The wonderful response to my last post reminded me of two really important things about human nature:
- We all want to find our tribes – those people who understand us and don’t turn us away for being different.
- We all (at least I think it’s safe to make a generalization) feel like mis-fits now and then. NONE of us fit cleanly into the categories, boxes, labels, etc. that the experts say we should.
Isn’t that the great thing about the internet, though? We get to find people who understand us. We get to put out tentative little feelers and have people connect to them. (Yes, I believe that they are real connections.) We get to form tribes that might not naturally happen in the circles where we find our real live bodies. (‘Course, some of my favourite readers are my flesh and blood tribe – lucky me – so I get the best of both worlds here.)
Judging from the response, many of the readers of this blog feel like they’re the same kind of mis-fit as I am. Which makes me wonder – are bloggers disproportionately scanners and/or creators, or is it just that we tend to attract like-minded people and that’s what drew you to my blog in the first place (or me to yours – whichever happened first)?
I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot in the last few days. First of all, when I re-launched my blog on its own URL last week I found myself thinking “What is this blog’s reason for being? What makes it unique or of any value? Is it just a place for me to sound-off about my life or is there a deeper reason for why I’m putting this stuff out there?”
Then yesterday I was interviewed by my friend Stephanie for an article on women in leadership and she asked me some fairly pointed questions about why I put my life out there into cyber-world in the way that I do. What do I get out of it as a woman in leadership?
With all this contemplation and the fun interaction on the last post, I came to the conclusion that I am here because this blog has helped me find my tribe. I have found people to connect with. People who understand my idiosyncrasies and connect with me because they have idiosyncrasies of their own. People who value my stories and support me through the tough spots. People who will be kind to me and share their own vulnerability when I talk about personal stuff like breast reduction surgery. People who will cheer me on when I try new things. People who will offer different perspectives when I develop a bad case of tunnel vision. And (perhaps most importantly) people who don’t mind hanging around and watching me fumble through new art forms, writing, parenting, etc.
And in the middle of all that thinking, I had an epiphany.
I have found a tribe of fumblers.
It’s true, isn’t it? We are all fumbling for words, fumbling for truth, fumbling for beauty, fumbling for wisdom, fumbling for art, fumbling for friendship, fumbling for peace, fumbling for significance, fumbling for faith, fumbling for connection, fumbling for meaning, fumbling for justice, fumbling for hope.
I have always been a fumbler. I like to try new things, explore new ways of doing things, take pictures, paint things, write stuff, go on adventures, offer friendship, teach people stuff… but most of the time, I’m just fumbling my way through. I’m not an expert on anything, and even when I get recognition for things people think I know, I feel like saying “hey – I’m just a fumbler like you! I don’t really know what I’m doing, but you can come and fumble with me!”
This is not an expert blog where you’ll find advice on how to live your best life, how to maximize your assets, how to find true happiness, how to move past the blocks in your life, or how to make a pile of money the easy way. You won’t find ten easy steps toward ANYTHING around here (unless it’s tongue-in-cheek).
But if you’re a fumbler, you’re more than welcome to join my tribe!
There’s a great line in a Bruce Cockburn song that says “come all you stumblers who believe love rules, stand up and let it shine”. Hopefully Bruce won’t mind if I tweak it a little for selfish purposes and say “come all you fumblers who believe love rules, stand up and let it shine!”
If you’re a member of my fumbling tribe, stand up and let it shine in the comment box! You are all welcome here!