It has been a strange month. I'm vacillating between everything being awesome and everything being really, really fucking scary. Which makes sense because everything is both awesome and really, really fucking scary.
There is enough distance between me and my fifteen years at United Way that it is no longer embedded in the core of my DNA. I was so scared to leave for so long because my job was the core of who I was. I knew I had made it officially over the hump when I went downtown for lunch last week and was surrounded by worker bees, all wearing security badges and lanyards declaring that they belonged to some institution and my guttural reaction was relief that no one else's name was hanging around my neck anymore. I am my own only.
However, it is a bit unsettling when you don't really belong anywhere - or you have the potential to belong everywhere. There's no anchor... no routine... no touchstone.
So it would stand to reason that I would be out there searching like hell for my tribe... if I was a typical non-human without emotion and doubt. However, being of the living and breathing and feeling persuasion, I've spent a fair amount of time retreating lately - playing hours upon hours of Yahtzee on my phone, staring at the TV and generally being unhealthy both mentally and physically.
I'm waiting for my tribe to knock on my door and pull me back out into the world. Why oh why doesn't the world work that way?
One thing that really struck me while the Mister and I traveled the west coast earlier this month was how intentional so many west coasters are about their community... My aunt and uncle who left Wisconsin after 60-some years to be close to family in Seattle. Keith who showed all around his adopted-hometown of Portland before he had to scoot for his weekly group bike ride. Bryan's cousins who live with their gaggle of kids on a farm in Salem and do everything together. The town square in Aracata, California, that was absolutely alive on a Friday night with different musical artists performing in every single store. Lyn and her beer community in Oakland who gathered at sunset on the deck of brewery overlooking the bay to celebrate the life of one of their own who had recently passed. Our Airbnb host in LA, Dean, who is renting a spare room in his Hollywood Hills castle just to have "cool people" in his house with him. The Uber rider we carpooled with to the Sunset Strip that invited us to meet him at the Whiskey a Go Go for drinks. The Yoga Lodge we stayed at in Yosemite that is a legit Intentional Community where you can pay or work for room and board.
Maybe I was looking for it, but everywhere I turned people were intentionally reaching out to and gathering with their community. And it might just be my current life circumstance, but I don't feel that community back here at home. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we have to lock ourselves indoors for months at a time or risk death by frostbite.
I sulked for a good week or so after returning from the west coast and then decided it was time to start intentionally seeking out my community - my tribe. I reached out to my Case Western tribe and set a date to go visit a group of them in Cleveland next weekend. I got my butt back in the yoga studio. I contacted a candidate for State Rep that I really enjoyed talking with last week and asked to volunteer on his campaign. I gathered a group of my best girl friends to start talking, in earnest, about the SheHive. I met with Mike and Adam at Civilla to get feedback on the SheHive concept. I met with two women, Andrea and Amanda, that are interested in helping with programming at SheHive. And I'm moving into an office in southwest Detroit in early August that a friend is gifting me to prototype the SheHive.
It's happening. I'm moving more towards the future I want as opposed to the future that happens to me.
It's not linear, of course. Change rarely is... I found out yesterday that I didn't get a job I had applied and interviewed for (extensively). It was a job that I didn't really want, though I wanted the security and the paycheck. I knew it wasn't my place and it wasn't my tribe when I interviewed, but it never feels good to hear someone else say that they feel the same way. Rejection is rejection no matter how much of a silver lining it is.
But the rejection was a silver lining. A wake up call and a reminder that falling into any ol' community that will have me for the sake of comfort isn't the path I have chosen - and it's not the path the universe if going to easily let me choose, apparently. Thankfully.