Prompt #7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)
I was going to start this with a sob story. Back in 2008, moved across the country, no friends, waaaaahhhhh.
I mean, yes, that's what what happened, then, but that was 2 years ago, and that's not where I am now.
It's also time for me to own up to a salacious yet true part of my Boulder history: The only, only reason I have friends in this town is because of the internet. Specifically, OKCupid.
:shameface, dies, etc:
Against all the odds of the internet, I met someone on OKC who turned out to be one of my best friends here in town. Then I co-opted all of his friends. And then some of their friends, just to be safe.
(Speaking of the internet, I sort've totally love that I know that my very first friend from the internet is following this blog. Hi, Andy!)
I didn't really build a community, so much as I crash landed on the shores of a pre-existing one, and pillaged it for all it was worth.
This year was about testing the boundaries of that community - discovering whether or not it was a safe space for all the scary things that live up inside my head, that I'm embarrassed to show to the world. And, y'know what? It was ok. My friends here have been so good to me, so supportive of everything I've been going through (and that I've been putting myself through) that I almost can't believe it. I'm so grateful for them, for loving me the way I am, insecurities and proclivities and all.
Though it's currently in flux, I also may have stumbled on to a community in the most unlikely of places - Twitter. Next year, I'd like to work on turning the Boulder Twitterati into real people, and to fold at least a few of them into the community I've already built.
This post is also slightly bittersweet. In the last few months, I thought I'd become a part of a community at one of the local establishments here in town, but recent events have caused a bit of shakeup there. I don't know if I'm welcome there anymore, or how to reshape the relationships with the people there. I miss what we had, but I don't know how to move forward.
Three distinct groups that I am so excited about having in my life (well, 2.5 - let's face it, Boulder Twitterati overlaps with everthing), and I'm still not satisfied. I still want more. It's probably the nerdy girl from middle school in me who still just wants to be liked, but I'm still looking to branch out, to meet more people.
I want to get involved with the kids in this town - I'd love to work with one of the local synagogues on starting/running a youth group (NFTY still burns bright in me, no matter how many old boxes of photographs I unearth), or work with an after school program or something. I've thought about getting trained for the suicide prevention helpline, but those wounds might still be too raw to address through action.
I'd love to start putting on events again - art shows, basement shows, whatever - or at least get more involved in the community of people who are doing these things. I think about what is missing from my life out here, and y'know what? It's West Philly. It's crust punks (not transients, thanks) and sweaty basement shows and running in to people that I never see during the day, only with a brown bag of Yuengling in a venue that won't exist in a week. (I also miss Yuengling.) I left that scene just as I was starting to feel like a part of it, and I miss it.
And, as always, I want to keep up my bonds with my old communities. I always swear I'll do better, but somehow it always falls to the wayside. This is just a reminder to keep trying.