Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Longing for community

We all long for a place to belong, but I suppose each of us finds it in a different way.

I wasn't really part of any group or clique in high school or college. I had my group of friends in each setting, but I would never have been able to categorize us. Maybe I was really just a floater. I could get along with a lot of different groups -- the athletes, the smart people, the artists, etc. But I didn't really have one group with which I identified.

When I was in my late teens, I discovered a world of N Sync chat rooms. This was back in the time of dial-up internet, which meant I couldn't get on the web until my family had gone to bed. We didn't have a separate phone line for our internet. Not many did back in those days. But once it was my time, I would spend hours in there, conversing with other people from around the world -- mostly about the band we all loved but sometimes venturing off into other topics. I met one of my very best friends this way. I was in her wedding six years ago. And through her met another bestie. They'll both stand beside me on my wedding day.

I moved to Texas after college and was having a hard time making friends. It is hard to find buddies as an adult. At least in my experience. Once again, the internet came to my rescue. I joined the John Mayer Fan Club (Local-83) and instantly found a community of people from around the world who shared a common interest. Often more than one, but there was always at least one that tied us together. The fan club and message board are long gone now, but I am still friends with many of the people I met there. One will even be photographing my wedding next year.

I currently have blogging, which has also become a community of sorts, although it's evolving all the time as bloggers quit. But I've found a lot of friends there. People who may no longer be blogging but are still among my Facebook or Twitter connections.

Since then, I've ventured in and out of other fan message boards -- some nicer than others -- and found various connections. I'm currently in a few different groups online -- one for brides who are planning their wedding and another for people with fitness goals. Both are encouraging and safe places to discuss a current common interest. Obviously, one definitely has an expiration date. Once my wedding is over, I'll no longer be a bride-to-be.

I guess I'll be searching for another community after that. That's the thing. There's always somewhere else I can find to fit in. Or, at least, that's the hope.

Naturally, I have a song for this post too. One of my favorites. Love love love it. It really does sum things up. This particular performance was for a school, which is highly appropriate.


  1. I know you work out with your work, but I've found the best sense of community at gyms. It's an almost surefire way to meet people and become friendly.
    I can say that I talk to no one from high school because I just didn't fit in a group, but just had acquaintances in different activities.

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