The Right Community
I made it on my walk today. I was actually looking forward to it actually. Didn't try and bring my headphones. No speed walking. Just walked. I think I was excited because I realized the breakthrough or the proof of concept while walking yesterday. I'm obviously still new to this idea though - imagine that, new to the concept of being still and walking around the neighborhood aimlessly.
What I'm considering my "newness" has led me to not really know where to start when I begin. I just let my mind go - not forcing thoughts. If something comes up you think it through and move on. However long it requires you to deal with that thought is fine, you wait until it's through. The difference from yesterday is that today's thoughts came much quicker. I almost immediately began letting the thoughts race back and forth whereas yesterday it took probably a good 10 minutes before I entered into unimpeded thought.
Describing this process feels strange. What I imagine it looks like in my head is a massive dam on both sides of my mind, keeping my central area open to focus on whatever I'm working on. A piece falls out of the middle of the dam, then another, and another, and another until thoughts are racing back and forth being discovered.
This last week I was spending some time with some good friends. A necessary end of Winter break ski trip. Got the chance to meet someone new and he said something to me that I've been sitting on the last few days. I forget what the context was but what he said was that "we're all just looking for community". I've been sitting on that for the last few days thinking about that. It's true, but I'm not sure that's a good thing.
Part of my walk involved me walking through a small park near my home. I stopped at the ice filled pond and watched a large number of ducks chase each other around and do whatever the hell else ducks do. They all were together. One would get off by its self but was quickly involved with another. Community. I thought about how these were all the same species of duck and were only males and females. They're all the same.
Do you think it's funny how you always become the same as people you've been closest with? Me and some of my friends could all pass for the exact same person. Multiple times been asked if we were brothers or twins, not because of looks but mannerisms. You can become someone else without even knowing it. I don't think that you and your friend group all telling the same joke is bad (okay sometimes it is), but what if it's something bigger? What if we lose our identity in an effort to blend into those around us, intentionally or not. That is a danger.
We look for community because we're searching for validation that we aren't different. Proof we aren't outcasts.
Part of why I've decided to put my whole life on this site is in an effort to build authenticity. I want to be myself more than ever before. And you know what's funny? The community has found me. I've begun putting content out, writing, talking to people. Telling people what my interests are. It sounds silly but Twitter has been an awesome medium to convey my thoughts. I've gained new contacts, friendships, and interests because of it. It's hard to be yourself - I wish it wasn't that way.
The community I needed existed already, it just took me being myself to find them.