiration in every way possible. You are the strongest woman I know, and I admire everything you are doing in your life. You are sincerely remarkable, and it’s an honor to call you a friend.

Jeremy, for taking me on a fantastic first date (thanks to my blog), and becoming one of my very best friends in San Francisco. You are an incredible guy and I’m so thankful you’re my friend.

Leah, first and foremost, thank you for giving me Jasper! He’s such a love, and if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have him. You’ve been such a great friend and so much fun. Looking forward to the next tweetup!

Sara, while we’ve only officially met once, your online support is irreplaceable. You’re so in-tune with what I’m doing and how you can join in — I ¬†love it! I know it seems like Casi and I come as a package deal, but it’s great to have your support on all my (our) endeavors.

And since Jessica made a ccchhhhhaaawwww noise (like popcorn stuck in the back of her throat), thanks to her, for correcting my grammar errors, and pushing me to be the best writer I can be. But really, thank you. Your support is unparalleled.

My online community knows no bounds — it reaches all corners of the country.

Thank you, Elisa, for laughing and bonding over vomit the first time we met (not our own, mind you). Thanks for always being my go-to for sappy love stories, depressed single nights, and OKCupid advice. I can’t wait to see you again!

Chelsea, for getting to know you over gchat (even before we met in real life). It was so easy confiding in you and sharing what some deem deep secrets. You are just as electric in real life and I’m so thankful to have met you (and can’t wait to play again — with or without the mustache).

Doniree, for spending time with me on Thanksgiving weekend, in between other plans. Man, I wish I had known you when I lived in Boulder for four years — but then again, if I had, maybe I wouldn’t be in San Francisco. You. Are. Incredible. I felt we knew each other long before we met in person and it felt like two old friends, catching up.

Matt, for allowing me to plan your honeymoon (and then subsequently crash it). I loved talking shop with you and learning about how to excel in the social media world. It’s great to know someone who’s just as passionate as you are for this growing industry.

Trina and Frank, you guys are incredible. I’m so excited I got to meet you and spend the day showing you our favorite spots in San Francisco. Since, at first, I didn’t realize you two were married, I love you both individually. Thank you for all your support and friendship.

To those I haven’t met yet but still feel like close friends:

Kaci, thank you for always listening and sharing with me. We’ve gotta get you out of Washington and down to San Francisco to visit me. You, your girly-ness, your daily inspiration. I love it. And you. And I can’t wait to hug you IRL.

Liz, thank you for being my gchat lover. I’m pretty sure you know almost everything there is to know about me, all the while, never having met in real life. I feel so close to you, so comfortable. I even love your silly questions (and when you call me Looooogle). You’ve been there for me when I need you the most, and vice versa. I am truly thankful for you. Now, let’s meet, dammit!

Ryan, for putting up with my crazy and always being there to answer questions about boys, soccer, working out, anything. You are a great source of encouragement for me (and hopefully vice versa) and I can’t wait to meet you in June.

There are too many people I’ve met, or haven’t but have sincerely connected with, because of the Internet and my online community to call them all out here. So, thank you. Every one of you.

I’m blown away by my 1,000 twitter followers and the truly inspirational and encouraging community I’ve built around my blog. I couldn’t have done it, created this place, without each and every one of you. You are the support I turn to when I need it most. I confide my insecurities and my excitement in all of you.

I’m thankful in the most overwhelming way possible, for my community.

Wow. I’ve met a lot of people from the Internet! So blessed.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Alicia December 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Your post is so encouraging it makes me smile (really, really big). Thanks for sharing!

Reply

Lauren December 7, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Thank you! I’m truly blessed by my community. And that includes YOU! :) So glad you’ve joined in and we’ve been “informally introduced.”

Reply

Liz December 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I adore you to pieces, and am so thankful we found each other…I will cry when I meet you that is for sure. I LOVE MY LOOOOOOOGLE.

Reply

Lauren December 7, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I will definitely cry, too. Be prepared! But I can’t wait for that day :)

Reply

Trina December 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Awwwww… I’m so touched. *tear* No really *TEAR*! <3 Now if only we could get back to SF to play with you more! Many hugs girlfriend! <3

Reply

Lauren December 7, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Come back and play anytime!! So glad to have met you :)

Reply

nicole antoinette December 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm

F yeah internet!

Reply

Lauren December 7, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Well-said. Wish I could have just published that sentence right there. Love you, lady :)

Reply

Matt Cheuvront December 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm

For essentially planning my entire honeymoon, I will forever be in your debt :) GREAT to know you, Lauren and next time I’m out your way (hopefully sooner than later) we are getting together! Or, you know, come to Nashville…

Reply

Lauren December 8, 2010 at 11:09 am

It was my pleasure and I’m glad you had fun :) Definitely let me know when you’re back on the West Coast. We’ll make it happen.

Reply

Jamie December 7, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Aw. Looooove! I’m sad I’m leaving too, but this just means you’ll have to come visit me in Paris or Barcelona or Amsterdam. ;)

Reply

Lauren December 8, 2010 at 11:10 am

Ummm, yes please. Dibs on Barcelona :)

Reply

Ryan Knapp December 7, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Thanks Lauren. I feel blessed to be amongst such great company, and of course for getting to know you over these past few months. Hopefully San Fran trip will come sooner than later.

Reply

Lauren December 8, 2010 at 11:10 am

You really are incredible, Ryan. If I had a penny for every ledge you’ve talked me off of…..

Can’t wait to meet ya!

Reply

adam jackson December 9, 2010 at 8:04 am

YAYAYAYAYAYAYY!

Reply

Lauren December 19, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Definitely a big thank you, to you, Mr. Jackson. You are an incredible friend and I’m so glad to have met you :)

Reply

Doniree December 17, 2010 at 6:04 pm

AHHH! LOVE THIS! Thank you, and I’m SO GLAD I finally got to hang out with you and chat in Boulder. You are absolutely lovely, and I can’t wait to see you again sooner than later :)

Reply

Lauren December 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I love that one of the first things we said to one another is that it didn’t feel like we “just met.” It totally felt like old friends getting together, not new friends. LOVE IT. LOVE YOU.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: