Saturday, June 30, 2012

Arielle's Word-of-the-Day: COMMUNITY

 June Blog Challenge Day 30: COMMUNITY
 
Merriam-Webster defines community as a unified body of individuals.  If you would have asked me a month ago which unified body of individuals I belong to, I would have given you the standard answers - the city in which I live and the school and district in which I work.  The only two real life communities I feel connected to.  I am a part of three online communities that have been very supportive, as well.  But that's it. 

I have never felt I belong anywhere but by myself.  From childhood through college, my community has never been consistent, as I never was able to fit in with any one group.  I became a part of the community that was my focus at the time, almost like a chameleon, but it was never a perfect fit, there was always something a little off, I never truly fit in.  I am not in contact with most of my childhood friends, as my siblings are.  I have few friends, but the few I have are wonderful people whom I cherish very much.  Even with my friends, though, each belongs to a different part of my world, and rarely do all my friends interact within the same community.  I just figured that's how my life was supposed to be - I am one of those people who is independent enough to withstand the life of a loner.

This blog challenge has really opened my eyes to the power of virtual communities.  Just because I don't know everyone in this challenge face-to-face, doesn't mean that we aren't a part of the same community, doesn't mean I don't know you all.  It's just a different kind of community, one, I'm guessing, that 30 years ago, no one thought would be possible.  The internet has opened the world to loaners like me, so that we can finally find a community in which we fit. 
My first foray into the virtual community world was because of recovery.  This blog was born through a wonderful online recovery community project.  I have yet to meet any of my virtual friends face to face, but that doesn't make them any less special.  I so appreciate each comment left on my blog, and am honored to leave comments for others.  Reading others thoughts, hearing their stories, it's a treat to get a peek into your worlds, your minds.  I feel a sense of belonging that I have lacked for much of my life. I have grown through this project in a way I never anticipated.  Community, as it turns out, like life, is what you make it.  And everyone reading this blog, everyone that I have met, ultimately helps me grow as a person, and plays a role in shaping my community.  For that, I thank you.


Prompt: To end, I chose the word “community” because that’s what these blogger challenges are about. What does community mean to you? How does it fit into your life? Into your health? Into your recovery? Or how does it relate to blogging? Or family? Share with us what it means for you.


9 comments:

  1. This is beautiful.

    I feel exactly the same way. I think the online blog groups and communities I have found previously have tended to be quite competitive, even if that was discreet at first. I feel like the women I have met through this challenge have turned my previous opinion on its head. I feel supported and encouraged, and inspired by everyone's continued efforts towards recovery, regardless of what stage they are at.

    That little lantern photo is so apt - and your blogs and comments have definitely helped to keep my little light burning.

    So glad to have 'met' you through this challenge, and am looking forward to reading so much more from you in the future xxx

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    1. I know what you mean about the competitive piece - too bad that can't be kept out of the online world... This challenge was definitely something special, and seemed to attract some pretty awesome people!

      Looking forward to sharing our continued journeys! I'm glad to have been able to exchange lights with you throughout the month :)

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  2. i love this post and agree with everything you said. it's so weird to think that this kind of support has only been around for a short time... because it can impact a person and their recovery so much! there were so many times that i felt so alone when it came to my struggles but when i became part of this community - it brought such a relief and hope to me. i hope that it will continue bringing that to people who are struggling.

    i am so glad for this challenge because i met you in the process, and i really enjoy your blog and your words. you inspire me <3

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    1. I'm one of those people that still thinks the 90's were only 10 years ago... ;) This community, I think, follows the path of the two that created it - both Arielle and HFC are caring and genuinely kind people, and that's the group that they attracted to the challenge.

      I'm sad that the blog challenge is over, but am looking forward to keeping the connection going <3

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  3. How beautiful is this...and the pictures!

    xo

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  4. make friends online, You might want to be an Au pair or maybe just Au-share. It is about giving someone a tour of the place you call home and making friends for life! Maybe you just want to discuss your city and share photos of where you call home. Whatever you want to do its about sharing the world and loving it.

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So? What do you think?