The year 2000 was full of sparkle but graduation left me feeling disconnected and lonely. Most of my friends had gone away to college or they were working which brought them a whole new social group while I was doing community college and just trying to figure out where I fit into the bigger world I’d just entered. That is where Connect came in for me. I knew that I wouldn’t just magically find people, groups and a place where I felt like I fit. So I worked at it. It was uncomfortable, painful even… as it turns out I’m an extremely awkward person and I still don’t think I’ve actually found my “place” in the world. But the year 2001 taught me a lot about my ability to reach out beyond myself and challenge my own discomfort until settings felt more natural and connection really did take hold. It’s a word that I still practice daily because it turns out that without connection I’m less able to overcome challenges or bring the hope and inspiration to the world that I believe I was created to bring.