“You don’t have to decide anything yet,” I told her in the car.

She was quiet.

I had noticed that she was a bit shut down at the picnic. “Were you afraid?”

“I felt insecure. I felt a little lost.”

“That’s okay,” I reassured her. “We’ll go out for the Christmas party and see how things go then. That will be fun.”

“I want to get a drink,” she said.

“What?”

“Hot chocolate.”

“Oh, at the Christmas party, okay.”

We had just left a Sunday afternoon picnic at a live-in community for people with disabilities where my daughter was a guest. We’ve applied for her to live there. She isn’t sure. We aren’t either.

“One of the things that scared me is that some people were crying. One girl just started screaming. It was random. Then another one. It kind of freaked me out.”

“Yeah, I said, I get that.”

She lives in two worlds, one disabled, one abled —  or somewhat abled — seeing none of us are without issue, without compromise, not the norm in some way. This creates a dilemma. Where does she fit?

In both; in neither. She is marginalized. She is disabled, but able, high-functioning, crossing back and forth between two communities of people.

It’s tough, but, in a way, we all have some of this, a bit of marginalization, a bit of fitting and not fitting, the need to find our people, not being able to do that, the need to find where we belong, feeling uncomfortable in the search.

Finding community can be tough. I’ve thought about it lately. Mostly in life, I’ve made the people I got my people. I think many of us have done this. We make friends with the people at hand. Who else is there?

We chose to befriend the people at work, next door, at the store, at church, at the temple, in school, because they are the ones there.

It’s actuality, this is the normal way in which community works. We make a neighbor, our neighbor,  a community our community, by choice, at least at first, because they are near.

It’s not alway easy, or comfortable, or secure, community building, but it’s something beautiful and special, choosing what you get, choosing the option most in front of you, not because it’s a perfect fit, but because you make it fit.

Some wise people, thinking about exactly this, have called this love.

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