It was about 15 years ago, in an English class, when I had to write down what I wanted to do after graduation: I wanted a cd store, with listening parties for new releases, with a stage for performances, a barbershop, Madden tournaments, and an outside basketball court with bleachers, for weekend events. The community center that I thought of back then, to connect people — though the younger me was only focusing on a specific audience — is not much different from my current and future plans, it just evolved with the times. Currently, this community center is at a local cafe, with coffee, live music, open mics, video games, and most importantly, bringing people together.
As an introvert, you’d think the last thing I’d want is to get a large group of people around me. It’s my version of skydiving and rollercoasters. Large crowds make my anxiety shoot up, but I know that it’s also something that helps me get out of my comfort zone. It forces me to interact and find synergy amongst people that I’d otherwise never have in my life. Which brings me to the three reasons that this is so important, and what I’ve discovered over the last few years from having these events.
Creative: There’s people that are creative, with ideas, that need an audience to share those ideas with. Without that outlet, they’re paralyzed. A simple audience cheering them on gives them validation and confidence to keep pushing forward with their thoughts.
Escape: There’s people that are going through a tough season, and they need an escape from reality. They don’t need to create, they don’t even want to participate — they just need to get away and have a good time. A place that’s filled with positive energy.
Social: There’s people that aren’t social, and community is actually hard for them. They’re not good at meeting new people, and they’re not good at fitting into a typical community event — so they’re usually isolated, because it’s easier.
As a creator, as a person that goes through bad seasons, and as an introvert that keeps to himself, consistent community has become critical in my daily life. These three reasons are what keep me motivated in creating an atmosphere that all walks of life could thrive in. Whether it’s the building blocks to do something like write a book, or to help someone with depression, or to find lifelong friends, I hope to build a community of people that connect in a variety of ways.
This post is to help promote my community group, Creative Minds. We usually meet up once a month. There’s two ways to keep up with the events and announcements for this group: I created a mailing list for anyone that wants to join this community. I also have a Facebook Group. Whatever’s easier for you.