Community, New Mates and Active Wear / by Laura Kebby

photo by les_liverpool

photo by les_liverpool

This weekend I got to experience something wonderful. Something that to me, really sums up why I’m in this business of writing to begin with. I saw my favourite band, surrounded by some wonderful local people, most of which have influenced my career in one way or another. It was really some sort of a dream come true, and it’s really got me thinking about the way I value community. After some advice I received earlier in the year, I’ve been trying to surround myself with positive people, as I hope to positively move towards the next phase in my life.

But it wasn’t just about the weekend. My whole week in fact, has really been geared towards fostering my love for community, trying new things, and attempting to expand my tribe. I’ve started playing a team sport and that in itself is a really nice shift towards a totally different aspect and outlook on life. Now, before you jump to conclusions, no, I’m not getting all #fitspo on you and start wearing my active wear around the place, or even start wearing active wear in general, but I am trying to live a healthier life. Even though I’m busier (they train a lot, like a lot a lot) I feel like I have more hours in the day. It’s also possibly the only thing I’m involved with at the moment that has absolutely nothing to do with my work.

For a while there, it got to a point where I was kind of so engrossed in my writing, that I actually forgot what I used to do for a hobby. And now I’m spending time with a whole new group of people, to work towards a common goal, just for the flipping hell of it. We play locally, we train locally, and we’re also sponsored by a local pub so it’s a win/win for me. On that note if you haven’t been to the Commonwealth Hotel, you definitely should. Anyway, joining this team, and by extension this community, is probably the best decision I’ve made so far in 2017.

I spent Thursday evening at the Edwards, taking in the sights and sounds of a really cool new event, called The Good Oil, which is about celebrating Thursday evenings, good music, and providing yet another environment for the music community of Newcastle to spend some time with. Post gig on Saturday evening, I hung out with my second family. Wandering up and down Beaumont Street, bantering, being merry, and just enjoying spending time together. I also met a new mate this past week, something that I absolutely didn’t expect, but it’s been something that just seems to really… work.

I’m also back at Uni. And this year I promised myself I wouldn’t sit brooding in a corner, and just nerding out every chance I get. I’m trying to expand, not just the amount of people around me, but the type of people I engage with. Connecting with, hanging out with, and learning both with and from the people around me, has recently become really really important. I was asked in class today, what is it I love so much about Newcastle and why am I here, and for me, the answer is always “why would I be anywhere else?”. Despite my (complete) love for Melbourne Bitter I love our town. As you can probably tell, community, is really my buzzword at the moment. As a freelancer, it’s really easy to forget that people (apart from bartenders and baristas) exist in real life, and it’s so exciting, and challenging to begin to surround myself with like-minded creatives.

That’s really been my focus throughout this week. Trusting myself to get to know people, engaging with a whole bunch of different communities, and constantly on the lookout for someone to be inspired by. It’s one heck of a wild ride let me tell you that!