Community Is:

By     Aug 11, 2016
Co-Founder, Call Me Ishmael

Stephanie Kent

Awkward beers shared at a high school reunion, the Reddit thread I visit to share research about Game of Thrones episodes, an annual yelling match whose origins no one remembers each Thanksgiving dinner, subway riders throwing a few bucks to an underestimated musician who makes commuting a little more bearable, curt nods without eye contact from sweaty strangers at the gym, the other freshmen at university orientation who also feel fraudulent and terrified, a town that shows up to vote to ensure that the decisions – decisions about marriage and women’s bodies and guns and people seeking refuge – made are the best for everyone, Star Wars fans lined up for premieres in Jedi robes and Leia braids, the ones who show up to birthdays and weddings and funerals and bad days, the ones who’ll jet off to St. Croix with you one night and wander the aisles of Target in sweat pants the next, a hashtag like #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain that makes the world feel a little bit more humane, the graduation caps that rise through the air and give way to gravity together, a pickup soccer game of skins vs. shirts where no one learned to kick in the same country but it doesn’t matter because the muscles in our feet are all the same.

At turning points and during growth spurts, I tend to tell myself that community – that belonging – is an elite condition, one with applications and interviews, or at the very least requires some excellent display of intelligence and charm on my part. But as I look around, I’ve run out of numbers to count the communities around me. Other people’s impact is deep in my bones, I pass through these groups effortlessly every day, and I’m excited imagining the communities I don’t even know I’m a part of.