I remember my first cityfam experience was not a positive one. You heard that right. Social Events Coordinator turned Marketing Director was indeed a CITYFAM hater!
I remember 2 years ago joining TFW Bootcamp and starting to meet folks when I noticed a former party promoter I knew, Robbie K., was promoting for a relief trip to Honduras and other "fun" events in the area. Even far removed from the party scene, Rob had an effect on others around him that I was intrigued by, but also kinda turnt up my nose at someone who was providing "wholesome" activities and so well-liked for it. I liked the missions trip idea, but BOWLING? Karaoke night? Volunteering at service events? Oh, and VANILLA ICE CONCERT. Who are these nerds? I said to myself.
I felt it was strange for adults to have a group type setting to meet people and hang out. I was judgmental and felt I "had enough friends" and I didn't have time to go and meet people. I could go bowling or karaoke anytime I pleased. But one Friday eve, I felt kind of lonely. I lived alone, and the bar scene gets old fast, so I grabbed a gal pal and went bowling! I was actually impressed with how genuinely kind everyone was. How different everyone was. And in fact, the only NERD was me! I was the girl making dramatic bowling moves and cursing when I missed a spare but no one judged me (I think) and I made some cool connections.
Cityfam has an amazing rap, but I also sometimes hear negative. I hear lots of "criticisms" we are a "cult". We are out to manipulate others to come to church. We are all singles looking to meet other singles. Everyone is fake and the kindness isn't sincere.
Frankly, I believe there are two kinds of people in the world: positive and negative. I feel that for some reason, it is uncomfortable for groups of adults to have healthy activities or peer groups and appear happy, meet new friends, and hang repeatedly. Cityfam is not faith-based, and we are not all athletic, not all single, but yes, some of the bonds formed have led others to going to church together, working out together, or hanging out watching movies on a Friday night with a big group. That is the genuine connection part that we harp on- there is a real chance at meeting some amazing people and having them spill over into other areas of your life. Or maybe not. Maybe you only want to do service events and go home, that is okay too! I just wanna say, MY FELLOW READERS! YOU have the power to make the most, or the least of your experiences in life whether it is with cityfam, your career, your personal life, etc. I don't just say people can be missing out on cityfam but I do ask myself, where would I be in my life if I didn't let my guard down and attend that bowling night? What else am I missing out of my life because I am being judgmental or stubborn?
So while we are taking applications for the next semester of SQUAD (for the members who want even more out of cityfam) I also wonder how we can bridge the gap between the haters and us. The misinformed and us. Who among you are curious about joining but made a judgment how your experience would be?
I totally get it. I was one of them. I was uncomfortable and stuck in my ways that my friends were good enough, and my activities were fulfilling. But now? I met some lifetime game changers. You know who bought me flowers when I was sick? Picked me up from the hospital? Supported my sobriety? Gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion for mission work and writing? Cityfam members.
I am also in the works of penning a "Frequently Asked Questions" section on our website to also clear up any confusions or questions you or others may have as well.
.....OH And PS we still want you to keep your friends. We want you to be exactly who you are, or be your best self! Just if you're curious, we kinda want to meet you too, and who can say too many friends are a bad thing?
Crush your hater-ade and come to the next event. I will happily tell you the more PG version of this story ;)
~Your Marketing Director and confessed ex-hater,