So, here’s a bit of a background glimpse for you all. This post has been sitting in my drafts, half-written since last August. I just couldn’t fully finish it and wasn’t sure what milestone to mark with it. Now that my second Blogiversary is upon us, I can’t think of a better time to talk about my super supportive community. Your support, help, and encouragement are such a blessing.
Now, enough with the sappy stuff (just kidding, keep your tissues handy!) and on with the post!
As someone who used to be polyamorous, it should come as no surprise that my community is something that I strive to cultivate. Even now that I am not polyamorous anymore, I continue to surround myself closely with several people. Hell, my ex-partner Josh is one of my closest friends and edits this blog for me. My fiancé Dan takes the pictures for my blog posts. My friends were my first followers. My community is everything to me, and many things that I love in my life would not be possible without my community.
In a past post about people being my passion, I wrote about how most of my goals are people-related…and that I have a core group of 10 people that I tell everything to. This was no exaggeration. I do have a group of tight-knit friends, family members, and confidants who I share my life experiences with and seek advice from. I have always prioritized people and relationships over all else in my life and created a circle of lovely, empathetic people I trust and appreciate. Forming strong relationships, for me, comes before pretty much everything else. I strive to share as much of myself as possible because I want people to know who I really am and share themselves with me, too!
And my community sure does follow through. Back when I was interviewing at grad schools, I had a really rough time at my first interviews. After facing rejection after rejection from potential departments, I was almost certain that I would not be getting into that first school. As it was my first taste of graduate school interviews, I was understandably distraught. I was almost in tears with disappointment when I got back to my host’s apartment, turned on my phone, and saw the flood of support from my family and friends. Suddenly I was crying happy tears. I felt loved, and not so alone.
My community isn’t only my friends and family, either. Time and time again, my community at work has shown me how much they care. From sending me flowers when my dog passed away, to checking in to see if I’m doing alright, to making sure that I eat lunch during a busy day at work, I am glad that my community extends to the workplace, too. Many of us see our coworkers more than our friends anyway, right? Might as well make the best of the workday. And what better way to do that than to overshare everything about your life in front of your coworkers until they feel the need to become part of it!?
My first blog follower was one of my coworkers. He saw me post about my blog on LinkedIn and was so excited to follow it that he asked me how he could before I even had a follow button! Since then, I’ve had coworker after coworker sign up to follow my blog (sometimes through coercion, sometimes not, but hey…a follower is a follower!). Even now that we’re all working from home, I will always remember and be grateful for the outpouring of support I receive from my work family.
I’ve heard young bloggers like me talk about how a blogger’s family/coworkers/friends aren’t there to be their subscribers. While I don’t want anyone in my community to feel obligated to support my blog, they were the first people to follow me. They were happy to support me in any way that they could. They continue to support me as well by humoring me every time I text them for blog post ideas and listening to me talk about all of my projects. There are some people that I literally bug several times a month to give me some ideas. After all, they’re the people that hear me rant most about random things in life!
Now, they comment on my posts, text me as soon as an article is posted, and talk to me about my blog over dinner. I’ve had different people in my community approach me to tell me how much they enjoy reading my blog and how they relate to it. I love this opportunity to write, not only for myself, but for the conversations that my blog sparks and for the opportunity to forge bonds with others through my writing.
I wanted to take the space here to call out some people that help me or have helped me with this blog. You all are rockstars.
- Dan, my fiancé and photographer, who has put up with me being too focused on my writing to go out of the house countless times
- Josh, my ex/editor/podcast/occasional blog contributor co-host who encouraged me to start this blog in the first place
- Ryan, my coworker and my very first follower
- Bill Fonda, the most supportive blogger you will ever meet (you can find collaborations I’ve done with Bill here, here, and here)
- Sarah, Dawn, and Taryn who worked with me on this awesome and uplifting project (that Sarah spearheaded!).
- Kelsey, my dietitian and collaborator on this post
- Erin-Rose, who approached me about a collaboration and took on the challenge of writing half of this post when I already had my piece drafted
- Anyone who has liked, commented, shared, and/or discussed my posts with me
Thank all of you who have supported this blog in any way. Each like, comment, follow, and conversation means the world to me.