Took the weekend off again, so here’s another group of related things to catch up:
I’m thankful for my friends. Because I have seriously awesome friends.
Until I was 23, I thought I was the only person in the world like me. And then I stumbled upon my school’s science fiction lit magazine, and into a roleplaying group I met there.
And I discovered this: I am a geek. There’s a whole community of people like me. I just didn’t know where to find them.
After a few years of hanging out at the game store, I’ve collected a group of what I consider to be lifetime friends. The kind of friends that can walk into your house without knocking–the kind you give your spare room to and are happy about it because you get to see them more. As one of them said last year, “I don’t think any of us can afford to lose friends like these.” And that’s the truth.
One of the major reasons Drew and I decided to stay in Utah and buy a house here was that our community of friends is so awesome. I’ve had a lot of geek friends in the community move away over the years…and most of them lament the community they lost here. No one seemed to be finding anything better. So we decided that, since we can do our jobs from anywhere, we’d very much like to stay here, thanks.
Of course, I miss all those friends who’ve moved away, but they’re also the kind of friends that I know are still my friends even if I don’t see them all the time. And when we have time, we keep in touch. And when we don’t, we catch up the next time we have the opportunity. And nothing changes. They’re still my friends, and I love them all.
And so we continue meeting with the roleplaying group we’ve been meeting with weekly for almost six years. (This is the group where we met, incidentally.) We have regular LAN parties. I have writing groups. There are too many wonderful friends around here for us to get together with everyone as often as I’d like. And for a person who didn’t find her tribe until she was 23, that’s a truly wonderful thing.
Relatedly, I’m grateful to live in Utah Valley. It’s popular to complain about Utah. But I find that people here are generally friendly, the economy here is relatively healthy, and the cost of living is one we can manage on our not-so-large artist incomes. The gamer geek community here is thriving; the writing community is flourishing. I don’t hate the weather, we’re close enough to Salt Lake City that there’s plenty of cultural things going on that we love. We’re close to Sundance, which has become one of the highlights of my year. Our local library has the best media section of any I’ve ever seen. We have two Universities within a ten minute drive, which means a local art museum and more theater than we can attend. In general, life here is really, really good. I hope to continue to enjoy it for a long time.
And lastly, I’m grateful for my church community. After years of being in congregations of students or post-students–transient congregations of people who moved in and out constantly–it’s so nice to be in a real neighborhood with people at a variety of life stages. This particular congregation is full of lovely, kind people, who are fun and interesting and treat each other with respect. I love that. I love how genuinely the people in this neighborhood care about one another. It’s wonderful to be in the company of so many people like that.