Kind of a painful thing to realize it isn’t that there’s no community in your building, it’s that you’ve been left out of it.
Not deliberately, I’m sure – just the difference in age and maturity and ages of our kids. And the fact that I had to drop out of Bible Study probably didn’t help. I’m not mad or sulking about it, and we’ve been slowly but surely building a circle of really good friends outside our immediate neighbors in the last year, so it’s not like we’re completely lonely here. This week alone the kids and I did stuff with three separate families, all with kids much closer to my kids’ ages, and the mothers having interests and personalities closer to mine.
But still. There’s a core group here in our building, and if you aren’t part of that, you don’t get community. And it sucks. It’s the same cold feeling I got when I’d been blogging for a little while and realized all those “if you want blogging friends, BE a blogging friend” comments were lies – no matter how many blogs I visited faithfully and commented on regularly, none of them ever even noticed my existence. And it’s the same feeling from our first church, where when they found out we weren’t BBC students, and Carl wasn’t into football and I wasn’t a professional we turned invisible.
I could go on, back through InterVarsity in college, and other groups all the way back to kindergarten. Cliques are everywhere.
We made a couple friends at our first church, beautiful friendships that still exist today. But we have no relationship with the church itself. Likewise, I’ve made some wonderful friendships with one or two people online, but I’m cynical about blogging and social media in general now.
I don’t want to leave seminary feeling cold to our neighbors, all except the one or two we’ve gotten to know. I don’t want to be cynical about the idea of Christian community.
I also don’t have the energy to overcome the clique at the heart of this building. And I shouldn’t have to.
Despite my great week with friends, and looking forward to spending time with extended family camping next week, I can’t help but feel a little sad today.