As a child, I was constantly asking questions. I didn’t take (and still don’t) a, “Because I said so…” as a reason. I want full explanations to convince me to see your point of view. For years, I heard people talk about schools, religions, clubs, organizations, and more, as, “Communities”. But I didn’t SEE it. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t understand it. I didn’t make friends easily, because I was very shy, and yet, somehow, still very opinionated (even at age 5). As a child, most choices of schools, clubs, religions, were not my own, but my parents’ choices. I didn’t have anything in common with anyone I met, and I most certainly didn’t feel supported by my peers or leaders.
As a young actress, I kept finding myself being pulled into theatre companies. But I’m an only child. I work on my own. I depend only on myself. I had no idea what the benefit of being in a company was! I was too young, too shy, too new to society to grasp the possibilities of having a group of people to brainstorm, to invent, to create, to support and grow. I didn’t know it took a village. In fact, I didn’t really know what that meant until recently.
2 times a year, I would hear David Lyman (an educator, photographer, sailor) give a creativity lecture. The same lecture, 2 times a year, for almost 10 years. Every time I heard it, I learned something new, because of where I was in my personal development. He speaks of 3 kinds of people: the starters (the idea people), the do-ers (process people), and the finishers (producers). He says you can be 1 or 2, but most people are not both. You simply MUST surround yourself with people that balance you in order to get things done. Some artists will continually edit the same work and never finish, unless someone finally grabs it from them and says, “It’s done. We’re showing it.” I, personally, am an idea person and a finisher. I hate “process”. I hate re-writes. I hate practicing. I want to think of something and just do it. So I have to surround myself with people that push me to improve my work. That’s team work. That’s…community.
THAT is why people join clubs, companies, organizations, churches and synagogues. To find like-minded people to support you, encourage you, and HELP you to follow your dreams, while they follow theirs.
As I said in my last blog entry, I have a community in my tap class in New York. I would not be ½ the tap dancer or ½ the person I am, without my friends. I also have a film community in Washington, DC. DC Dogs. A team of people who support and encourage each other to keep creating films. We compliment each other. I have a massage therapy community in New York and Los Angeles. I keep track of all the wonderful massage therapists I meet in each place, and use each other to heal, to get and give jobs, to ask questions, or to vent emotions on hard days. And, a few years ago when my parents in New England became ill, I was never more grateful that they had a community to help support them and me until they recovered. Every day I work on creating a community for myself in every aspect of my life.
I think I’m just starting to GET it. I understand why it takes a village to do things. Because although we CAN do things on our own, it’s much easier as part of a team. In fact, it’s much BETTER as part of a team.
So do it! Reach out. If you’re not part of community yet…start your own. And if you’re reading this…you’re in mine. So thank you.