Community, Confetti & Cake
It’s been a rough week with two sick kids crying at my feet. There’s been a lot of time spent indoors, which is hard for us as we prefer to be off adventuring and I was raised to believe that fresh air cures all maladies. I was at wit's end and just about to sit both my children down and explain to them that Mommy won’t be living here anymore when I received a text from my dear friend Candyce saying that she was going to pop by. Within minutes she was standing at my door with a warm smile and a jar full of delicious curry from Cafe Mosaics. We chatted for a couple minutes and then off went our food fairy to go tend to her own family.
As I ate the curry like a hurried prisoner, I contemplated how great these gestures are. I feel so grateful to have gotten to this place that I have a few solid, loyal friends. I thought back to that first year I became a mom and how utterly alone I felt, with no tangible community or family in sight. It was one of the darkest times in my life and I felt so guilty about my depression; I was 'supposed' to be overjoyed with a new baby. Instead, I was sad and terribly homesick. I constantly felt like I was grasping at people, needing something from them and never receiving it. I've come a long way since then. My life is now speckled with a genuine sense of community. Community has a different meaning for me now. I try to find the gift that every friendship offers me and not focus on what it isn't. We all crave to be known; it's really that simple. I’ve always valued community for that very reason, that it gives you a sense of being seen and heard amongst the noise and busyness of our world. I believe that in order to achieve authentic community you must do one very simple thing; show up.
Show up in life; in your own life and the lives of people around you. You can't experience connection if you're not even there. Community is built through all of the small, seemingly insignificant connections we make on a daily basis. It is greeting your neighbor and waiting to hear someone’s reply after you ask how they are. Community is both small talk with an acquaintance and long, heart-sharing conversations with loved ones that burn into the night. It is inviting people over to your imperfect house and offering them what you have; no more, no less. Community is wanting to cancel a social plan so badly because; sweatpants and netflix and tired, family life, but still going anyways, if even for an hour. For years I complained about how sad I felt that I had no community, then I realized that the only person holding me back from communion with others was myself. I didn’t show up. I waited for others to come to me. I waited for the right friends and the right times. Well, I’ve learned community doesn’t operate that way. Community doesn’t give you your ideal friends or everything on your wishlist. It gives you what you need.
Starting this blog created an amazing community for me and I find that so uplifting because one of the biggest desires for my writing is to create a sense of belonging and openness, a feeling of “yeah, me too!” that stretches beyond the computer screen and into your life. Two of the people I met through my blogging journey are Andrea and Christine, the creative geniuses behind Made Social Co. Friends for years, they share a love for crafting and understand that creating together is always more fun than doing it alone. They were inspired by the crafting circles that came before them; the knitting and sewing clubs that were popular in our grandmother's era. They put a modern twist on how women come together to create and that is how Made Social was born. I attended their last workshop and I was completely enthralled by the night they had curated.
I left that evening feeling inspired; not necessarily from the craft that I made, (although it was fun, easy and something I will actually hang up on my wall!) but more from how they brought women together. My whole being was lit up for those two hours. It was a thoughtful evening full of personal touches and a lighthearted atmosphere that gave space for women to talk, craft and share. I left Made Social with much more than a yarn hanging; I left with a couple new friends, some new names to friendly faces and a sense of belonging. Edmonton once again contracted to become just a little bit smaller for me. I always say that the trustest test of feeling like a city is home is when you start organically bumping into people as you are living out your life. The first few years I lived here, I never bumped into anyone. The streets were full of faces whose story I did not know. Now, my path collides with people regularly and it gives me a sense of home, a sense of place. Maybe crafting isn’t your thing (although, I’d beg to differ since they also serve bubbly and cake and throw confetti like it ain’t no thang) but whatever it is you like to do; share it with others. Show up. Create some space in your life for people, give a little bit of attention and watch what might grow. You have no idea who’s life you might be saving because you decided to share a part of yours.
PS. This post was not sponsered in any way. I just love sharing the gems that deserved to be shared!