Fitting in. Who would have thought this was something still on our minds as adults? We have graduated from high school, putting the name calling, words written on the restroom stalls, taunting as you walk past classmates in the hallway and all of the heinous things our peers have done to us. During the awkward stage of high school, we aim to fit in with our peers, all in an effort to find our niche. Finding a group of friends with similar interest, to feel normal and to avoid seclusion. We want our concerns justified, understood, and taken serious. We want to know someone, if only slightly, understands our point of view. We want to be included, not secluded from the community.
But how? Where can we find a meet up group? How about a group for dog lovers? Where do you find chalk artist? Do we have a group for Latino video gamers? African American writers? Millennial Engineers? There are an abundance of groups in different cities where people with the same interests, ethnicity, and skills are coming together to hang out. But in Massillon, OH, annual parades, the initial Cruise on in and Dance car show, and football are where some long term bonds are being created. How do you find your "in crowd"?
The local social community is important to me because relationships help elevate. We have many interests outside of our families and finding a common place to share these interests can provide a since of fulfillment in our lives. As we navigate this life, building relationships with various people can help you propel to that next level. It's nice to meet new people, listen to new stories, and build reliable connections.
Similarly, community supports a social lifestyle. For example, I was invited to go to the flea market and yoga with a family friend and her friends. It was nice to meet this group of women and have lunch. This was the first time I had met these women but, the group provided multiple perspectives throughout our conversations that would not have happened in my circle of friends. In addition, I have became more active is community support, a recent NAACP member along with meeting other entrepreneurs. Navigating these spaces of professionals, advocates, and action takers, I have learned it's the same circle of people; nonetheless, a separate group from the women I went to yoga with but, still represent a personal interest.
There is some overlap. The people who I may workout with also read books, Yet, while I may go out for a night on the town with some of the advocates in the community, being able to have a variety of friend groups, who share multiple similar interest add another layer of fulfillment to my life.
It's worth noting NAACP, yoga, and flea market all happened outside of Massillon.
I say all this to say, we need to develop local social groups to support the interests and lifestyles of the people in Massillon, OH. We are the second largest city in Stark County and yet we travel outside of the city to fulfill our social lives. If you live in the area, please help to start that painting club, art group, meditation group, dance group, book club, teach the salsa class, support group etc. We want to be included!