Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Find Your Tribe

I haven't mentioned it (because I haven't been blogging), but I'm moving to New York. Soon. Our move-in date is August 19th.

You see, I have a tribe - online. Definitely. I've made IRL friends from online friends. But picture this: it's Christmas. My three-year-old opens presents on Skype with his grandparents. Then Tim goes to work and since we only had one car, the three-year-old and I are sitting home alone. Sure, we sled for a little while, we drink hot chocolate. And that's Christmas.

Now, picture this: I'm three years old. The youngest person in my family (yes, I'm the youngest member of my generation of the fam), I have a brother, six cousins, two aunts, three uncles. We're at a two-family house in the Bronx, both parts of the house owned by my family (grandpa and his brother). Auntie and Uncle Will have three boys, but none of them had kids yet, so it was just an additional six adults. Grandma has a little stocking hanging on the (fake) fireplace mantel for each of us with foil-wrapped chocolate Santas in them. White Christmas is playing on the TV, but no one is watching it. Jack Gleason is playing on the stereo and all the adults are complaining. The kids are all playing in the cellar (basement). There's more food than we could possibly eat in a lifetime. It's chaos. Insanity. Did I mention that the house is a one-bedroom?

That's missing from my son's life. The chaos of cousins and family and loud, crazy holidays. It's missing from MY life. Losing Tami made me realize how isolated I've been. How alone. I've been in Minnesota five years and made ONE friend. Don't get me wrong - when I make friends, I REALLY make friends. Kelly will be a part of my life forever. Her family is filled with amazing people who accepted my family without question. But my tribe, my people, my comfort zone? It's New York. I don't even know how to explain it, other than to say it's like being wound up ALL THE TIME. All the time. And then suddenly being able to relax. To breathe. To sleep. It's home.

9 comments:

  1. Congrats! That is so super awesome. I hope your move goes smooth and you begin nesting immediately! Hugs.

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  2. Congrats. I hope your move goes smooth. I'm just so happy for you

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  3. 1) Your journal page is beautiful!
    2) Good luck on the move!
    3) I totally get what you mean about CRAZY family holiday time. I can see the appeal to both ways of celebrating, though. You are still giving your son a great holiday just by being there with him. :)

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  4. I'm so excited for you and your family!!! I can't wait to hear about your new adventure!

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  5. I've been in Minnesota for almost 3 years and made ALMOST one friend. I'm gonna miss you and I haven't even had a 5 guys burger with you yet!! (but soon)
    Have you heard the natives say stuff like "I already HAVE enough friends" ??? This place is settled by families who have been here for generations and very very hard to break into, I've found. I'm making headway mostly with other "foreigners" like me.
    Very welcoming people, but not inclusive....
    I know you and your kids will feel more alive surrounded by your tribe.

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    1. Part of it is definitely me. I don't know how to reach out. But it's not ALL me. I don't bother with things like changing out of my painting clothes to take my son to the park. I go to Wal-Mart in pajama pants without a second thought. I had blue extensions in my hair and my favorite hoodie is so bright it hurts your eyes. I never got the judgement gene. It doesn't occur to me that your hair color or weight or Coach purse makes you a worthier person, so it doesn't occur to me that I'm being judged for my baseball cap and flipflops and tattoo. This is place is too CLEAN for me. Sometimes I say the F word. On a conference call for work. To my boss. He's from New York, too. He says it right back. Sometimes my dishes sit in the sink for day. There are four empty Starbucks cups on my desk right now - two from today. I'm a lot more likely to spend a free hour taking my son to the park than folding the pile of clean laundry that's heaped on the living room floor. I never learned to apologize for being me. I am who I am. What you see is what you get. I don't wear makeup, I bite my nails, and I'm a geek. I will talk graphic design and computer crap until your ears bleed if you let me. But I didn't watch the season finale of whatever this week's most popular show is and I have no desire to piss and moan about the weather. When I find someone I'm going to be fiends with, the connection is instant. But it's hard and it's rare.

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  6. Do I understand. I spent my life truly living in a tribe. I was raised in my great, great grandpartents' house and all of my relatives lived on the same land. Their houses formed a circle around our house and we were always together morning, noon and night. I suffered from 'I need some space'-itis. Now I miss that in the worse way. Now my husband's family and our friends form out tribe. We are constantly together and it makes such a difference. I am so glad that you're able to get that connection again. It means everything.

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  7. Best wishes … and this spread … LoVe it!

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  8. I love this spread! what a beautiful message as well. Thank you.

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