I last wrote that I could never find my tribe, my community, my figurative ohana. It seemed that no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t seem to find those “bff’s forever!” that people post selfies with on Facebook. Heck, I couldn’t even find someone to go to a movie with!
I ended up working somewhere and got to talking to someone else who worked there, and I realized we were both a little weird. We ended up going to a live show full of geekdom (Mystery Science Theater 3000 geekdom) and had a great time! I also reconnected with an online friend of many years who lives not far from me. We started having get-togethers at my house and even celebrated Towel Day together one year. This led to me befriending other friends at other jobs and it’s great – age and gender aren’t an issue either.
Oh, my house! That’s right! I put myself out there on the dating market and blatantly listed my nerdy habits and likes. I required anyone who date me be into gaming RPG’s so I think that helped a lot. Ended up marrying a guy with whom I have shared so many wonderful memories with. It is NOT a perfect marriage and he is NOT a perfect man, but he does like to go to Cons and Renaissance Festivals and all other manner of quirky things. The photos in this blog entry are some of the tables at our wedding, decorated by friends.
Speaking of Cons, this is where I’ve found lots of my community. I’ll admit that it took a few years. When I started volunteering to work the cons, I found small groups of people with whom I started to relate. Eventually I found my volunteer niche and made at least one person I would consider a true friend. We pray for each other and we share life via text and Facebook message during most of the year.
And being embraced by a community has allowed me to finally learn how to embrace others into my own community. This is where I finally figured out how to reach out and care for people just as I have been cared for. Most of the women I work with are moms struggling to find the balance between marriage, job, kids – some are single. This is the other part of my neighborhood: people who have needs I can help with.
That’s the missing link for me. A community isn’t just a group of people we hang out with and who support us. Sometimes I need to support them, too! It is in the support that we grow together. It is in the shared experiences that we build relationships. I can’t expect to become someone’s bestie if that’s my goal: It’s too superficial. Real relationships, real communities are built by doing life together – the good, the bad, the easy and the difficult.
If anyone finds this blog and is lonely, please go volunteer somehow and somewhere. It won’t take too long before someone notices you’re always there and would miss you if you weren’t. Eventually that turns into more. Eventually, that may even turn into your ohana.