I've never had good luck with making friends. They come, they go. They're not always what you'd want or expect in a friend.
But I have to tell you, I am simply blown away by the love and support I have gotten not once, but twice, recently from the Infinity community.
I have some social anxiety, and meeting people at the Toy Box Summit and D23 Expo made me super nervous. I was afraid that people wouldn't like me or want to be around me. But I was shocked that every single time I met someone in person that I knew online, and I told them who I was, that they're faces lit up and they were so happy to meet me. I began to realize that I had quite the reputation, which I seriously had no idea of. I was thrilled and blown away to be so warmly welcomed into this community. By the time it was time for everyone to go home, my normally shy self, whose teeth were chattering when I first said hello, was running around and insisting on hugging everyone. I was really sad to go, not just leaving Disney Parks or the Expo, but leaving my new friends.
But you know that bad times are a testament to who your real friends are. And I am so grateful to say that you are all the best friends. We're currently going through a family emergency. My Dad is on the other side of the country on a business trip, and he didn't feel well. They took him to a hospital and found out that he had a minor heart attack, and blockage, so now they're going to do surgery. Highest among my anxiety and fear is losing my parents, whom I love so much. They're my best friends and are always there for me. My mind always hits worst case scenario and just keeps on going. Not a good thing!
When I got the news and outright panic struck me, I debated wether or not to say anything. No one really likes their personal info blasted all over the Internet. But feeling in dire need of support, I reached out anyway.
I have been blown away, humbled, and grateful - so incredibly grateful - to everyone who has reached out to my family and I with love, support, and comfort. PirateSteven, CCRunner524, and Modeltrainman were right there for me within minutes, and have been holding my hand then entire time, listening to me panic (repeatedly), reminding me to have faith and hope, praying for my family, and letting me know that they were there for me.
While I initially kept this news quiet with just a few people, I decided to reach out to the broader community on Twitter (and now here) because I feel like the community is not just friends, but FAMILY. And what is the point of having friends and family if you can't lean on them in times of distress? No one here should have to be embarrassed to talk about what they're going through, whether it's stress, money, illness, whatever. It's 2015. Screw being embarrassed! Society should be so over that by now.
So thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU. To everyone and anyone who has reached out to help me through this. Today alone I have alternated between moments of feeling shocked, sick to my stomach, bawling my eyes out, and completely numb. The friendship I have been so lucky to receive is one of the few threads holding me together. I've said it a hundred times before, and I'll say it thousand times more: I am so incredibly grateful, for anything and everything. The love, the friendship, the support. And not just from close friends, or acquaintances, but even total strangers who have reached out. Forever, I AM GRATEFUL.
And if there's anything anyone ever needs, please don't ever hesitate to reach out to me! I am here for all of you, just as you all have been for me.
LOVE, Amanda (28MouseEars/InfinityApprentice)