Now and then, needing a quick, short-hand description of what I'm doing in Holly Springs (for example, responding to the question I am asked most frequently these days: "What brought you to Holly Springs?), I have used the term "community development." It's a little embarrassing hearing myself say it, aloud, to a witness.
It sounds so ... focused and intentional.
People who do "community development" have "talking points"....don't they? Buzz words or keywords or boilerplate verbiage, for use in interviews and conversations, press releases and web page copy.
They know what they're doing and they can talk about it, explain it. They have clear objectives. A game plan.
A mission statement.
The term implies a confidence and commitment and....a clarity that I do not have. .
The ground shifts. I've been here for almost six months now. People and relationships come into sharp focus and then fade. Routines are short-lived and driven by an ever-changing set of circumstances.
Life is always like this but I feel it with a particular intensity in unfamiliar environments. In a new town or a new job/gig the learning curve is steep because there are fewer reliable points of reference. Climate, geography, speech patterns, food, social protocol, fashion, population density...everything is unfamiliar. Everything is being learned.