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.
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.