I remember graduating high school thinking “this is it, this is when I become an adult and find my purpose.” It seems obvious. Declare a major in college (clearly that will be your job). Find friends (social circle, done). Meet a handsome fellow (married, super bonus). Well that about wraps it up. Life is in order.
Friends, if you are over the age of 25 you are laughing at this point. It is not that simple. I majored in special education. I see value in learning from and supporting people who are exceptional. A group of people often overlooked. I still find energy in spending time with people who experience the world on a differently than me. Friends, I do love you but as to part three I married someone I already knew. He happened to be in the military. I move and leave friends. Well graduate school in psychology seemed more cut and dry but alas, that military spouse thing makes keeping that license and finding jobs more difficult. The daily grind of working as a School Psychologist wasn’t how I wanted to spend the majority of my waking hours.
I have two kids, a spouse that is often gone, and I move. Now what?!
Currently working as a photographer, I feel like I’m given special license to look hard at people. Stare through a lens. Frame the image to tell their story. The one they are living now. Not who they think they are or who they want to be, but the person that I see.
I reflect back to inform where I put my energy now. I’m coming to the conclusion that life is about people for me. I want to know people. I am curious about who they are, why they love, what breaks their heart. I want to be known in the same way. I want to step out of my comfort zone and accept help, beyond accept – ASK for a help when I need it. hello ALL OF PARENTING!
This to me is community. The idealized old TV show version of borrowing flour from your neighbor. Showing up uninvited on doorsteps in tears. Carrying each other and lifting each other up. I want chest bumps and double high fives. Cheering each other when we find success.
I’m not done exploring what it looks like to live in community. Is it in my profession, my family life, spiritual life? All three? What does that look like? How can I open myself to people knowing that will bring pain? We all know those we let in the deepest places in our hearts can also bring the deepest sadness. At this point I know its worth it. I just don’t know what this will look like professionally.
Have thoughts?! I’m all ears!