Our Persistent Founder and Director
Jeanette Langston, Organizer and Connector
In the fall of 2010, I left a career with the Forest Service that I’d been working on for the past 13 years. I was burned out and needed a drastic change. My husband and I decided to move to Southern Utah for his career path and I became a stay at home mother. Utah has a very strong Mormon culture and we are not Mormon or any other religion, so between not being part of the dominant culture and becoming a stay at home mother, I quickly became very socially isolated. Fortunately, I am an extrovert and am good at putting myself out there to meet new people. I sought out play-dates for my kids, went to parks, and got a membership at the local recreation center. I talked to lots of random people who probably thought I was nuts. It was difficult and took nearly 4 years, but I finally built a very solid group of friends around myself
and my family that provided me support, enjoyment, and a feeling of belonging and they became our adopted family. These friendships provided a solid foundation of community that allowed us to share our stories and experiences with each other and taught us we can trust, making each of us feel less alone and a stronger sense of belonging. That led to us encouraging and helping each other to overcome or manage barriers that stood in the way of our dreams, and finally to being on strong paths to achieving our dreams.
I strongly believe that because of that support system, that knowledge that someone had our back and was encouraging and challenging us, we have all thrived greater since coming together. My friends have successfully fought depression, started their own businesses, have sought out their passions through volunteerism, have gone back to school while taking care of their families, and have created solid foundations of strength and stability for their families and themselves. This experience has taught me how important it is to have people. To have people who will be there to check in when you go silent and want to hide from life, to have people in your life you can lean on and laugh with and trust, who will fight alongside you to find your happiness and joy.
In the midst of all of this growth over those years, my friends were brave enough to show me my own strengths and help me overcome my own hurdles. With my friends - my social support network, by my side, and after processing and healing from my own personal history, I now understand my strength as a connector, as a person who pulls people together and encourages and naturally helps others to feel like they are supported.
In 2019, my family and I moved to Vermont to get back to the mountains. Thanks to a lot of genuine kindness and offers of help and support in our awesome little community, we quickly met many new people and started building some wonderful friendships. I have since pursued my vision for a new type of gathering space and am now leading this organization, Social Tinkering: A Human Connection Project. Our mission is very simple. Social Tinkering works to build thriving communities by empowering connections and growing happiness.
Through Social Tinkering, we work to manage and overcome the barriers that prevent people from connecting with each other. We work to encourage others to increase their understanding of different experiences so that we can increase our support for one another. Through Social Tinkering we create opportunities for people to come together in person to find and build their social support system, so that they can encourage and inspire themselves and others to surpass life’s hurdles, to thrive, and to find their happiness in this crazy world.
Social Tinkering: A Human Connection Project is a group effort. Please join us as we push past barriers, create opportunities for engagement, and build community together.
To connect with Jeanette email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-342-5811.