Uncle Josh Redacts some Advice
A friend of mine posted on her Facebook page:
So adults tell me that being my age it’s normal to feel alone/not fit in… So my question is how long is that supposed to last?
Stephanie and I read this just as we got into the car, and serendipitously, Dimetrodon by the Doubleclicks was the next track on the CD. We decided to post the video to as a response.
I am no longer convinced that this was a complete answer. Several people described always feeling like this, even as they approach 50, and other people mentioned the importance of finding your tribe. This is all well and good, and I’m not saying we don’t need to find our tribes, but we shouldn’t rely on our tribes.
The exaggeration of “find your tribe” is to allow your identity and comfort to be dictated by those around you. The extreme opposite is the fetish of the individual. Like a good Episcopalian, I want to try to describe the way in between these two positions.
To me the “tribe” isn’t family, it’s friends sharing a common goal. Yes, my family is important, but the bonds are blood and legal contracts, the bonds of a tribe are interests and dreams. My church is a tribe, my writing groups is a tribe.
The external world can tell you honestly what your public facade looks like, and if it’s any good. But utlimately you have to decide who you are for yourself.
Trying to please everybody is impossible. Trying to please even a small focus group is impossible, even when they all care about you.