In every place I’ve ever lived it’s always been temporary.
My parents were just waiting for me to get married and move out. My grandparents just while I was in school. Our three Lethbridge rentals until we got the chance to move to the big city. Our Calgary homes until Kevin found his dream job. Always temporary places with plans to move on. I took this the extreme, as usual becoming friends with only a select group of people to sustain myself but otherwise remain unknown and easily let people go as I left. If I went to a coffee shop too often and they got to know my order and/or name it was time to find a new one. If customers at my job location got to know me well enough it was time for a new position. I liked to drift and be unknown.
This, however, is no longer the case. Wisconsin isn’t a temporary home. Kevin’s dream job, a location we loved (politics beside), plans to buy a house, and the goal of staying here for the rest of our lives.
This means I want to change my “natural” tendency to be unknown. Now I am not looking for popularity, that honestly would suck and I have no interest in ever knowing every single person in town. But it does mean I want a sense of community. When I walk into the coffee shop or the bakery, they know who I am. Doesn’t have to be by name, but enough to know I’m a regular, good tipping customer. That the book store knows I only order though them. Not only that they know me, but I know them, so that when I ask how they are doing, they can answer honestly because I truly want to know the answer. That they matter to me on some level. That I’m dependable, reliable, and I show up.
I want roots and to create a sense of family here. Where we get together for holidays, take trips together, make plans, and enjoy each others companies. More than just Kevin and I, but with a group of other like minded individuals/couples/families.
There are also a lot of things that make me not want this. When I think of communities I’ve been a part of in the past, two big ones come to mind. The church and running groups. I found both to be full of gossipy, neatpicky people who are supportive on the outside and cruel otherwise. So when I start to get a sense of community I immediately want to run away before things can go there. I did this with wordfest and now as I dive into the community of the local circus group I am a little freaked out. I really don’t want to run away. I love what I’ve found here in Madison. And I already know that gossip and cruelty are a part of all communities, but I still want to try and hopefully find a way to not become the things I fear.
Community I think is something that needs constant work, with checks and balances. Verifying that people are being treated well and owning up to mistakes. I think the biggest factor is that you have to try and that terrifies me a lot. But I’m still gonna do it, because not only is this home but I am pretty sure I’ve finally found a group of people who are just as weird as I am, at least sometimes.
Do you have a community your apart of? How did you build it or become a part of it? Would love to hear your thoughts.
I'm a lifestyle blogger, covering deep subjects including body images, battles with food, and overcoming how I was raised. I try to be as authentic as possible and I don’t sugar coat how I see things.