Sometimes you just get one of those overwhelming feelings that what you have done is right. That is it has all come together and it is what you wanted it to be. That happened yesterday for me when we held the chat for Emily. As soon as news spread, people began to log on and leave messages in the chat room. There was a strong feeling amongst the group of people that I am close to that we wanted to do something to help not just ourselves, but her other friends too. To have a place to share memories and offer support. I am so honoured that this could be one of those places and that this community could give something back to those who have put so much into it.
Things have been hard for me over the past while and at times I have beat myself up about how badly I am doing everything and I have wondered if what we started here was worth continuing with. I am glad that I found my answer and that, once again, Emily was able to challenge my thinking in a way which made me realise that the path I was walking down was right where I should be. It gave me a shake and let me see that I should cast the self-doubts away and get going with things. Because at the end of the day, friendship matters and community matters, and that is what I have here.
I know that the same thing doesn’t suit everyone. What we hoped to achieve was a community which was friendly, inclusive and accepting of all. Even with that, there will be those who find it a good fit and those who don’t and that is fine. As long as you can find a place that works for you, that is what is important because when you need it most, the fact that you belong somewhere will be what really counts. Often I think we are surprised by the impact that our offers of friendship and support can have on others. A friendly face, a listening ear, a warm and welcoming comment are all worth their weight in gold when someone is struggling with something. I do know that Emily would be quite overwhelmed to learn of the way she has impacted on so many people.
I know that we aren’t all as magnetic and energetic as Emily was: she didn’t just bring this community together, she brought a number of different communities together and that is something quite remarkable. Sometimes we need to be reminded of what can be achieved. All too often these days, we can feel like we operate in isolation. Life just seems to be too busy, too full, too competitive. There is never enough time to take the time it seems. But here in the kink community I have actually found the opposite. I have found people who actively want to help each other with no gain to themselves other than passing on the same support they have received from others. It seems to work in a mutual way and somehow defies the laws of the real world the way it is at the moment.
Perhaps it is because we are a little isolated from the rest of the world. Perhaps it is because a lack of understanding has pushed us into the shadows together so it makes for a greater camaraderie and sense of community spirit – I don’t know. What I do know is that I see it over and over, not just here but in many of the groups and platforms that I am part of. I see it at events like Eroticon and I saw it again here over the past few days. We seem to care more about each other. We seem to be more supportive and less jealous. We seem to be more accepting and embracing and less threatened. So really I wanted to say thank you to a community who has let me belong. And to the people who over the last few days have made me see again that belonging is important.
Being open with people pays off. Being honest with them means that you can build relationships that matter and are genuine. Showing your vulnerability doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human and means that people can identify with you and build connection with you. And from those connections come strength and the ability to accomplish so much more than if you were on your own. So wherever it is that you feel you fit, I hope that you can be yourself and that others will respond to that. We are reminded all too well that life can be short and we never know what it will show us next. For me, it is the people who matter. The relationships I have are what bring me the greatest reward and the biggest sense of self worth and so that is where I should put my time and energy. I am glad that, even under these terrible circumstance, I have been reminded about what really matters to me.