Ode to community

I feel so inspired and creative and focused this year. Writing keeps me sane, and my community is my dear sweet muse.

Sometimes. All the randomness and skills and people and unfair crap in your life finally pieces together into beautiful synergy and the way forward becomes crystal clear.

I am so thankful to be surrounded by such an amazing community of people in my life that has now given me purpose and hope. That is my second family. So thankful that despite an entire adulthood this far, more than two decades of treatment-resistent depression and CPTSD that I thought would never leave, coupled with many physical health challenges that often left me completely disabled and unable to function in society as it currently exists in this location, there is light. There is future. There is hope. Even after some major tragedies both personally and globally over 2020.

Hope and future never existed for me really before in my life. When I was young I had ambitions and goals for the future, but they were mostly societal or familial expected ambitions and goals that would lead me in a direction I’d soon learn I didn’t want to be in, and then jump into another adventure, another city, another country, another ambition, another school, another training program, another relationship… always running. Always moving. Always changing.

For most of my teens and 20s, I was lost. Self conscious to a fault. Unsure. Lonely. Afraid. In trauma. Addicted. I had good parents, so I was lucky, and they supported me as best they could when I fell. And I fell a lot. I lied a lot. I stole. I made a lot of bad decisions that I would never make now. I literally have my master resume from that time period with more than 30 random jobs that I only stayed briefly in. I was a hustler doing what I could for quick cash that would go up my nose and in my lungs and was barely scraping by.

For most of my 30s, I was really growing and healing and learning.

I gave up the idea that I had to be the best. Be the smartest. Be the greatest. That everyone had to like me. That I knew everything or should know everything. That I had to do everything (cause I already did most of it badly!). That I had to please everyone. That I had to stay with toxic people. That I had to be in a traditional relationship or gender role. I stopped caring what clothes I wore. Stopped wearing makeup. Gained weight but felt no judgment against my body for it (sexy is a state of mind!). I’d let my body grow hair or not depending on how I felt. I began to share how I was actually feeling and what I really wanted; the dark, the light, as honestly and openly as I could. I talked to the animals and myself in public.

I realized that most people have so much going on in their own heads, in their own lives, in their own self consciousness that they aren’t focused on you and what you look like or are doing. And if they are focused on you in judgment (especially if you are not hurting anyone), it’s more a reflection of their own self consciousness than of you and then I remember what I thought of ppl like me when I was young and insecure, those who wore weird clothing or were disheveled or who overshared or talked too openly with people or animals or plants they didn’t know well. :p And that’s ok. Cause now I know I was wrong in that judgment and maybe one day they will too.

And now. Just at the cusp of my fourth decade on this crazy space rock, where I celebrated this rotation around the sun in total isolation with a dying mother during a plague, in arguably the one of the most chaotic years of our generations in this timeline; I feel more secure, happy, thankful, loved, appreciated, valued, filled with purpose and friends and supports of all ages, genders, ethnicities, etc., even with my body and mind not always cooperative health-wise, and am thriving more than ever. I have a job I love. A boss I love who respects and understands my needs. A community I love. Intimacy with people I love. And roots finally settled for a dream future where I am truly free.

If you are young and don’t know what you want in life. Are depressed. Broke. Busted. Whatever. Even if you are old. Know that the world you were born into sucks. And its HARD to just get by right now. The world is overly and unnecessarily complicated for one so full of modern “conveniences” and technologies.

Yes. You know what. It is damn near impossible to make it in this life entirely on your own. The way forward is not through individualism and greed. It’s not through capitalism or communism or socialism or any other isms.

But guess what?

It doesn’t always have be this way. The current situation is making people finally see that change is necessary. The growing climate threat and storms are making the reality much clearer that we need to rethink. The thought of change is there. Planted. Ready to be nurtured and grow. Just like the seeds of capitalism forming from the embers of feudalism. We now can move to our future. Something hopefully better. And compassionate and actually “civilized” in the sense that it has justice and consideration for other ways of being built into it’s very structure.

We don’t need to waste energy to fight the old system or destroy it. We need to create new systems that are better than the current reality. And people ALREADY are! New economies are popping up all over the globe and they are exciting.

It’s time to break free of assumptions and rigidity. If anything we need to be adaptable to the coming Earth changes and come together. Break down the idea of nations and borders. Keep culture and what makes each place special, but make us all Earthlings instead of Canadians or Americans or Europeans or whatever. We broke down barriers in the past of only caring for family and immediate family groupings, to city states, to countries; it’s time to break down the next wall too.

We are an amazingly intelligent and adaptive and creative species. If we could build our empathy and compassion and understanding of one another, towards the planet in good ways, we could solve any problem. We could get our pollution and destruction under control and live in the heavenly paradise that was given to us on this Earth that has enough food and water and resources to ensure we all thrive. That has beautiful beaches, and mountains, and plains, and deserts…We could use our technologies and advancements for good, not profit. We could have a life that doesn’t revolve around the daily grind. Living in ways that are based on comfort and utility and purpose and efficiency and justice.

When I saw the way some of the world responded during this plague, it made my heart swell with joy. People who were no longer plagued with work and stuck in homes who now had the freedom CERB gave them, began reaching out in small ways to neighbours, with signs and chalk messages, with meals, with supports, with solutions; and communities began building. These small economies based on trade and need and skills began popping up. Folks started building gardens. Rethinking. Learning skills and trading. Learning and growing and adapting to the changes more and more. More and more people are beginning to see the injustices more clearly and sales of books about racism and injustices are through the roof. Communities are beginning to grow together, and to work to reduce the hurt that is happening from this system.

This momentum cannot be lost back to capitalism.

The next ism isn’t an ism at all. And we don’t get there through rigidity. We don’t get there through rebellion or anarchy that breaks everything with no plan for a better future and many lost in the subsequent power vacuum that is created in the topple.

We create it by CREATING something that is better. By slowly and deliberately opting out of the current system by creating solutions and workarounds that don’t run on greed and money and exploitation. Then we don’t have to persuade anyone by force, or power. They come of their own volition because they see the value in doing so. In being part of a real community that supports and loves each other.

Join us in creating a better world. Take what you know. What your skills are. What your passions are and work with those you know to divert it from that bleak and hopeless path. Together we are strong. Together we are adaptable. Together we restore this planet. Together we survive.

Alone we perish.

I know which path I am on. Do you see the way I see to paradise?

You don’t have to follow the same trail, but if we are in the same woods, please allow my easement across this land and permit me peaceful passage to my destination. And any that will join, I’ll bring snacks for our journey and let’s explore the way together so that are children and our children’s children don’t get lost on the way to paradise.

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