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?
Ahh, the C word... lol.
Actually, this prompt is another hard one for me to answer, because community is something I have longed for over the last few years. I feel that I am on the fringes of a couple, but never really a part of them in a deep way. Some of it is that I allow myself to be busy and distracted, and you must invest in communities in order to really belong to them. But the primary reason is that I am a little shy. Even when I find a community I would like to be part of, it takes me a long time to get to know the people in it and really feel a part of it. I am much more a "one-on-one" person than a group person. Not that I don't enjoy groups- I just don't often speak up when I'm in them. It doesn't come naturally to me. I think sometimes people think that I'm distancing myself on purpose, and mistake my shyness for lack of interest, which is totally not the case at all.
I am so blessed to have found a local group of female pro photographers this year. I've been to only a few meetings so far, but it seems like an amazing group and I am really hoping to get to know these talented women in the coming year. I have enjoyed being part of an online community of photographers at The Bloom Forum. I'm still new there as well, but it s great place to talk to others who are passionate about photography.
One form of community that I need- that my family needs- is other young couples and families to spend time with together. My husband and I have very few friends who are married and/or parents, and I know that we would benefit significantly from friendships with people who are at similar places in their lives as we are. Among other moms I am usually the youngest by a decade or more, and while those friendships can be awesome, there is just a different dynamic.
I want to be more intentional about investing in the friendships I already have in the coming year. I have allowed life to get in the way too often, but being busy is a really terrible excuse. I need to press against my introverted nature a bit and pick up the phone, schedule a coffee date or invite a friend over for lunch. Because despite my tendency toward introverted-ness, I get depressed when I am alone too much. It isn't healthy.
So this post about community became about friendships... That actually tells you something about me. I don't do well with lots of surface-y relationships. I'm more of a true friendship kind of person, so just being "part of something" in a broad sense isn't enough for me- I need connections to be made in order to feel a real sense of belonging. I guess it's sort of a blessing and a curse :)