Name: Sidnee Lenora Grubb
Hometown: Portland, OR
Circle Start Date: October 2018
What do you do when you’re not running a Ben Franklin Circle and what prompted you to start one?
I work at Microcosm Publishing, an independent adult non-fiction house as Operations Manager. I also do pet sitting on the side and write and perform poetry.
What attracted you to the Circles?
I’ve always been a little obsessed with the founding fathers, especially Ben Franklin, because of the tremendous amount of work they accomplished in their lives. I also have always loved group discussion as a form of learning and self-improvement so I knew this experience would be a lot of fun and hopefully enriching as well. So far it’s been both and has included many great experiences.
Tell us a little about the composition of your group?
Many members were contacted through the BFC organization when they submitted their emails to the website after finding BFC in the New Yorker article. Some we found on Meetup.com and nearly every meeting I invite new people that I meet on my adventures in Portland. People from work or poetry or old friends. Our regulars have created an amazing core and heart of the group. They’ve created a wonderful dynamic that inspires me.
How has hosting a Ben Franklin Circle impacted you?
I feel at my best after a BFC meeting. I feel seen and heard but also exposed in the best way to other people’s thoughts and experiences. In times like these where everyone is struggling to feel connected to one another, I feel totally at ease with my journey through self-improvement because the meetings remind me that all it takes to refocus and reconnect is a little intentional time spent together.
Which virtue means the most to you personally and why?
So far it’s been Sincerity. We had a really rich discussion about self-care and authenticity in relationship building. The group became really sincere with one another and the conversation swung from political to personal. I went into the discussion of Sincerity having strong feelings towards the concept already, believing it to be a sort of secret sauce to life and I left inspired by what others had to say about it, especially those with feelings contrary to my own. Sincerity is a virtue that I thought I had on lock until friends in my circle reminded me that I have so much more to learn. That’s the really meaningful part of it. You never stop learning.
What is the last commitment you made to yourself? How’s it going?
To write more poetry! and with the help of my BFC friends, I have. They’ve given me so much advice and are constantly reminding me to do what makes me happy and to express myself and live those virtues through my poetry. I still have ideas of areas for improvement but I’m not as stuck as I was. That feels good in and of itself.