Saturday, May 30th 2015 – a day that made SWL history.
This last Saturday we gathered our social media community for our first ever InstaMeet at Taproom Coffee in Kirkwood!!
The Summer Is Here InstaMeet! brought together people of all ethnicities, all sexual orientations, all gender identities, all religions, all political stances, all struggles, all walks of life. We sat at tables and cried together. We stood in a coffee shop and supported one another through relationship struggles, career choices, gender suppression, music careers, mid-life crises. Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons. People who are so important came together to find commonality in struggle, know they are not going it alone, and then encourage one another to grow - to get out of the trench of pain, doubt, insecurity, lies, self-destruction.
The turnout was greater than we could have ever anticipated. Those who lived close enough to attend/had time to attend, showed up & stayed almost the whole time! Conversation ebbed and flowed from 3-8p, unlike it has at any event we’ve ever hosted before. The #swlfamily that is normally screens apart got to sit down, sip really good coffee, and talk about life. Real life. Raw parts of life. Unfathomably amazing parts of life. Unbearably difficult parts of life.
This “family” was no longer just double taps on a phone screen and comments on square pictures. This family became real, face-to-face conversations and support. It became tangible and it embodied everything we hope SWL will facilitate.
We are still completely awestruck and humbly overjoyed by how supportive the SWL community was at this event. So we are taking this chance to say thank you. Thank you for being people who not only fight to love themselves every single day, but thank you for being a people who believes in putting this message into action. You have taken words on a screen and turned them into words flowing in + out of hearts, wounds, and souls. You are incredible.
So no, it wasn’t your typical InstaMeet. We put a So Worth Loving twist on “InstaMeet”. We didn’t meet up solely to take pictures with props (although we loooove that just as much as the next guy/gal)! No, we had an InstaMeet that brought a portion of our huge social media community to life. Because we are humans and phone screens can only do so much. The phone screen is the first step. Tapping that follow button is a first step. Reading that post that relates exactly to what you are going through, that’s the first step. Then comes so much more. Writing letters to people you’ve connected with to encourage and relate with one another through the best and the bad. Flying 3 states over to finally meet your new best friend. You name it. But a t-shirt, a blog post, a picture - that is just the beginning.
Just to be clear, if you were unable to attend due to physical distance, emotional distance, circumstance, or any other reason we want you to know you were missed. This InstaMeet was only a small representation of the vast community that is SWL. So we hope the success of the stories shared here only inspire you to grow the #swlfamily right where you are – creating and encouraging genuine interaction and support in your own hometown. You can be a light right where you are.
Whether you are in a place where the idea of loving yourself is inviting, terrifying, incomprehensible, comfortable, or anything else, we just want to say we love you. Simple. Not cheesy. Not in-genuine. Just a simple proclamation that we love you even though we may know nothing about you. We love you because you are you.
Here’s to many more events just like this one. We will see you soon, fam!
Until then, keep in touch by sharing your story at firstname.lastname@example.org - keeping up with us on Instagram + Twitter at @soworthloving