Remember those days when making friends was as simple as sharing your DunkAroos at lunch in Elementary School or being on the same sports team in High School. Everywhere you turned there were opportunities to connect with people that had similar interests or expand your horizons by joining a new group. All the way from adolescence through college your job more or less was to create community. Sure you might have had a paying job on the side, but really you were chasing opportunities to expand your resume and figure out what you really want to do with your life.
Then suddenly before you know it the security blanket of the past 21 plus years school provided was stripped away. You were thrown out into the world to chase new dreams and pretend to put to use the education you paid for. What no one prepared you for was, that more often than not, you were going to hit moments of feeling utterly alone that no phone call to a best friend several states away would remove. Now of course not every journey is the same, but regardless if you got married in college, remained single through your 20's, stayed near your hometown, or moved to a new city chances are at some point you have felt alone. In your mid-20's you chalk it up to the phase of life and expect it to pass. Maybe you search for a church group or gym to create community. That might be the band aid to your problem, but by 30 when no friendships have been like your DunkAroo loving bestie back in 3rd grade you start to question if you'll ever find the community you've been craving.
Personally, I have noticed this as a problem for not only my generation, but for the ones that piggyback onto mine. It seems that within the rise of being more connected than ever through technology we are more disconnected. People are having fewer face to face conversations and instead allow a screen to be the middle man. The increase of those looking for friendships has risen so high that now they are creating apps so you can search for friendships like you would on a dating website. Now don't get me wrong, I think the use of technology has a time and place. If used correctly great friendships can be made or, if you're anything like Braden and I, you might find your future spouse. Despite the potential for good, the fact remains that people are forgetting how to create a community. With seeing the rise of this problem, I have done my best to combat it by teaching my students the importance of true community. Thankfully as a high school teacher who taught yoga, mindfulness and health I had the platform to make this a focus. However, now that I have stepped away from my position while I focus on my health, I have been back to a spot of feeling helpless. To make matters worse, I am in a new town, have zero community and am trying to find my place in this season of life. I know part of what God is calling me to do is to rest, but He has also been placing some other passions on my heart. Whether they are here for this season of life, or they stick around for the long haul, I am chasing them because I have never been one to sit around and think about taking action. I've always been the type to take 10 steps forward when maybe I should have only taken 5. While I am learning to move a little slower, I also will always maintain a level of going for it. Sure it's created some challenging years, but those are the years that have defined me most. I wouldn't trade them for anything!
Now to the ultimate purpose of this post...took me a while to get there I know! On October 26th, I will be kicking off Broken Beautifully events. They will be held locally here in Denver. As of now, my plan is to host one a month, but that could potentially change. My hope is to create community for those that have felt lost and are unsure where to turn next. I also have discovered a passion over the years of wanting to support others in their successes, which is why I am partnering with entrepreneurs to help grow their businesses. In addition, all profits will be donated to organizations like 1twenty7 Project, a local non-profit ministry here in Denver that I have become involved with. Basically I have FINALLY found a way to connect my multiple passions into one. So if you're in the area please check out the events tab and consider signing up for an event. Currently, the event posted is geared towards women, but my hope is to open this up to men in the future. Please reach out if you have any questions!