Day 330 - For the Love of The Tribe.
Yesterday was epic. Tribal reunion and it was a blast. I can’t tell you how great it feels to have all of us in the same place. I love it and them.
I, mostly, was close with males growing up. Female relationships baffled me. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in. There seemed to be this female speak that I didn’t get. Some sort of feminine subtext that was a mystery to me. I tried to learn it, glean it but I always and habitually felt like I was inept.
I know now that a lot of that was poor self esteem. I was threatened by women. I could only shine in their absence because the light and beauty that they brought to the moment, always felt like it shadowed me out. It is amazing as I got more secure in who I am and what I bring to the party, that they got freer to be whatever they were that I felt like I lacked. What they were, who they were, how they showed up in life was a gift to me, not something to be marginalized by or defeated by.
Sadly, I can look back now and see that my female relationships were mostly stunted by my own failures to be able to show up as me, for me. It wasn’t so much that they took from me, but that I was so insecure that I couldn’t be with them without feeling like I was less than.
So too with The Tribe. When we first met, I was in awe at the incredible beauty that surrounded me. They were hot, funny, successful and amazing. I always felt like the ugly step sister. I felt like I didn’t measure up. I was always and forever fleeing the circle. This wasn’t how they made me feel, it was just who I showed up as, every damn time. Worst part was, I couldn’t admit that. I just felt like less and showed up as less and then perceived their treatment of me to be less. In fact, it wasn’t.
Somewhere along the way, in great measure because they loved me in my innate form, I grew up. I stopped comparing my insides with their outsides. I stopped being so insecure. I finally could see that we were all beautiful in our own way. That I did not have to be better than, me just showing up as me was my only job. I didn’t need to do anything but be real and authentic and show up. And they loved me even when I was hard to love. They loved me even when I pushed them away. And they tolerated my insecurity and aloofness. They loved me until I could love myself.
Last night was the last of the big birthday celebrations for The Tribe. We are now all over 50. And, in my opinion, the best we have ever been. When I look at us, I am amazed at the collection of beauty, brains, sass, intelligence, grace, love and joy that we all bring to the table. Sure, we all have our darkness and our pain, but we love each other through it and show up for each other, always.
Last night we celebrated Jefe, our benevolent leader. The one that keeps us all together, mediates the disagreements and is the unifying force that has kept this high charging, amazing bunch of women together for the last five years. She is easy going, graceful and a joy to be around. She makes everyone more comfortable and calm just by her presence. She is loving and amazing and fucking hilarious. Her laugh infectious. Her elegance and charm captivating. She is at the core of The Tribe because she is the embodiment of inclusion. Of being able to see the pain and the joy, to see the wound when one of us acts out, hold us accountable for our shitty conduct in a loving way that causes us to have to own our shit without feeling the need to be defensive and angry. With Jefe, it always comes from a place of love, without question.
I have learned from these women how to be my best self. How to own my place at the table. I have learned that I am to show up as I am with all my quirkiness and edge and heart, and just be me. They do not dim my light, they magnify it. We are like beams of a spotlight, shining brighter together than solo. We all radiant our own unique glow that burns hotter and better when combined.
Last night was an amazing gathering of us. We laughed until we cried. We shared, we loved, we honored the most amazing gift of friendship and love we have for each other. We showed up and granted each other full access to our hearts. We reveled in the glory of friendships' amazing glow. And the afterglow that always follows any kind we are all gathered together.
Jefe, Happy 50th Birthday. I love you with all that I am and am better just by knowing you. Thank you for loving me even when I am cold, aloof and unreachable. Thank you to all of my Tribe who grants me grace and touches in with me, even when I am hard to reach...and let’s be honest, sometimes I am an asshole.
Thank you my sisters for the unconditional love and support. Thank you for reading NRT everyday. Thank you for always encouraging me and telling me the truth even when it is hard to hear. Thank you for giving me the greatest gift I could ever want in this world, love even when I show up in my unpolished and true form that is sometimes less than lovable.
Thank you for walking with me through heartbreak, loss, joy, sorrow, pain, grief, love, ecstasy, hilarity, growth, change, richness, poverty and all the myriad ways that life twists and turns. Thank you for being my endless supply of enough room to grow while always keeping me tethered to your side. Thank you for helping me find myself through you.
Long Live The Tribe!