by Marley Kropp
Some people claim to balk at the idea of wanting to feel accepted. They head out on their own and seem to do it all by themselves. But nobody sees the people who have helped them get to where they are. Of course it’s important to have a sense of independence, but you don’t have to do everything by yourself. I hope that deep down, the people seeming to fly solo recognize the value of community.
Community is a hard concept to nail down. You’re born into some communities, like your family, and you can also choose some communities, like your friends. You probably spend most of your time with colleagues or classmates, so that’s a form of community. Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing, there’s something great about feeling accepted and loved by the people around you.
I know what it’s like to feel like all your people are far away or that you’re not really part of any particular community. I went to college far from home, and I didn’t know anyone before I got there. I studied abroad in a few different countries, and I had to start over with new friends each time. Now, my friends are spread out across the country and the world. I’m about to move for a job, and while I won’t be too far from home, I’ll need to start over with a new community there.
However, I also know what it’s like to have abundant community. I have connections with family and friends that go back to before I was born. I can be myself with my friends, and even if we don’t see each other for a long time, we still reconnect. The memories of abundant community and the relationships that I have make the times when I’m alone easier.
When you feel alone, remember that there are people who love you, even if you’re far from them. That’s the power of community, whatever it looks like for you. In my next post, I’ll help you think through how to create a community where you are when your family and friends are far away. For now, let’s celebrate our communities!