I grew up on the rocky shores of Lake Superior and in the deep forests of Northeastern Minnesota. It is a part of the world that is predisposed to loneliness, an only child feels it even more strongly than most. By the time I was in high school I longed for community. I felt that with Quakers is where I wanted to find that community. I chose my college based on that fact. I got community, I studied community—sometimes I had too much of it. I lived in an intentional community, I lived in unintentional community.

This last year has been both really extraordinary and really difficult. I am finding I want more time alone and less time with others. I have recently decided to live alone. I keep asking myself several questions related to this.

How does needing to be alone balance with my strong desire to have community?

Is the community we are building at my worship group enough? Will it provide a structure for me to develop strong bonds with others and God that will allow me to support others and to let them support me?

Not too long ago I would have been scared to spend so much time alone. I spend most of my 20’s running from one place to the next. I felt restless and unhappy. Over the last few years I have started to come to peace with things, I feel at home in Baltimore and want to put down roots. I need stability. I am confronting the things that made me bounce from place to place when I was younger. I guess to do that work, I need time alone. At the same time it is nice to live somewhere that I am not totally anonymous.

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