On Community

I haven’t posted to this blog in two weeks because I’ve been traveling.

I’ve gotten to travel a lot in my life. My moving post from a few weeks ago details my actual traveling home, but I’ve been lucky enough to have stood on five continents in my life. But, while I’ve been on all kinds of trips, this one was among the most memorable despite the fact that I didn’t go to any exotic locations like I have in the past. Instead, I saw old friends, and it was transcendently good.

I saw my brother in Denver and met his friends. I saw my best friend and a couple other really good old friends for a single night in Chicago. I spent time with my nephews in brooklyn, and reconnected with old college friends first in New York and then at a wedding in Vermont.

I’m at a bit of a life crossroads, and seeing old friends— whether I realized it when I left or not— was exactly what I needed. I saw people starting new careers or bemoaning old careers, friends whose lives are peaking and friends who are or have struggled with everything from love to work to vice and everything in-between.

One dominant theme that emerged over and over was community. Though I think of myself as a people-person and have friends scattered across the globe to prove it, I realized that one thing I was really missing were these friends. In my hurry to chase a career in comedy, I haven’t really prioritized having a community around me, instead confident that I can find or make one wherever I go. But, seeing the communities my peers have built/found for themselves, I have come to realize that by not prioritizing this, I’ve done myself a disservice.

I’ve always thought of myself as a bit of a lone wolf, and have been largely fine with that. Writing is solitary work and I’ve never minded time alone. But seeing all my old friends again, I’m starting to become aware of that hole in my life. The question, then, is how to fill it.

So, how does an adult rebuild or rediscover their community? Can it be as simple as connecting with old friends over the power of the internet? Do I need to be out meeting new people? Or maybe I should pick up my life and move it closer to communities that others have built, find a tribe of my own? Should I be looking for a partner, or for a group? How do I balance all of this with my need for time alone?

Obviously, I don’t know the answers. But it’s a group of questions I’m thinking about a lot.