Organizations I've Known

I've been thinking more and more about the organizations I've been a part of, and how those organizations have impacted me.  

I moved around a lot, which meant I never really felt connected to any particular place.  This also meant I had a tendency not to make long-term friends.  Along the same lines, my family is pretty small and fairly spread out.    

So I grew up without any real sense of community.  This never consciously bothered me; I've always been pretty comfortable exploring the world on my own terms.  But there's always been a part of me looking for a sense of connection, a feeling of belonging.

I am, however, very independent (and happily introverted), and tend to avoid groups that expect me to conform to standards I don't value.  

I dealt with these conflicting tendencies by finding organizations that make me feel at home while also letting me be myself. 

All of this leads to an interesting dynamic in my life.  Even though I have a strong independent streak, it has always been easier for me to join groups/organizations than to make friends or feel at home in a new area.  So many of my most powerful developmental experiences have been in the context of organizations I've joined, ones that made me feel welcome without demanding changes I wasn't willing to make.