Community is an adventure, if you let it become one. And it’s an adventure that is more important now than ever.
Community is an adventure . . .
. . in learning new things.
. . in vulnerability.
. . in trust.
. . in making mistakes.
. . in stepping outside yourself.
. . in finding diversity in commonality.
. . in finding commonality in diversity.
. . in engaging in something bigger than ourselves.
We stare at screens and busy ourselves with — what else? — ourselves. We’re stuffed to the gills with things to do and things to read and things to create and things to eat and things to consume and things to clean and things to accomplish and thingsthingsthings.
We’re over-inflated and, yet, totally empty. We need community now more than ever. We need community now more than ever because it’s an adventure that feeds our souls. Real, genuine community lets us become fully ourselves. Real, genuine community lets us build bridges. Lets us bring worlds together.
I’ve made a similar mistake too many times in community. I did it when I graduated from college, and I did it when I moved a year ago: I’ve looked to recreate when it would have been far more fruitful to create anew. What I have learned is that in grieving for the community that once was, I missed the community that could be.
Community, and the act of putting yourself out there to engage in it, is always an adventure. And it’s a whole lot more fulfilling when I look at it that way.
Really, truly, there will never be another ___. Fill it in with whatever you’re grieving for. Friends, I can fill that blank with dozens of dozens of beautiful friends and treasured moments. There will never be another . . .
. . wedding reception dance party.
. . manicure session with suitemates.
. . early a.m. scrambled eggs and Bible time.
. . late night life-changing talks in the sorority house.
. . Sparky’s after RUF.
. . face-time and drink time all over Ninth Street.
And I have filled that blank, and fill that blank often. I fill that blank and tears spill out of my eyes. I fill that blank and bitterness explodes from within my heart. But the scariest of all? I fill that blank and miss what could be. I miss what I’ll stick in that blank a year, two years, two decades from now. Even if it’s not exactly the adventure that I want, even if it’s a far-from-perfect adventure . . . I’ll miss it.
Yes, we need community now more than ever. And we have to work harder than ever to find it and to keep it. There’s such noise around us and to get to the heart of community, we have to cut through the noise. But when we do, the adventure is worth it.
Show up. Make a phone call. Send an email or a text and make it real. Hug tightly. Embrace the imperfection of it all. Grieve for the community you had yesterday, but don’t miss out on the community you could have today. Expect an adventure.
This week, I’m blogging about community — what it means to me, how I’ve found it, why we need it more now than ever and how you might find it also. I’d love to hear your stories of community.