Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
I don't usually feel a sense of community anywhere. Being a hermit-y work-at-home mom type, I'm usually content to be left to my own devices and gain my human interactions from my husband, or from online groups. So a lot of my sense of community comes from online groups--Facebook, forums, etc.--and a few of those have been strengthened this year.
But as much as I enjoy the friendships I've developed in my online communities, there is still a part of me that feels "outside." These connections I have are based online, and as much as I divulge to the people I talk to, they don't really know me, do they? They know the online me.
I know people say it's important to feel connected, and often when they say that, they're referring to a community of some sort. But when I think about needing to feel connected, I'm much more comfortable with the idea of being connected to something bigger than a group of people with common interests. I see it as much more important to be connected to the world around me on a deeper level.
That's why, I think, when I need a sense of community with something, I find myself wanting to be outside in nature. I want to feel the air and sun and smell the trees. I want to look at the clouds and the moon and the stars.
I can get human interaction when I need it. I can talk to adults when I want to. But community is about togetherness, about connection. For me, community is in nature.
And if I can keep that going in 2011, it will be a successful year.