Loneliness. What Does “Community” Look Like To You?
I’m stunned by the response from last week’s letter: I’m afraid of failing you.
I heard from so many of you who are dear to my heart, but also so many of you who I’ve never heard from before! It was such a delight to hear from you all!
I’m always surprised when someone tells me they “don’t want to bother me.” Or they actually write out an email and then never send it.
Truly, I hope you know…
I am here for you.
I’m here because of you. I’m here to connect with you. I have no interest in talking to myself here. (I do that enough throughout the day!)
It would feel so lonely to be the only one showing up or if no one else cared.
So, if you ever have any doubt about whether I want to hear from you…
the answer is YES.
I started writing via Living Quirky two years ago because I knew I wasn’t the only one out there who felt some of these things, yet aside from a very small number of people in my life, I still felt alone.
I craved connection, conversations, engagement between kindred spirits who wouldn’t try to squash each other, but who would cheer each other on.
Now, I no longer feel that same sense of loneliness. I’ve got an incredible support system of friends and co-creators where we exchange ideas, encouragement, and more.
But, I’ve come across a new layer of loneliness. It snuck up on me and I’m still finding my way through it.
I’ve realized how lonely it can feel online.
This elusive “space” where you send out digital smoke signals and hope someone is looking up at the sky to see you and then call out in return.
I often take hiatus from my computer and the internet because I need to recharge, refocus, and generate the energy to continue to reach out and extend an e-hello and hope to hear back from a friendly voice.
I currently feel only mildly connected online. And, I’m in a lot of different types of groups and communities where others seem to feel much more connected.
My best connections are offline. Which I don’t think can be replaced. But, I don’t want it to feel like such a gap between the two. And, I don’t think it has to feel this way.
Again, I’m at this place where I know I’m not alone. I see you, I hear you, I feel you.
So, how can we feel connected?
How can we connect as a community?
Beyond the me and you into the “we”.
I’ve been having many conversations and exploring all of the variations and levels of intimacy, engagement, size, and format.
Asking questions and trying to get a sense of what is community to me? And, what could it look like so it’d feel more connected, engaged, and like a conversation?
I have a lot of ideas, but I’m not the only one here. I may be guiding the vessel, but I would absolutely LOVE to hear from you! In fact, I actually literally can’t do this without you!
–> Comment below and let me know your thoughts!
What do YOU think about community?
Do you feel connected online? Why or why not?
What would community ideally be/look/feel like to you?
(or feel free to just free form jam on some ideas about connection + community! I am here listening and excited to hear your thoughts!)