I’ve fallen a day behind here, for reasons I’ll write about in a minute. For now, yesterday’s prompt:
Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
My knee-jerk response to being asked about where I’ve discovered community in the last year is to say Twitter, DH, we all know this, moving on. But honestly, all that started in 2009, and frankly the answer’s too easy. I’m off on sabbatical, thousands of miles away from my usual local community, and so the bulk of what has felt like community to me this year has been found online. The fact of which just makes me shrug — of course that’s where my experiences of community have been.
But I’ve also gotten to reconnect with some old friends here in New York, including a couple of friends I hadn’t seen much of since they left SoCal for the northeast, but also including several whom I’ve only seen at conferences and things since I left for SoCal in 1998. All of those reconnections have been fun — it’s been wonderful seeing everyone — but it’s been interesting seeing which “took,” so to speak, and which didn’t. These are all amazing people, and I still consider them all great friends, and yet we’ve all moved onto different lives in ways that make rekindling the old grad school community difficult, if not impossible.
Most important to me, I think, is getting to see a whole lot of my sister. We’re just far enough apart in age that it feels like we didn’t spend much time together in our parents’ house — I was the built-in babysitter for most of her early life, and then I moved out when she was still quite young — and then after that we had a funny habit of moving to one another’s cities just as the other one was leaving. This is really the first extended time we’ve spent in the same place as adults, and it’s been terrific fun getting to feel like I know her a good bit better than before.
So what do I want, community-wise, out of 2011? I haven’t a clue. Part of me will just look forward to getting back to SoCal when the time comes. Part of me is… well, itching for something else. There’s nothing to do here except shrug, again, and say that I guess I’ll figure it out when the time comes.