Eight years ago I started a club – no, the meet ups weren’t held in a treehouse in my parents backyard – I was 28 at the time.
I found myself struggling, just like many other people do during the winter, to put one foot in front of the other. The short days, the capped sunshine and the graded chill factor attached to the wind, to just name a few.
I wanted to harness the energy of people I knew – friends, family and acquaintances – in a way that would essentially allow us to carry each other through; through the grey days, through the hard emotions and through the cold.
What started as a ‘reply all’ email chain transformed into a blog called February Club. It’s mission: to make the month of February a little lighter and brighter.
Every year, during the thick of winter, amazing people come together to share with one another. Sometimes its an uplifting story or idea, sometimes it’s a deep personal reflection of how people want to change or grow, and sometimes its just a general appreciation for the little things in life. It helps to spark and inspire, to create laughs and connections, and to remind us all that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Each person contributes one post on their assigned day, and collectively, our intentions and energies fill the month of February. Instead of trudging through the deep snow alone, we clear a path for one another that we are all able to use.
Our members are spread all across the country, a couple people I have never even met in real life before, but it is the activity that bonds us and that makes us feel closer.
Often times, in life, we default to the idea that we need to tackle things on our own. We assume everyone else has it all together and that our battles are our own, but that’s just not the case.
Our hardships are more common than we realize, the depths of our emotional struggles are naturally occurring and the simple truth that ‘life is difficult’ is universal.
Thankfully, our joy is shared as well. Our feelings of happiness, excitement and inspiration are collectively familiar and relating and feeling understood by one another is an imperative aspect of the human experience.
Yes, we have lost and gained members along the way but there has always been a core group of people that have remained. And being able to rely on these people, even in this incredibly simple way, is wonderful to say the least.
We all know that in order to take care of ourselves we have to be willing to share our truths and ask for help. We have to find the courage to voice our needs and wants and that’s exactly what Feb Club was for me.
When you are honest with yourself and the people in our life, it creates space for a response – hopefully it’s a positive one – but in either case, in my opinion, it’s always worthwhile to ask.
The winter can wear us down and it can leave us feeling exposed and vulnerable. It’s easier for our narrative to become negative, and it’s easier to retreat rather than reach out. But I think this is when we need to share the most.
So if you find yourself grappling with the world or trying to cope with the daily grind, especially as the deep cold sinks into your bones, maybe Feb Club is something you need to do with your friends as well?
As long as we’re here, together, in the lives that we live, we have an opportunity for something great. As we take refuge in one another and work collectively towards a common goal, we not only change the outcome but we also change the game.
When we support, understand and extend ourselves to one another, we make the moments more real and meaningful. And when we have that, it doesn’t matter how cold and miserable it is outside, because that is, and will always be, strong enough to keep us warm.