Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Finding my tribe
We've been to the conference and now we are all basking in the afterglow. And what an afterglow it is. Bloggers and tweeters all in one room, all day long with no one to give us that stern "you are really doing something inappropriate" look when we tweet at the table. No one. We all tweeted. All. Day. Long.
It was amazing. I met some of my favourite bloggers. In a beautiful moment I clunked glasses (the facial ones) with my idol. I sat next to my girl crush for breakfast. I roomed with someone who is fast becoming one of my close friends. I hugged and cried with a lovely friend who is now on a road I once traveled. I met some of my most favourite twitter friends. I hung out with some of the coolest people on the blogging and twitter block. The weekend rocked. Big. Time.
I've been reading the posts about the conference and it seems almost everyone is feeling the same way. I did not expect to come back from the conference and not be able to stop thinking about all the wonderful people I met. I did not expect to be so familiar with people I've never met face to face. I did not expect to feel so comfortable with these people. I did not expect to fit in so well.
At my age I certainly didn't expect to be so excited about finding a group of people who I could spend hours with and it never be enough time. At this age I expected that the majority of my close friends have already been made. I was wrong. I can't remember feeling this way about new friends since I was at high school, when I found my first real tribe*.
Since that first tribe I have made work friends, mum friends and other friends who might have started off as friends of friends. Some of those friends have gone on to become part of my close group of friends and some have moved on to be friends with other people.
This phenomenon called Twitter has given me the chance to find like minded people pursuing very similar dreams. These people, these new friends, this new tribe aren't my friends because our kids are friends or we work on canteen together. We don't work in the same office and have to get on. We don't live next door to each other and have forged a friendship over the back fence. We mostly met on Twitter. We have been speaking for 12 months or less in tiny 140 character snippets. We have connected through reading blog posts where we bare our souls or make each other laugh at the similarities in our lives. We share parts of ourselves we don't always share with our other friends. We sometimes show our weaknesses. We often show our strengths. Mostly we aren't judged. We are accepted for who we are. We seem to gravitate to those who are most like us. Twitter has a way of finding Tribes.
There were around 170 bloggers at the conference. I didn't meet everyone. I don't believe anyone met every single person there. I noticed there were little groups forming. We were all gravitating to our Twitter Tribes. The people we have the most in common with. The people we connect with. The people we know so well before we actually meet them. I didn't find this cliquey. I found this normal. It felt right.
My tribe is not complete yet. There are still some people I have met on Twitter who I know are part of my tribe, yet I've not met them in real life. I will one day and I will feel like I have known them forever. Just how I feel now about all the people I met at the Bloggers Conference and those I have met here in Brisbane.
What a rare and wonderful surprise this has been. Who would have thought it possible?
* Tribe is a wonderful word for a group of friends made popular by the beautiful and talented writer Rebecca Sparrow, who I am so happy to say is part of my tribe :)