I have felt for the majority of my life on the outside. Starting with family and extending into school. Thinking there was something wrong with me as I didn’t fit in. It wasn’t until I found a few friends that enjoyed the same things that I did, that I felt okay. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized being different is an asset not a liability. Just because family and friends didn’t “get me” didn’t mean there was anything wrong with me. They were just not my tribe. Yes, we can have friends that we enjoy their company and doing certain activities with, but I have so say they still might not be part of my tribe. People who truly get me and my uniqueness.
Doing some research on finding your tribe the first thing everyone says is know yourself. Do self-reflection. I think this is important. It wasn’t until I sat back and reflected on who I was – my values, morals, standards, what I will and won’t tolerate that I came to know me. That I am worth knowing. I will no longer be changing to fit in with what society deems normal. What is normal anyways and who defined that?
So how to find your tribe. After self-reflection. We should look at what is missing and what voids do we want filled? We can start by taking classes we are interested in. Don’t wait for a friend to take a class. People can say yes they are interested and pull out or never sign up. Don’t wait. If you are interested in pottery, dance, cooking, hiking, the list goes on! Sign up (yes alone) and take the class. Now you are in a class with people who want to be there. Remember to think like a beginner. It is okay to struggle, you are learning. No comparison to people who have been at it for years. Have fun, laugh. Get to know the people in the class. Be the first to introduce yourself.
Volunteering is another area to meet people. Not everyone you meet will be your tribe. I met a friend through volunteering. We both volunteered for a Christmas fundraiser. We arranged to meet for coffee one weekend and connected more. We found out we enjoy travel and the threatre. That lead to purchasing season tickets to the theatre. You just don’t know where things will lead. Have that coffee and get to know someone or two.
Put yourself out there. Shout out to friends and friends of friends if you want to go on a hike. Form a book club. Be the first to initiate an outing. Also check meetups in your area. Treat it as a reconnaissance mission. Check out groups, meetups and events you are interested in. You might pursue you might not, it is all good. Exploring is good. I have taken pottery and belly-dancing. I have enjoyed both classes, but won’t be pursuing. You never know. It is also good to check item off the list. No regrets I did that.
Then there is on-line. Yes, you can find your tribe on-line. I have participated in National Novel Writing Month. It is an on-line worldwide writing event in November. The site has a section for local areas to post events. I have found a core group of writers through this event. We have met in coffee shops and the library to write together. Before meeting them none of my friends got me when I talked about writing.
Check Facebook for groups you are interested in. Also check your local library (my favoriate place by the way). They often have classes.
Know your tribe doesn’t have to be a dozen people. One good friend that gets you – all of you – is good. It can take time. Start with knowing who you are and what you have to offer. No bending to please other people. As those people will never be our tribe. We all have something to offer. Don’t let others dim your light.
It is still a journey for me. I have different tribes for different things. My writing/blogging tribe. My travel/theatre tribe. Sometime they overlap or sometimes not. I want people who get me warts and all. Where I feel safe expressing me and I can listen and make a safe place for others.
You can always start now!