Sunday, January 27, 2013

Some Communities Make Strange Bedfellows...

When I'm curious about something, to slate my anxiety, I try to learn as MUCH as I can about it. Whether it's traveling to a Disney Park, going into a new job field, or moving to a new city. I want to know everything I can. I'm hungry for knowledge - but beyond book knowledge. I want personal accounts - what works, what doesn't, what was their experience like? Each person's experience with anything is unique, but I believe there is always something to be learned from everyone. Even if it's a cautionary tale.

The Fabulous Barries
So I get involved in communities. Online communities have been a wonderful resource for me, and I've actually brought a few of my digit friends into my flesh and blood life! For example -
 The handsome couple on the right are Tairy and Paul Barrie. While we met through a mutual love of  Disneyland (Paul is the host of one of my favorite podcasts - A Window To The Magic) and Tairy is his partner, wife, and a fellow author/poet! They both stepped up to help out at my wedding, Tairy offering her services as a coordinator, and Paul offering to work his video magic. We'd only met on a couple passing occasions, but when you have some passions in common, it's amazing how quickly artists can bond. 

Following along that vein, I "e-met" an author and she was kind enough to send me a copy of her book. While she was 10 years my senior when her journey started, we have a startling amount in common. We both were divorced once before we found our forever loves. We both got into endurance sports shortly after getting divorced. (Maybe something about losing excess weight in your life makes you want to lose excess fat in other areas of your life as well....) We both dated long distance and uprooted our lives to rebuild elsewhere. Some of the conversations recorded in her book are strikingly similar as well, though we are (most likely) not adopting internationally. I'll have a full review of the book once I finish (I'm about 60 pages in right now), but I've found other mentors and friends along our journey as well.

The Hendersons
  There is the maven of photography, Jenna Henderson, who we connected with digitally to do photography for our wedding. Before we even met (and my dreadful first impression the morning of my wedding - oops! I was a bit stressed! SORRY JENNA!), I noticed that she had a blended family! That got us chatting about adoption and before I knew it, she became my sounding board and venting central. As we chatted, I realized that we didn't need the questionably regulated international adoption in order to integrate a new culture into our lives. (Originally, we were very interested in adopting from Japan, but that's next to impossible for 2 blond-haired, blue eyed American's to do, so we we considered other places, but they had length of marriage requirements and/or travel requirements that we hadn't met yet. As an adoptee of a closed adult adoption, I share what comes up with me, in the hopes that it might just help them out in the future. Ya never know!

I could go on and on about the awesome people my online life has brought into my life - not the LEAST of which is My Sailor  (of course).
First Dance
Not everyone understands the artist types... My mom admittedly felt a bit lost at her first Trader Sam's Meet -  but it's really amazing what happens when you come into things with an open mind and an open heart. It may make strange bedfellows.  Through the magic of getting involved via the web and turning that into my real life, I've been able to cultivate relationships with people I never would have met otherwise. People who continue to inspire me every day.

After all, I wouldn't be who I am if it wasn't for where I've been - and who I've met.

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