It's not just Toby, I realize that I just miss Los Angeles in general. Is it the winter time in Denver making me miss California? Is it the fact that I never seem to be content where I am, always thinking that somewhere else will be more satisfying? Is it my upcoming trip to LA? I wish I had an answer. . . What I do know is that I had something in Los Angeles that I have not had in any other place I've ever lived; a community.
When I landed in LA three years ago, I lived in a community/commune type living situation for the first year. It was a phone call to a number that I found on Craigslist, and next thing I knew, I had a room in Venice, sight unseen, roommates unseen. Upon arrival, I realized just how crazy it was to have committed to something like that, truly having no idea who these people were that I was to live with. Like many things in my life I just went with it and made the best of it. This initial experience of living in a commune proved to be one of the greatest blessings of my life as I had an instant group of like-minded friends in a city as huge and daunting and flaky as Los Angeles.
From the first six months at the crazy house in Venice, I moved onto a less nutso commune situation in a neighborhood called Mar Vista for another six months. At this house I continued to meet and foster fantastic and unique friendships with very special individuals. After my first year in LA, I decided I had enough of living with ten-plus other people and wanted a more "normal" situation. I found a room in a large townhouse in Mar Vista. A few months in, I had created yet another commune house with members from the other houses, this one being only five people.
All three of these living situations had profound affects on my lifestyle, overall awareness and my consciousness on every level. I met people and created bonds that will never be broken. My life changed in innumerable ways because of the people I met in these communes and the things I learned from each of them. There was always someone to talk with, go out with, cook with, and all of the folks I lived with in LA had something to offer within the community we were all a part of. There was always someone there and we were all trying our best to live a better life.
I really miss that feeling of having my best friends at home. I miss feeling inspired by the magic of what happens when thirteen "hippies" live together. I miss being able to talk with someone who understands where I'm coming from when it comes to consciousness and spirituality, food(a big topic in a commune), relationships, friendships and any other conceivable topic. I miss having a community around me.
Of course I know that this is possible anywhere in the world, Denver being high on that list of places where community can flourish. But right now I live alone and that's what I miss the most; having someone at home to hang with, someone I genuinely am excited to see every day. Shoot, I even miss having friends right down the street as I did in Los Angeles. I feel quite isolated in Denver as I have neither of these.
I've spent my entire adulthood trying to feel like I belong somewhere and I've literally gone to the ends of the earth in that search. I know the age old battle for me is to find that contented nature within my own being. However, in my life I have also found that inner journey is easier and more fruitful when it's supported by others on their own inner journeys. I've never felt more like I belong anywhere than when I was surrounded by a conscious community, flaws and all.