One issue coming to the forefront for me in my life right now is community. I have spent over 18 years of my life living in Brooklyn, but until now I’ve never felt a sense of belonging when it came to being part of a community or a neighborhood. I never could understand how other people got chummy with their neighbors, local restaurant owners, baristas, etc. Over the years I remained a lone wolf, and didn’t even realize that much of it was out of my own volition. I kept everyone at a polite distance, and just assumed people didn’t want to get to know me for one reason or another.
“Life is really all about relationships,” announced a friend of mine a couple of nights ago in the middle of a conversation. I think that her comment gave pause to a number of us around the table, as simple as her declaration was. Now, if I google “Life is all about…”, these are some of the things that come up before relationships: money, choices, timing, taking risks. Google schmoogle, I agree with my friend. My interactions with others today are the single most rewarding thing in my life.
“We can’t grow up in a vacuum, we can’t heal in a vacuum,” said a new-found kindred spirit of mine to me this morning, and it resonated deeply in me. Heck, I even find it hard to be creative in a vacuum! I’ve tried to do all of these things on my own and I’ve mostly failed miserably. Mere manuals won’t cut it–I need the connection, the spark and the energy of human interaction. I need community. Not just for my personal life but also for my art and music. Having dipped my toe into the musician community out here in Brooklyn, I can say that my whole body has immediately gotten zapped, in the very best way. Right now I feel an electricity and a sense of curiosity and opportunity that I haven’t felt since my early teenage years, specifically when it comes to music. How exciting is that?
Getting involved in a number of different communities in Brooklyn has put me in touch with inspiring people from many different backgrounds, and even with people I have long admired from afar. My isolation has been a good protective mechanism for me for a long time, but I don’t need it anymore. I feel open and receptive. A lone wolf no more.