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Building communities

Last night I read the next journal. While journal #1 was pretty much 1995 (or 1994 - 1995), journal #2 covers 1995 - 1999, a four year time span with huge gaps missing. It's an unpleasant read. It starts on an up note -- Daryk and I were still together, in love, happy -- and then goes through a monumental pile of crap -- the breakup, my introduction to heroin, my friends robbing me, Bob's death (the death of Bob the first, that is), Stoney's death, and Maggie's death.

But honestly, the most depressing part, for me, is the change in my tone when I moved from Chicago to Pittsburgh.

In Chicago I had a life. Places that I frequented, friends, a job that I dug, and apartment I liked ... and then all of a sudden I'm back in Pittsburgh with none of those things.

It got me to thinking about building communities, about building a life. When I first moved to Chicago, most of my friends were my roommate's friends, hand-me-down friends (sure, we both knew catbirdgirl and holzman at Antioch, but they were really much closer with her). But by the time I met Daryk, I was working at Facets, living on my own, and writing mostly about people I knew from work, or the neighborhood ... my friends, people who cared about me.

Now I've been in Pittsburgh for about 9 years, and it really took me until just two years ago to build a community here. Now I can go out and have that same thing I had in Chicago -- chance meetings with friendly acquaintances, waiters who recognize me at the restaurants I frequent -- that night out with Zocks, I seemed to know at least half of the people at BBT; two weekends ago with unixd0rk, we must've run into a good twenty people that I knew.

It's frustrating. It makes me sadder that I left a good life behind than that I fucked up that life by doing drugs. And it reminds me of something that I've only recently learned -- that it doesn't matter where you are.

Comments

suewan
Mar. 16th, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC)
Its kind of bizarre that whole thing, Hope. I think about that, that is life pretty much the same whether ever you go. I'm not sure. I think it's a combination of things such as your mental state, even the time/era, the community where you live, etc. I pretty much live in a conservative town outside of a working class city. I don't really relate to a lot of people, pretty much have a small circle of friends and rarely venture out to my "town". It did hold more of an interest for me when I was younger but since I had my son, my whole perspective on life changed. I often think I'd love to live in a nice community with a nice cafe, a decent bookshop, a decent music stores, some hip/trendy/alternative type places, maybe a coffee house/bar with "events" every so often, etc. Leeds is nearby and that has that feel about it in places but I'm also very much into my own space. I don't necessarily like the idea of neighbours either. I used to love Yellow Springs of all places and believe it or not, I miss that place most of all. And it isn't necessarily because of Antioch, it was just a place that at times, I felt most at peace with myself...well, my final year when I lived off campus...I also totally what you mean about moving away and giving up the good parts as well. That sucks majorly. Definite food for thought, Hope.

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