I was at a wedding over the weekend and it made me think a lot about community and the very different groups of people we choose to surround ourselves with. A wedding is one of the few events or places where people can bring together all the different communities we belong to.
In my life I have several, distinct communities.
First there's family. They're a ready-made community and they're there regardless of choice. I'm lucky that my family isn't too dysfunctional and for the most part we all get along reasonably well. And I'm including my partner's family under that umbrella too.
Then there's my work community, the filmmakers and distributors and cinema people I deal with on a regular basis. The people who work with me in the office and anyone who has ever worked with me in the past. This is a community that grows and changes as people move around and change jobs, myself included.
Then there's the 'mum' community. The people I've made friends with through my kids. Some of these women have been my friend since the kids were babies, others I've met more recently through friendships my children have made at school.
And I can't forget the music community. This is the one that introduced me to my partner, so it's one that is very dear to me. And since music is one of my great passions, it's one I work to maintain. A lot of the people in this community are not in the city I live in, so keeping in touch with everyone can be challenging. The internet helps.
And finally there's my writing community. This exists almost exclusively online, but is probably among the most important communities to me. I can't imagine a week without chatting with my critique group or emails from my main CP. I love emails from my agent and publisher. I love taking part in contests and helping newer writers navigate their way through the tricky waters of the publishing world.
The people I have chosen to surround myself with are the people who make my life complete and whole. I can't imagine who I'd be without these people, so I value each and every member of every community. But I can't see any occasion on which they would all come together in once space. Maybe my funeral???
What communities do you surround yourself with?