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Happy Valentine’s Day to Everyone at CDH
While I, like many, find Valentine’s Day to be over-commercialized and in some ways a holiday that many people find leaves them feeling more lonely if they don’t have a spouse or significant other to share it with, I also see it as a time to let my friends know how much I care about them and cherish them for the important roles they play in my life.
One of my duties here at CDH (though I see it as an honor rather than a chore) is to greet our new members as they register. With the explosive growth we have experienced over the last 18 months going from 100 or so members in summer 2015 when the site was re-organized and re-energized to approaching 10,000 members now, the time it takes to send out friend requests and greet the new members has also grown exponentially. I will admit that on some days, it seems like a never ending process, but just when I am running out of steam, I’ll get a PM or reply from one of the new members thanking me for welcoming them. Many of us who are longer-term members may have forgotten how frightening it may have been (or was for me anyway) to open up this heretofore hidden part of myself and share it with others, but it is a BIG deal to reveal our inner selves even to a site full of people in similar situations. Those PMs or replies remind me of what I love about this site-the support, the love, the kind words, and the feeling of community. I feel like the vision that Vanessa had when she “re-branded” the site in 2015 is being realized as we become the place where people can come knowing they will be safe and free from embarrassment or ridicule.
While we are all different in so many ways-geographically, emotionally, and in the manner and degree in which our femininity is expressed- that diversity allows everyone to find others with whom they can form bonds and friendships. It is amazing to have friends scattered around the entire world-from Europe to Africa to South America to Asia and Australia and of course all over the US as well. At almost any time of day, you can find someone on the site to talk to in chat or exchange PMs with. When we feel down in the dumps, there are friends here who will provide encouragement and give us a place to unburden ourselves. Then at other times, we can help others when THEY need our support. As someone who has experienced both sides of those situations, I can testify that there is no greater feeling than to know that we are not alone and that we can help each other to persevere when it seems as if we can go no further.
With well over 4000 friends on the site, it is impossible to single out particular people without inadvertently leaving someone out so I won’t name the particular folks who I am the closest to, but I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the leadership of this site-Vanessa, Codille, and now Jane-who have dedicated so much time and effort and yes LOVE to this place so many of us call home. You have provided guidance and support and made each and every one of our members feel welcome and for that we thank you.
Finally (IKR? ), I want to thank all of you for allowing me the honor of serving as one of the ambassador team. When I sign into chat and “see” so many wonderful faces, or check my messages and hear the love and support from so many of you, it reminds me that while I may not have a lot of local friends, I am truly blessed to have the best friends any girl could ever wish for here on CDH. I can’t imagine what the last 18 months would have been like without all of y’all and thank goodness I won’t ever need to find out! Happy Valentines’ Day to each and every one of you and may 2017 be the best year yet for all of us!
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