”Me too,” I laughed, “seems like I can’t go anywhere without bumping into people these days.”
We said, “See you tomorrow!” and went our separate ways.
I grew up in an actual small town. A one-stoplight, one gas station type of town. A drive 30 minutes to get to anything good type of town. My parents often ask me, “Don’t you miss the community? Little stuff like running into people you know at the grocery store?” They can’t believe it when I tell them that kind of thing happens here all the time too. They imagine my “city life” as surrounded by tons of strangers, and I imagine, they think I might be lonely here. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
I feel more connected to Arlington as a place than I ever felt to my hometown. Perhaps it’s because I chose this place for my adult life, or maybe it’s because I fit better here. I feel happy walking through the dog park and running into students and their families, seeing coworkers and friends unexpectedly at the gym, and waving hello to my neighbors as we all buzz around the parking lot in the morning.
I wonder if any town can feel like a community if you make it one, or if Arlington really is a special place- densely populated with a small town feeling.