A Place That Shaped Me

This week, WP offered up a weekly prompt on “finding your place.” Of course, this refers to the idea of a geographic home, but also to a place that “shaped who you are…is a key setting in my life story…something that challenged” me.

You know how Facebook has an “On this day” feature and they show you posts from previous years? There was a picture I was tagged in from five years ago that a friend shared and tagged me in, along with a comment about the “golden years” of Couchsurfing (CS).

This was the memory that prompted this recollection, so many years ago. These were several of the core members around St. Louis.

I’ve talked about CS before because, for awhile, it was a significant part of my life; my life was so full with it. As I reflected on this picture, I thought about how much it enhanced my life and helped me find my place. By that I don’t mean a physical place, like Seattle or St. Louis but it helped me find the person I truly am.

I found it in organizing, planning events, and reaching out. I found it in greeting strangers, extending hospitality and making them feel comfortable. I found it in learning to trust my instincts on the road. In finding the courage to go out among strangers and seek the experiences I was dreaming of. I found it in making friends all over the world, playing with them, learning and living.

I was more my full self with CS than anything else I’ve found, and if I’m honest, despite the icky corporate takeover, I still feel that way around a fellow group of earnest adventurers.

This was a reunion brunch just from last winter. We had come to meet in St. Louis from the scattered corners of Seattle, Costa Rica, Oxford, and L.A.

Finding your place prompt


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