Monday, November 10, 2014

On community

I recently joined the community that grew up around Emilie Wapnick's, the PuttyTribe. I've been reading her blog almost since it started, and I've been on the waiting list to joint for, like, two years. Every time the doors opened, it didn't feel right, and since I'm working on getting back to paying attention to my intuition, I never joined.

Until last month. Last month, when it came time, it felt right and I signed up almost without thinking about it. I've been having trouble with my computer and the Internet (which seems to be a co stand thing since I moved up here), so I missed the intro video chats (called huddles), and the one for people writing a book, but this past weekend I made it to the first ever 24 hr collaborative Puttython. 

It was amazing. I had so much fun.

And it felt like a community.

I don't know about you, but I spent a lot of my life looking for communities to belong to, places to go and groups of people to join where they just get me--when I don't have to pass or hide or pretend, and I can just be my own weird self. When I was a kid, we moved around a lot, since Dad worked for the military, and so I was always having to make new friends. I wasn't very good at it, but it was easier when I had a class to belong to and a small, close town to live in. When I got older, it got harder--as I think it probably does for everyone, except we were starting over so often that none of us had those old friendships to fall back on.

I'm not complaining, though. That's just how it was, and sometimes it was lonely, and so I've always spent a lot of time thinking about communities, and the sort i'd want to belong to. I'm pretty sure I'm meant to found a country somewhere, or a colony on another planet, but that's not really feasible right now, so...

In college, I had my LobbyGirls. We were like a commune, different, with different goals and beliefs, but we somehow worked all together to be something like heaven, for me, anyway. We were all in weird places in our lives, and we were all emotionally compromised, but for those years, we worked and we had each other.

And then people started graduating and it fell apart. For maybe two years after that, I mourned that group like a lost friend.

In grad school, I found a new group--a place full of weird, wonderful, people who took the stuff I was doing and was interested in seriously, and it was like heaven again. Sometimes it was so great I just wanted to cry. But again, it was too fast and constantly in flux with people coming and going, joining and graduating, and I can't afford to travel there twice a year and be a revered alum and try to recapture some of the magic.

I've done a better job of keeping in contact with them, but now I'm looking for people who won't be graduating and leaving, a situation where I won't be the one graduating and leaving. I feel like this group might be one of that sort, and I'm so glad I finally joined.

But I think I still want friends I can see face-to-face. I'm looking for an arts lab I could join, or a writing group, or both or either I could start myself. I want to take classes, and soon as I have more money to pay for them, so I can learn some of this pile of stuff I want to learn, AND make friends. I want a life based on creativity with a heavy dose of collaboration, and I think the Puttytribe can definately help with that.

And I'm tired of moving on against my will and floundering for years afterward, so I'm working on ways to build the communities I want. If I build them, they will come, right? That's how they keep telling us the Universe works.

So what communities and groups do you belong to? How did you find them? If you built them, how did you do it? Let's talk about this.

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