What an overwhelming outpour of support from my previous posts about my current struggles within my journey of being a ‘woman’. Thanks to all and I will continue writing about my experiences.
This past week of support reminds me how much we are designed to be in community with one another. We are built to need and give support to those we love and to encourage and affirm our friends and neighbors. To know we are not alone as we journey through this path of life. To recognize that life is not easy and with all the bumps in the road and detours- having people alongside us can help us keep going.
How far we have come from the days when our day-to-day living was contained in a small town. And when I saw ‘we’ I mean people/humanity… not ME. I grew up just outside of Denver, in a cute neighborhood that replicated a small town, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the growing metropolis.
I was always quite jealous of those who lived and grew up in a true small town. I great up watching this guy… Mr. Rogers and thought everyone should start their day off singing. Where ‘everybody knows your name’, and you could go to the store and it is family run with the person behind the cashier is your friends parent, or the police person who pulls you over is the buddy you had dinner with a few nights earlier. Where you attend the same elementary, middle and high school as everyone else in town so when the high school Football team plays on Friday night its against a major town rivalry (all the stores close because they are at the game). People load into busses and tailgate to the game and there is a sense of camaraderie among the neighbors. People doing life together. Children playing in the front yards while people are mowing yards and neighbors actually TALK to each other. We live in a neighborhood where the houses were built in the 1950’s. The front yards are HUGE where the back yards- tiny… And all the new renovated/pop-the-top homes have eco-front yards and privacy fences…say something.
In a day in age where people drive into their houses and close their garage door before even getting out of the car- enter their house and only open the front door for their (expected) friends who drove blocks (or miles) to come over or to receive a package from my online purchase.
The word ‘Community’ looks different than it used to and to be honest, I am not sure how to accept how community looks now. I feel as though we have become too consumed with our own lives and circle of perceived influence that we have dismissed the precious art of spontaneity and uncomfortable small talk with those in our immediate proximity. Not wanting to take the time to get to know them or not feeling as though we have anything in common. Believing that I’m too busy, or they’re too busy to spend time together.
We choose our friends and those we want to let into our inner-circle by our own set of guidelines. May it be personalities or personal interests or where our kids are plugged into (school & activities). At times, these relationships are temporary… until life circumstances change.
So why am I writing this? In the new age of technology, social media and text messages, I can see how disconnected we can become from reality and human connection. Yet, how much we can connect with friends across the miles who may have once been close. What a blessing it is to have the means to connect and support one another across the miles.
My challenge is to not allow technology and social media to replace the genuine conversations that can happen with the people in my immediate proximity. For my tunnel vision (when I become self-centered) to prohibit me from seeing the people next to me- my neighbors, the person standing next to me in the grocery line. Possibly putting down my phone when I’m waiting for something to allow a bit more of humanity into my day-to-day interactions with others.
In addition, how can I use technology as a source of community building as opposed to a wedge in relationships? Reassessing my purpose for scrolling through Facebook or understanding when a friend needs a little text to know I’m thinking of him/her. Using technology with intentionality and purpose as opposed to a crutch to shield me from the world.
So thank you, all who read, who reached out, who commented. I feel your support and your love. I’m so glad I’m not alone in this journey and that community is still alive today… it just looks a little different.