As someone who is thirty something and single, I have always tried to force myself to realize that there are other places to find love and not just in a one on one, committed romantic relationship. I am lucky to have an amazing family that loves me. I am still really close to my group of friends from high school that love me, and I have a great group of friends here in Orlando that love me.
Yes, I said it Orlando…
These past couple of weeks in my travels, when people have asked me where I am from, and I respond with Orlando, these are the responses I have gotten:
- Oh….well you guys have had a rough week
- Thats not been such a happy place
- You must have your hands full down there
- What a terrible terrible tragedy…
Well yes, it has been all those things. It has exhausted people physically, emotionally and mentally, even those who were not directly involved. But it has also done something that I don’t think anyone can see unless you live here. It has brought this city together in a way that I have never seen. Everyone has shown each other a tremendous amount of love. These days a simple hug goes a long way. But I have seen love in so many other ways in this city:
- Just a few hours after the mass shooting there were such long lines at the blood centers that people had to be turned away. – That is love
- Vigils and Fundraisers are being held everywhere and the attendance has always been higher than planned, and they are not stopping any time soon. – That is love
- People are hugging each other more and yelling and bickering at each other less. – That is love
- This city is covered in memorials of flowers, balloons and signs for the victims of people most of us didn’t even know. – That is love
- Orlando broke the record for the biggest Go Fund Me page in history. – That is love
If you walk around this city you can just feel a different vibe here. Our hearts are broken but we are all here for one in other. EVERYONE just wants to step in and help in whatever way they can. I feel very proud to be a part of this community and can feel the love.
This is why the hashtag that is going around just seems very fitting for Orlando….