Graduating from college in 2007, I came back to my hometown and was rather lonely. I no longer had my closest friends within five minutes of me.

I ended up watching FRIENDS a lot… until I realized I really didn’t have any. BEWARE: It’s on Netflix now, but don’t waste your life looking at a computer screen instead of truly living!

There’s a danger in hiding behind shows we wish were real with characters we consider “friends”. The same could apply for books. Now I’m on to watching Gilmore Girls; I’m so much like Rory. At least this time, I’m aware of the fact that I could be substituting something good for the best (real friends).

One of the most beautiful expressions of community was watching Because of Winn Dixie.

Have you seen it?

I suddenly realized I had friends. They just were not the ones I was used to. I checked in on my 83 year old friend to make sure she had groceries and medications. I hung out with my best friend’s mom because she was in our hometown and my best friend was not. We had a lot in common, and she remains one of the best people in my life. She had a lot of life wisdom to share and I consider her a mentor.

While I had a set idea of what community could look like, I found it in the strangest places. Now one of the places I find community is on the bus, riding with the same people every morning. I don’t know people’s names, but there’s a father with two young kids, a woman who has taught PreK for 42 years, and two brothers who look like high schoolers. If people don’t show up, I notice.

What about you? How has community surprised you?


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