(I wrote this last year but kept it in the slush pile.. however, as I just finished my third triathlon and am participating in the weekly local aquathlon, I thought I'd go ahead and publish it.)
I think I may have found my thing, my niche, my community. Maybe. We'll see.
After visiting multiple church groups, political discussions, feminist book clubs, artist cooperatives, etc, looking for a community to fill the gap left by removing myself from heavy activity in the church, I think I finally hit pay dirt.
When attending all those aforementioned activities, I find myself sitting back, silently listening in awed and slightly intimidated shyness.
But yesterday I did a triathlon (update, this week I did my third triathlon). And I had no less than 6 lively conversations with various individuals. (A rather unusual occurrence for me.) Some were with people I had met in previous races or at the gym, some were just complete strangers and we bonded over our sweat and our aches and our tired muscles. I'll probably see some of these folk at the next race. Strike up conversations with a few more as well.
Perhaps it's because it is a community removed from the more controversial/divisive elements of politics and religion that I feel more at my ease (yep, got a lot of scar-tissue from previous involvement in politics/religion). Perhaps it's just the endorphins.
Don't get me wrong, my tendency is STILL to observe silently from the background; life of the party, I am NOT. I'm also a pretty pathetic athlete.