Last night Lesley and I got one of our rare date nights and went to see Ani as she stopped in town. (Someone on my facebook page asked, “Difranco?” but I assumed this community of mainly lesbos knew what I was talking about.)
It was an amazing show but also nice because we ran into so many people we know. Someone I know from my old job, Lesley’s old boss, the woman who made our wedding cake, parents from the gay parents group, friends of friends we haven’t seen in a long time – a lot of our hippie town was out last night. I realized that in my often loneliness that what I miss is really casual relationships. I miss having friends, sure, but I really miss having a community.
Lesley and I met at the lesbian bar in our midwest town. We knew all of our friends from there. Everyone played bingo on Thursday nights and danced on Saturdays. If you went to the bar on other nights you would be sure to know other people there. On Friday nights someone would have a party. We spent our weekends with the same people and while some of them were our close friends some were just our community. I’ve never experienced anything like it and while I think I’ve been searching for it since the bar closed and we moved away I’m not sure I will ever find anything like it again.
While we do have friends here (as much as I sometimes downplay it) it’s not really a community. Our friends are not friends with each other – we have no core group. Lesley and I talked about how to find this community again and we both kind of thought we would find it with moms but it’s just not there. I think it is slightly different if you have the community before moms but also I think this is where stay at home moms have a big advantage. It was so nice last night to see familiar places. To stand on the street and hug old acquaintances and wave hello to people we know in passing. I long for that.
I’ve lately been thinking about the purpose of my blog and if I want to continue blogging. Sometimes I feel like I am very whiney on it and I hate that. I also have people I know in real life who read that now I would rather not read and you can’t undo that. I think about what I hope to offer and what I hope to get out of this and then I realized – this is my community.
My best friend of 13 years is here. Tracy is one of my closest real life friends. R and L (I don’t remember if y’all use real names on your blog) are close friends that live about 45 minutes away. But beyond these people and the few other real life connections I have here I have all of you. There are people I know from the blogging world who I talk to every day. There are people we are planning a trip to go meet. There are people whose lives I follow and who’s kids I love. There are facebook connections and comments shared and conversations had. Y’all are my people and I kind of suspect we’re all each other’s people. Any maybe my blog doesn’t need a bigger purpose. Maybe it’s fine that sometimes I am whiney because this is my safe space where I talk to friends. This is where we come for support, for communal strength and understanding – to belong. And here we do. We are a community of bloggers and while I still wish I had a stronger real life community (and hope you do) this community is pretty damn important too. And I’m pretty sure that if you all were with me last night you would have wiped away tears as Ani unplugged her guitar, stepped to the front of the stage, and played an acoustic version of Little Plastic Castle.