Suburbo-types was inspired in many ways by turning 40 and thinking about new ways to connect with my community and also to flex some writing muscle. I love to write and think deeply so this project seemed like a perfect marriage of the two. In looking at my friends and neighbors, I recall thinking that I was often prone to one-sided opinions about people and making judgments before all the facts were in. Suburbo-types is part meta-analysis of such ideas, part personal commentary and part neuroscience interpretation.
Obviously, I live in the suburbs. I live in a place where relatively few people grew up here, and a large percentage are from “somewhere else.” This lends itself to starting over, which is what my husband and I did when we moved here from Philadelphia. It was nice to shake free from all my pre-conceived ideas about myself and make new friends who didn’t know anything about me. It was liberating in fact. But why? What was wrong with who I was? Every person in my community was a first impression, I didn’t know anyone. What did they think of me? What informed their opinions? What informed my opinions of them? Suburbs are defined as communities which surround a larger urban area. We are not rural and we are not the city. How do these attributes contribute to how we form social connections?
Stereotypes are a common and inescapable aspect of our lifestyles. I wanted to know how we come up with these and why we can be so quick to make assumptions about others. Am I being naive to think I can live without stereotyping others? What can I do to draw our suburban community closer together? How can I make this social network a living and breathing force to hold each other up in times of need? What is it called? How can we level the playing field? How on earth can I get to know the names of my neighbors in a culture that values privacy and independence?
This is the start of an evolving conversation. Join me with your comments and ideas. I promise I won’t judge (hee-hee)! I plan on blogging once or twice a week so if your inbox isn’t overflowing already, consider hitting the follow button. Your thoughts will be my inspiration. I plan on scouring media and neuroscience literature to contribute to the dialogue. I also will interview my friends and neighbors and get their two-cents. Most of all, I want to keep it fun and readable. I am prone to a curse word or two if I get really passionate.
Personally, I am married to my anchor and have two exquisite school age daughters. My daughters teach me every day that new possibilities are out there to be created and explored. I have always been told that I was a good writer but my profession is occupational therapy. My work is with kids which informs my natural curiosity and challenges me daily. I am a devoted yogi, lover of books, collector of friends, driver of a minivan and carbohydrate addict. You will get to know me more from posts but I am happy to have met you here today.
My first impressions of you are pretty good.