The times I've been happiest, felt most alive, most confident and when life just seems to whirl by with joy and energy are all associated with belonging to something. Whether that's AFS as an exchange student, a cohort of engineering students (and the engineering revue), the SCA, more specifically a college or a household, or to a group of people referred to as "RKoL DJs".
To be able to say "I'm part of [organisation]" either privately, or publicly gives me security and confidence.
When I don't belong to something I go looking for something to belong to, trying to fill that gap (building lego houses anyone?). When I can't find something that fits I end up in a strange fuzzy-headed space filled with long days on the couch doing not much.
As I've re-integrated back into life in Australia the SCA has been a strong reminder of this dichotomy for me. Attending my first full festival since 2007 I was reminded of why I used to be so integrated into the Society and volunteered my time and effort to it. I was reminded of what it meant to give service to others simply because you wanted to, and what it felt like to have a place and to belong.
So, as of last night I am Rowany's A&S officer, and I've spent today thinking about Bunch o' Classes (September 8-9, stick it in your diaries!), how to revive dance in the Barony (a 12 week beginner's class will be coming your way soon), and composing a survey to see what is currently happening across the Barony and what people would like to see happening.
I also spent today humming part of the Cutt Bransles, which led me onto the Newcastle, and hence I present you with this clip of a man and an accordion and a familiar refrain (I love the gusto)