I never realised this. But its very important to be part of your community. Especially if you have recently moved into the neighberhood. Or the City. Or the Country, come to think of it.
I think one of the reasons why I still think of Baltimore as my second home is because, in many ways, it was my home. I was a part of the Charles Street community. It was my neighberhood. I went to college there. I spent 5 years, loving and being loved there. I worked there, and I volunteered there. I met my closest friends there. I got my heart broken and I broke the hearts of others there as well. It was my home.
And then I moved away to Chicago, and it just wasn’t the same. For some reason, I never found the same sense of belonging there but I think, towards the end, I warmed up to it anyway. I finally made some friends, and it made the time there more pleasant but I always felt as if I was an intruder.
And then there was St. Louis. I’m sure a part of it was because I was an intern. Everyone knows that the life of an intern is hell. But St. Louis made me feel more out of place then even Chicago did. I never volunteered there. I worked there, but I never felt a part of the community. I never could put a finger on it. I even tried dating there but even that felt strange, forced.
London. I’ve only been here for 2 month? A little less than 2 months. Perhaps its the underlying tension of the cost of living here, but I don’t feel as at home as I did in Baltimore. But that certain sense of belonging is here, right next to me. I know parts of my neighborhood, and I feel safe here. I’ve signed up to volunteer with the crisis center over the holidays. I’ve even signed up to learn how to pull the church bells in my neighborhood even though I’m probably the last person you would expect God to welcome in His House. But its ok. There were no flashes of lightening or howls of thunder. So I guess He is ok about the invitation. Or perhaps He thinks that I can still be saved? (Good luck with that one.)
In the end, I think it really does boil down to effort, doesn’t it? I’m making an effort to be a part of this community. Maybe that’s why its beginning to feel like home?