It's time. Following the unexpected success of my first blog I knew I wanted to do more—to continue to write and to do so more broadly for a wider audience. I knew I had to. Even after Big Derby Girls Don’t Cry, I felt compelled to be a helper through my writing, but in the years after the completion of that blog I struggled to identify how to accomplish this task I felt compelled to undertake. Then, several years ago, it hit me.
From then till now, when I've sat down to try to write on this topic, I've felt overwhelmed with the task of organizing and presenting all the important research and my corresponding thoughts. And then over thinking would get the best of me, and I’d wind up telling myself that I wasn't an expert on this and I wasn't ready to put it out there.
Truly, I planned to do this differently. To frame this differently. But my life at this moment, my urgency to share what I see as the single most influential and important that thing we can all benefit from and that we all need so much more of right now is at a critical mass. In the last week my city, my beloved Baltimore, has literally torn away from the well-worn thread it’s been hanging onto for so long, and for good reason. While we often do an excellent job at fostering it ourselves in small pockets of our community (as seen evident in the clean-up efforts and other volunteering also over the last week), it’s undoubtedly difficult and literally impossible for hope, health, and happiness to exist in an environment where it’s virtually non-existent in the greater community. The “it” I’m referring to is connection.
There was a defining moment in my life several years ago where I realized it's all about connection. All of it. Everything. From existence as a whole to everyday life, it’s all about connection. Life thrives when connections are made; and life languishes in disconnection.
I'm still overwhelmed in my attempt to bring justice to the tackling this topic, and I’m still afraid that I’ll fail in doing the best job that I can in being a voice for connection, but seeing my city in such crisis has made me realize that while I may not have all the answers, I have to jump in start working. There is no good time to start. I've realized this more and more over the past week. Life will always be in the way—and maybe that’s what gets us as societies into predicaments like this in the first place.
While this platform isn't intended to be about my city or it’s issues (racism, income inequality, and the unjust treatment of a people by its leaders who are supposed to support and protect), it is about the connections or lack thereof and the repercussions of each that are in part so perfectly illustrated by life before and after the murder of Freddie Gray.
In the past few years I've spent a great time researching many different aspects of connection: person to person, person to animal, person to nature, and person to a sense of the divine, whatever that may be for an individual. It’s my hope by sharing research on these aspects of connection and their broader application, combined with anecdotes from my own life and stories from the headlines, that you’ll become more aware of how you connect to (or disconnect from) people, places, and things in your own life and how that affects you, others, and your community. In becoming aware of your choices to connect, I hope you’ll start to see how you can live a happier, healthier, and more hopeful life, and I hope you’ll also see how your choices to connect affect those around you. I’m not perfect (far from it), some of my ideas are lofty, and you’re not always going to agree with my personal opinion, but it’s my sincere hope that from this blog you can take one thing that will help you improve your life and the life of someone else. Together, we are fragmented pieces of a whole, but the essence of who we are dances with joy and elation each time we connect.