I have never considered myself much of a writer but the more I post on this blog, the more I find myself wanting to write more. So, starting now, I'm going to do my best shot to start posting more often about my life, how I interpret the world and what I am doing to create an intentional and meaningful life right in the here in the Midwest.
I stumbled along this blog from a friend's Face book page and was really struck. Since starting my own blog a couple of years ago, I found myself emulating some of the more commercially successful blogs that I have followed over the years; pretty pictures, wishlists, good design; and while I love all those things, I have been left, well... a little empty.
There are so many thoughts, ideas and experiences that I have in my day-to-day life that I feel the need to express. The times we live in are chaotic and scary but also exciting and filled with possibility. Most people can't help but be affected by what is going on in the world today, even if we prefer to write about shoes and dresses. (and trust me I will still post plenty about shoes and dresses!!)
So I guess there is no better time to start the expressing than now. And one big question that I have been grappling with recently is the idea of: community. I just got back from a week in Europe, on a trip to Sweden and the UK. For whatever reason, my return to the US has really triggered some deep sadness in me, which was certainly most unexpected. And of course, if people ask about the trip, I say: "sure it was great", "on yes, Europe is lovely" and "oh the cafes are divine". And of course, all of these things are true. But looking deeper at European society,I believe the reason why Europe is so enticing to me, and so many other Americans, is the sense of community that it creates both on a superficial level, walking down the streets of Stockholm, and on a deeper level, as experiencing a society that takes care of it's own people.
Public transportation, walk able cities, green spaces, young mothers on a year long maternity leave, and overall a sense of a more relaxed, stable society is something that people in this country long for but seems to be, for whatever reason, elusive to us.
It felt good to be in a place where the individual does not always come first and the sense of other is important. In the US, there are so many wonderful people, doing good things and trying to make meaningful lives. For me, however, the sense of community has escaped me during my 33 years of existence and I wonder how people find it in this country. Obviously, we are a different country than Sweden or France or the Netherlands. But I must believe that can find our own sense of community that works for us. So I wonder, my readers, do you feel like you have found a sense of community in the US? If so, where? I would love to hear more about how the United States is working to connect with each other as a country that has such a strong individualistic streak.
Photo: by me when I lived in France in 2005 (my gosh SO long ago now!)