Moving with my Community
What if community isn’t something we share as a group, but we each have our own?
Something that we can thus also take with us, wherever we go? Somehow that seems to be a paradox but since I had that thought, I can’t let it go anymore.
As I’m moving my home base from Copenhagen to Berlin, I’m sorting through my things… what to take along and what to leave. In a very literal sense, but obviously also in the metaphorical sense. And when I started this thinking process and thought what I would be missing from Copenhagen, I first thought that I would miss the community that I have created and that I am leaving here.
Sometimes there can be a community around a certain subject – like the Lindy Hop Community and the community of employees in a shop etc… And these seem to be somewhat connected to a specific space. But as a member of the Lindy hop community, I obviously still also have other elements and experiences in my life, than those connected to dancing Lindy hop.
So, when I think of my life as a whole and about my wish to be connected to people, I realize that my community is very personal. Although some of the people are overlapping for others as well of course, and there are moments we experience all together, MY Community is the group of people my life consists of.
I think I started intentionally taking care of my personal community, when in a moment of pain I couldn’t be consoled by the one person I most wanted it from and I realized, that I cannot be alone right now.
Of course, I wanted something from a specific person, and the pain of not being able to connect with them was a very specific pain that I couldn’t alleviate by reaching out to someone else.
But I noticed, that in the first instance there were two different needs melting together in that pain. And the second need, the need of company and not being alone I could take care of, by reaching out to other people. I did.
As I write this it feels almost ‘bad’… random or as if this approach isn’t valuing the people appropriately… as if I’m only seeing them as a way to fulfill some of my own personal needs.
But I do appreciate and respect them so much. Every single one of them. And actually, the way I see it, it is being realistic.
We all have personal needs. And we might all want to be there for others… but for many different reasons we aren’t always able to.
It is impossible for one person to always provide for someone else’s needs. Sometimes that is incredibly painful, sad or frustrating.
But really, it seems ridiculous to hope for that (or put that responsibility on someone), given that being human is such an ever-changing process. Even if there were ten people with specific needs that they ‚cover‘ among them, the set up creates a rigid structure instead of a living community that can adapt to changing situations. Emotional states. Or personal interests.
And then recently, I realized that my community is actually one of the things I’m taking with me.
My community is not a rigid structure… it is a living, changing organism in my life that is moving and growing with me. It is the group of people who are significant in my life. Who I interact with and ‘how’ changes… sometimes based on changes in their lives. Sometimes randomly. Sometimes based on changes in my life or maybe even based on what happens in a larger context in the world.
I know, of course I will be missing individual people who I don’t have the chance to meet in the same way as when I’m here on a regular basis. And that pain is splashing through me in waves these days, every now and again. I will also miss certain set-ups, groups of people or events that have found their way into my daily life in the past couple of years.
But as I’m meeting my friends and clients and even acquaintances these days to hang out once more, I’m realizing that my community is tied to me. I’m taking the connections with me. I’m taking this approach to creating spaces for inspiring people to meet with me to Berlin and anywhere I go. (Even if it is simply because I enjoy being in the same room with them.)
Our interactions might change. Sometimes we meet in person, sometimes we write, sometimes we phone… I might not know today, who and when and what will be the next encounter…
I’m moving with my personal community. And it is moving with me, changing shape as we go along.
I’m curious: how do you experience community? Where is it present in your life? And thank you participating in my community by reading my thoughts.
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