I’ve learned a lot about creating community through my work with people who have developmental disabilities and inclusion of people from diverse cultures and communities. So I could sit here and share my understanding of how to “build community” from those perspectives. But I’ve found that bringing what I learned in my work into my personal life is very difficult, and I’m not sure why.
I believe that community is what we are built for. If we were not wired to reach out to others, I think there wouldn’t be this hole in my heart that was left by people that I loved moving on with their lives. On Facebook I have 655 friends. I’ve found people that I started first grade with, people from high school and college, and people I’ve met through work. I’ve met bloggers, life coaches, disability advocates. But I still feel alone when I’m not on the computer, and even when I’m online, it’s not the same as having people to share community with where I am.
How do you reach out to people? I’ve always been shy, but it was so much easier when I was younger. Now I don’t seem to know how to open up to people the way I did back then. College was wonderful. My first grad school still had a community I felt a sense of belonging with. Now I feel lost. Just one friend outside my marriage would be wonderful. I can’t recapture the past–time has moved on. But how do I?