Defining community

I am really starting to wish that I wrote this blog post on Friday, instead of waiting three days and still trying to make it make sense.

Basically, what it boils down to is this: I’m very glad to be back in Edmonton, but it still feels a little strange. Strange in that it’s nothing special that’s making me crazy happy, but I don’t wake up every morning with knots in my stomach (today was a weird exception), and I don’t catch myself surprised as often when I find myself content.

On Friday, I went to my first social media breakfast, and was, again, surprised at the amount of community I felt. When I’m on my own — i.e. not working and not having a specific task to do other than take in the presentation, whether it’s performing arts or a professional development exercise — I can always be found at the back, with easy access to the door.

Physically, Edmonton is not a small place. In comparison, Lloydminster is. Luckily, I’m really good with faces, and so when someone from the arts community showed up at a business event, because it was a smaller centre, I could still place them. I don’t really expect that to happen here. There are the tech people, there are the arts people, there are the local people — and yet, they all converge. And it’s very bizarre how they converge too, might I add, when I realize that one person I know from this aspect of my life also knows this person from this other aspect of my life.

This isn’t my city. I do love it, and as terrifying as a thought it is, eventually, it will likely become my city. (And by eventually, I mean if I’m still living here in roughly two years — and I plan too. That’s the longest I will have lived in any city in about six years.)

But even though this is only slowly becoming my city, I felt more connected to those people that I keep running into at different community events — whom really, I have only been running into for four months or so — than the people that I would call up every second week or so, to talk about whatever new developments were happening in their sector (for lack of better word).

This is the second event I’ve gone to in a very short time period where there have been a lot of smart people around, and I’ve realized this: if I’m going to make a habit of this, I’m going to have to do something that scares me a lot — talk to people.

It goes back to what I said before — when I’m working, and I have a purpose, talking to people isn’t hard. But when I just want to meet someone, because they’re really cool and I think they’re really smart, that’s a lot harder for me. Plus I must have missed that day when they taught you how to mingle and play nice with others, so I’m very good at bolting for the door, usually the first chance I get.

The other event I was at recently was Pecha Kucha, and to be fair, it would be easier to talk to people at the breakfast than PKN — less people.

I am the type of person who gets really excited about ideas, and, given a reasonable amount of time and the right resources (and sometimes the right push) I can usually make good on those ideas. It’s those ideas that I get from other people, and I love picking smart people’s brains, but…

(To be honest, I’m trying to combine two partially written blog posts in to one. Combined with being scared to say some things, this is getting rambly.) But a lot of things are converging — I’m going to more social events, I’m happy in this city, I like ideas, and I happen to know of a lot of smart people. Now I just have to do something about it.


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