No matter where you live, if you live in the US, it’s been a weird week. No matter what the outcome of the election on Tuesday, I wasn’t expecting the country to feel united but I didn’t anticipate just how divided things would be. Election anxiety relief? Um, no.
But Thursday night I went to prenatal yoga, one of my coping mechanisms for the third trimester, and found that the theme this month for the yoga studio is community. One of the parts of yoga that I’ve always struggled with is the mantras and the readings the teachers give that encourage us to dive deeper into our consciousness. This- not so much. The idea of community always resonates around November as we turn our focus to being thankful but the election certainly takes it to the next level.
I am a member of many communities. With some I am proud to say I am an active member, others clearly more passive. Some I chose to be a part of, others by chance.
I was born into my family, a chance occurrence for which I am grateful where I also choose to be an active member. This isn’t the best choice for everyone but I am lucky to be a part of kind, growing (4 more weeks!) family with as much as disagreement in it as there is love.
I am also an alum of my high school (passive- not exactly by choice), an alum of my college (active- enthusiastically by choice), a long distance member of my Austin supper club (passive, sadly), a member of a book club (active), a member of Toastmasters International (active), an employee at a global organization (active most days…), a member of several human resources organizations (passive) and a friend- sometimes passively, sometimes actively but wherever is needed.
Being born in North Carolina wasn’t a choice but when I moved back to the state as an adult I chose to be a part of this community, just as I chose Wilmington. This is for better or worse. This is embracing some parts, accepting others and working to change a few more. The election is a good reminder to be a more active member of my community here. That I chose to be here and with that I should also choose to add value, to contribute, to give to my community. There are many ways to do this, all of them meaningful. It’s time to find my place here.
Soon I will be a member of a new community. I will become a parent and a mother. With this in mind I want to reevaluate what communities I contribute to and how I do so. How do I spend my time? How can I add value? I’m glad to be here and I’m glad to do more.