I have been struggling with this blog now that I have started it. I have not really known where I wanted to go with it, and what was the purpose of it. So I have been thinking about what it is all about, and how I want this blog to look.
I was excited by the prospect of having a blog to document my journey through this PhD, and I really wanted to continue but I also wanted to write something that would be interesting to read. Anyway, that's where I'm at for the moment.
I think a lot about community and what it means. I have been particularly thinking about it this week as it was my partner's birthday yesterday. We also paid a visit to my brother and sister in-law and their kids on the weekend.
I was brought up to believe that the most important people in your life are your family. I have found out this is not always the case. It has been an interesting journey for me to finding out that family of choice - the people you choose to have in your life, such as good friends who are there no matter what - can be much more important than blood relatives. Don't get me wrong, I love my family, but they have different values to me on some things and sometimes they find it hard to understand the ways that I think and the things that I do.
So the community of family that I grew up with, have evolved into a wonderful community of friends, some of who my partner and I call our family of choice. These are people who love us for who we are, who are always there when we need them, who we support when they need us, and who we love to spend time with. There are no expectations about how often this will happen, or how much money has been spent on something - in fact often the simpler the better. It is about the company, and being able to really enjoy each other. We have no expectations of each other except that we will always be there to hang out, and help out when needed. It is a truly beautiful relationship.
Some members of our family of choice live overseas. For obvious reasons we don't see each other very often, but we email, we send packages and when we get together (which is usually about every 3 or 4 years) we have lots of fun, enjoy each others company and we just hang out.
What I am saying is that communities can be something that we don't have as much choice over when we are younger, but as we grow into ourselves and understand where our values lie and in fact who we are as people, we change and can make choices about communities that are a good fit.
This is the journey we are all on, and lends itself to my study of process. I want to gain a deeper understanding of what happens when people journey together either in a therapeutic sense, or in a community cultural development sense, and on the way, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of my own process within my communities. It is very exciting to link my sometimes seemingly nebulous ideas to real life.