A Community of Children Who Survived: Story 2011

Five days ago, I packed up my most hipster-looking outfits and my Moleskine notebook

Hipster clothes laid out

Laying out my most hipster-looking clothes--complete with plaid shirt, skinny jeans, cardigans, TOMS shoes.

and headed downtown for two days of creative experience overload.  Today I’m sitting in front of a mostly blank page, trying to put into words what exactly I got from this, and how I feel about it today.  How can I sum everything up in one eloquent and concise blog post for general consumption?  Frankly, it’s impossible.  But over the next week, I’ll be reflecting on it, and I’ll try to record some of these reflections here.  Here’s attempt #1:

The thing about being both 1) unemployed, and 2) a person who blogs, is that they can both be rather lonely things.  My days, for the most part, tend to be filled with solitude, which is lovely at times, but too much of it can border on just plain aloneness.  At Story, I was suddenly surrounded by hundreds of like-minded people.  These were my people, or as Seth Godin calls it, my tribe.  They were open and creative, they were young at heart (this quote from Blaine Hogan’s performance describes it perfectly: “The creative adult is the child who survived.” -Ursula McGuin), they were genuinely interested in each other.

Something magical happened when I was surrounded by people who valued the same creative mentality that I do.  I felt understood.  I felt safe.  I felt smart, and like I had something important to say.  These were the kind of people who valued each others’ stories.  Instead of being shy and withdrawn and unsure like I can be around people I don’t know, I felt free to be completely myself.  I got to be me at my best, and I was shocked to see how easily it came to me.

Me, Wizard, Alice, Dinosaur

Me, Wizard, Alice, Dinosaur

So a special thank you to all of my kindred spirits, especially my dear Alice Sullivan, partner-in-crime extraordinaire, and Jeff Goins who was responsible for my being there to begin with, and who, despite missing the beginning of the last session, and standing amid the tear-down of the gallery, made sure he spoke with me and never once seemed distracted nor disinterested.  So many wonderful people with beautiful stories.  Thank you all.

Being a part of this community was so wonderful–maybe the best part of the whole two days, as far as I’m concerned–experiencing all of this together, as a tribe.  Now we’ve all gone back to our respective homes and our respective lives, and I’m left wondering how to continue this community now that we’re apart.  Do I hold on somehow (and if so, how?), or do I just appreciate it as a beautiful moment?

When have you felt a part of your tribe?  How did you continue that experience?

Story-goers, what was your primary takeaway?  Favorite quote?  Favorite speaker?  Favorite experience?


11 thoughts on “A Community of Children Who Survived: Story 2011

  1. I felt the same way, Allison. I’ve never been to an event like this where I felt such a sense of belonging, and such a kindred spirit with so many people. It’s pretty cool that you won that ticket. I’m glad you were there 🙂

  2. Community like that is a little slice of Heaven. To feel so accepted and free to be “you at your best” – what a wonderful gift! I’m so glad you experienced it and I feel sure that you’ll find it again. Now you know what to look or and you’ll recognize your tribe immediately. Great post, Allison.

  3. Pingback: The Universal Ache of Mattering | The Get-a-Life Project

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