”Everybody is supposed to be apart of their own community.” -Jill Scott-
I’m the kind of person that l o n g s for community, that l o n g s for genuine connection. Whether its family, friendship, dating. Who doesn’t? Who doesn’t long for that? For deep connections & continual support – especially during the most trying times of one’s life?
When I moved back to Ohio right before Thanksgiving of 2014, I told my family that it was a temporary move. There were some family issues surfacing suddenly. My grandparents’ health were both rapidly declining & they had sole custody/power of attorney over my mom. For the longest time, I was actively trying to move to Portland – a city I had grown to love. My work transfer simply was not going through (everyone was wanting to move to Portland, I get it). But Matthew suggested “Why don’t we move to Ohio, spend some time with your family & help out with your mom, for about a year & move to Portland afterward?!” Moving back to Ohio was never a thought in my mind, but when Matthew suggested it – I became open to the idea, & agreed. But suddenly & not even a year later – he picked up & moved to Colorado – no notice, no warning. Was it part of his plan all along?
I think so.
I was left alone – alone in a community I had grown up in, been apart of for years. Already struggled with. A community I thought I could rely on for support & encouragement – for help. When in reality? The community turned out to be the exact opposite. I had never felt so alone in my life until Matthew left abruptly – & I was left to deal with the aftermath a l o n e. No one sincerely reached out to me, offered to help me financially (besides my dad, but that’s what dads are for – am I right? I can never thank him enough!) But in the beginning, I was left alone to literally fight to survive – to pay all the bills, to pay rent, to take care of our dogs, to remember to take care of myself – emotionally, physically, mentally. I remember my sweet friend Valerie (who lives in Colorado but grew up with in Ohio) – once she found out what happened, I was trying to nap but couldn’t stop crying. There was a knock on my door, & I opened the door to be greeted by a lady with an arrangement of flowers. I brought them inside to discover they were from her, & I instantly cried. Words simply cannot express how much that meant to me. I never once had flowers delivered to me like that & always wish that would happen to me. Community from afar.
My best friend Soleil – I believe the same day – brought over a little bouquet of flowers in a mason jar for me – surprised me with them, which meant the world as well. Community near.
But the majority of what I received from friends near, within the community I grew up in – from family – was judgment, lack of support, lack of encouragement. & instead the complete opposite. Someone who was already self-doubting herself, questioning her worth & value, wondering if she actually deserved to be left – the constant judgment & mistreatment I received from a “community” that I had grown up in – was shocking. & the events that took place shortly after Matthew left – my grandmother suddenly passing away from a heart attack right before Christmas, my mom coming back into my life from being absent over the past 16 years mentally & physically, from having to transition jobs because of poor treatment, lack of support & understanding of my situation – being forced to work two jobs that I found myself discontent in, from getting one of the worst cases of strep-throat that knocked me down for almost 2 weeks & receiving some of the worst messages via social media & snail mail, filled with judgment & condemnation – while I was trying to recover from strep-throat – all within 4 months
a l o n e – I dealt with everything a l o n e
I became so depressed. Because I long for genuine connections, genuine community.
Beginning of summer 2016, I began to frequent this little district known as The Oregon District with a couple new friends I had recently made & my best friend. You would find me pretty much every weekend – every Friday & Saturday night – drinking. A lot. Which don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of local craft beers & supporting local breweries. I also love gin – but never once did I imagine myself as the girl who goes out drinking every weekend & gets home around 3-4am – intoxicated.
I actually love The Oregon District – so many great local businesses & home to one of my favorite breweries, along with one of my favorite restaurants – the beautiful & historic brick road that divides both sides of the district. But the more I think about it & have time to process everything – the more I realize that that scene? Isn’t for me – it never was me. & yes, I do have great memories & have met some great people. But was there ever a moment when I made a genuine connection with someone who actively wanted to genuinely be my friend outside the district?
Well, maybe one – but we aren’t going to get into that story anytime soon.
The many times I was with my friends (now a divided group) that I felt so incredibly alone to the point of tears, but no one knew – because I’m good at masking. I’m good at building walls & guarding my heart (but when it comes to dating…) I even gave dating a chance back in Ohio thinking positively “Maybe I was suppose to be brought back here for a reason!” That was such an utter fail, a disaster. My heart broke so many fucking times – never again.
I got to the point where I was so emotionally & mentally depressed – that I knew I had to do something. So my move to Spokane was so abrupt & decided. I had my emotional moments of moving out of Ohio. There was someone of interest that developed suddenly. I found out Matthew was moving back to Spokane as well. My mom mentioned she was having major heart issues, health wise. & my grandpa’s health kept rapidly declining. But when I addressed each situation accordingly – all doors shut abruptly, community down once again – & I began to realize that Dayton – was not the community I needed to be in to heal from everything that had taken place when I originally moved back.
Dayton was not the community I needed to heal & gain support. Dayton simply? Was not my community because I never once felt apart of the community – from continual judgment & mistreatment, from being taken advantage of, from being pushed aside & walked over, used, & so forth – I knew exactly what I needed.
Moving to Spokane – where everything first began with Matthew – when things were actually good, genuine, personal. The moment I moved back – the community has been nothing but continual support & encouragement. I had an old coworker who once told me when I moved back, “You know, if you were still here when Matthew had decided to up & leave, you know we would have taken care of you. You know that right?”
& every day – I am constantly reminded about my community here, their continual support, encouragement, love – sincere & genuine connections.
Dayton simply – is not & was not the community I needed. To move forward to new beginnings. To heal & process the past couple years. I wish it could have been, being my hometown, where I was raised & grew up.
It’s not. It wasn’t. It never will be.
& that’s ok. I’m ok with it 💛
Until next time.