In attempts to ground myself in areas that feel a bit lost to me, I have started making some changes in my life. One major one is that I got new head shots done so that I can start pursuing acting again! (So scary!) Another is that I’ve started attending a local Quaker meeting house. The service (if you could even call it that) is basically a group meditation: it involves a group of people sitting in a room together in silence. If someone feels moved, they can stand up and share a brief thought before returning the room to silence. The meeting I attended this weekend only had two people share (about what it means to belong in a community) and it felt like they were speaking directly to me and it got me thinking.
Since moving to London (from Washington, DC) I’ve really struggled to find a community that I can belong to. I have often found lovely groups of lovely people, but as welcoming as these groups are, I feel that I could never really belong to them. I know this because when it comes time for someone in the group to get married, I’m not invited to the wedding. Or when there is a crisis, I’m not on their list of who to call for help. Or when there is a birth, I’m not the one to take the kids. I don’t mean to feel sorry for myself, it is just the state of things. People have friends they’ve known their entire lives, or have gone through a major life event with (university, NCT, etc.) and I can’t rival those relationships.
I’ve tried to find community in my work, but I’ve had trouble getting my foot into the music world here. I’ve dabbled in other fields (concert planning, event planning, startups, blogging, social media management, etc.), but most of these jobs haven’t involved much of a work community. For years I was absolutely desperate to move back to America to be with “my people” and back in my work communities, but I’ve fairly recently decided (coughtrumpcough) to try and make things work here in London.
The most important community I’ve found here thus far has been on Instagram. I realise that can sound incredibly odd (and perhaps a bit sad . . . ), but having a community of like-minded women really saved me from the loneliness and isolation I felt for so long after moving here. Still, as important as my Instagram community has been (and still is) in my life, I also crave a more tangible community.
I’m not about to wrap up this post with a tidy little solution to my lack of community as I’ve not yet solved the problem. What I can say is that pursing a less isolated line of work (acting) and getting involved with a group that strongly believes in and encourages community (the Quakers) should help and that I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I would truly love to hear about the communities you belong to (or have belonged to) in your lives. What do they provide you in your life and what do they mean to you?