Being without a home is challenging. I don’t like being in one place for long, but I do like the sense of belonging somewhere. I know the importance of community, and it is the one thing that makes me second guess if my current job really is the best thing for me.
I have amazing people in my life. I am eternally grateful for that. Knowing that I can go back to Minnesota at any time and be surrounded by family and friends gets me through phases of loneliness. Yet, it seems like this default holds me back from immersing myself into the communities all around me. While I do consider myself outgoing, it is hard to connect with an area and its people when you know you’ll be leaving in a short time.
Most areas offer something that brings a community together; farmers markets, fundraisers, sporting events, and the like. For me, I try to get involved with groups that share interests, such as running or hiking, biking, or yoga. For the most part this means that I seek out fitness centers or specialty shops that are in the know of how to get connected. This approach has yet to really make me feel a part of something, but at least I am getting out and experiencing something I enjoy with others who feel the same.
Last night was something all together different. I found that the city I am currently in hosts a free concert series at their arboretum/botanical gardens. I did not need another reason to go to an arboretum, so I grabbed my jacket and headed over. It was magical. The local symphony was performing this Sunday and the weather was perfect. Set against the backdrop of beautifully manicured gardens, I witnessed a community gathering at its finest. I spent the first half hour meandering through the wooded trails with the music providing a perfect ambiance. For the last hour, I just sat with the crowd of locals and took it all in. I felt like I was part of their community, if even for one night.