By Summer of 2016 CityFam had been operating for almost 2 years, gained and lost a few members, and developed it's ethos of "Friends with Better Benefits." I had just driven 13 hours from Alabama, through Tennessee and Virginia, finally arriving to start my new job and new life in Baltimore, MD.
It was pretty thrilling for the small-town, southern-boy to end up in (what I then considered) the "Big" city. Tall buildings, a bustling city-life, and so many strangers. At first, being totally unknown in my new neighborhood excited me. I could be anyone I wanted to be. I could reinvent myself just like in college, except I wasn't a dumb 18-year old kid. Thanks to social sports and the obligatory post-kickball drinking games, I made friends quick. Or so I thought.
The reality was, I had tried to build new relationships as "No one". No back story, no limits, no reputation. People liked that I had no baggage and no reservations about anything. I was judgment free. But then it dawned on me, nobody had any idea who I really was. No one knew I served in the military, played guitar, or that I was struggling with depression.
My new friends liked that I was active and as long as I was in the party, I had friends. However, my relationships did not have a sense of community. No one had any goals except to save enough money for beer (or mooch off someone else) and nobody was prepared to focus on anyone but themselves. Which was very lonely, despite so many people being together.
When I came to my first CityFam event I was... not amazed. But some of them talked to me and actually listened. This happened the second time, the third time, and every time after. But they weren't just chatting me up, they were all talking to everyone they saw and purposefully seeking a deep conversation. They were ready for someone to eat up the next hour and half talking about their past, present, and dreams for the future. They made me want to think about my future, instead of trying to get me to waste my present, drinking up my money and blurring the lines of my relationships.
To be clear, I was so happy to find CityFam BUT! I was also looking for CityFam, I just didn't know it existed. I find that most people my age (27) are still clinging to the days of getting loaded and frisky with strangers. That's cool, my new friends drink too, but we also help each other manage our money, stabilize our love lives, get clean, and we consistently reinforce the idea that you can be fun, but you can also Become The Best Version Of Yourself. ~ Kyle (IG: @sir_rigsby)
To join us at an event or to learn more about The Fam, follow us at:
CityFam.com-->The Ladder--> 'Join The Fam' to get our weekly event guide to stepping up
Official Facebook Page-->See what we have to say/share
CityFam-Baltimore or CityFam Harford/Cecil County Facebook Groups-->Post what you have to say/share
CityFam Instagram-->View our photo/video album and story
CityFam Twitter-->Be a part of what we are putting out