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?    

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* 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 :) 

28 comments:

  1. I saw everyone navigate to their tribes (myself included) and I was worried it would get cliquey but it didn't at all did it?! I was so happy that everyone was happy to get up and dance with each other, even if we weren't in the same group.

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  2. Oh Annie, what a wonderful moment it was meeting you. We are all so lucky to have discovered and forged strong friendships. The conference truly was amazing xxx

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  3. Annie I really loved meeting you. Beautiful post ... you made me fall in love with twitter even MORE!

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  4. I feel so blessed that our paths have crossed
    Annie.
    Blessed.
    Thankyou foryour support of my road. Much love xx

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  5. Annie, you have captured this feeling so beautifully - it's amazing to have new friends AND to have had a Twitter leave pass for the weekend!

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  6. oh annie, I so wish that I could have been there!

    I believe we should get our acts together and do something soon.

    much love beautiful.
    xx

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  7. Annie, Friday was SO MUCH FUN. Shopping and then dinner with you and other wonderful, wonderful friends was the highlight of my week.
    It was lovely to finally meet you irl and know that I can add you to my list of new friends.

    N x

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  8. Beautiful.Just beautiful Annie. If anyone could have made friends with 170 people in a day it would have been you!

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  9. beautifully written! how nervous you must have been walking in, how brave! and i love the image from Casablanca you have chosen … such a great moment in movie storytelling. xt

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  10. What Benison said! Annie, you captured it all so perfectly! And like Nicky I'm so thrilled about Friday night... I totally totally loved Friday.

    And I'm gonna pretend you were talking about your right side at Brekky ;-)

    love your chops xxxx

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  11. Oh Annie! This is so beautiful.
    You have the most magical way with words...you speak the truth of so many of us.
    I have to meet you one day...I just have to. xxx

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  12. Ditto. Although I feel like it was kind of a dream, I loved seeing you again. xx

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  13. Annie, dear, dear Annie. My angel. I'm known as a cry baby but my tears when I first laid eyes on you shocked even me. It was my heartsong, my hurt, my healing - all made manifest.

    And goddang bloody Sarah got that terrible photo of me to prove it!;p

    I found my spiritual home and, yes, my tribe, on Twitter. Anyone who doesn't understand that can kindly go do something rude to themselves. lol
    I love you xx

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  14. "I didn't find this cliquey. I found this normal. It felt right."

    Yes. Me too. Well put.

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  15. Annie my sweet. I adore you. I feel like crying because I miss you. Talking to you, hugging you and laughing with you was just a joy. And this post is beautiful. I love that you cry. You make me cry too. In a happy kind of way...xxx

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  16. Annie if only I had bumped into you earlier in the day! We were so bushed by the time you and I got the chance to meet. But I have to confess, you were one person I both wanted to meet but was kinda too nervous to say hi to (I'm a wallflower like that!). I'm so glad we met. I hope very much we get more time sometime in the future to talk more.

    xx
    Kirrily (shortn_tweet!)

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  17. Enjoyed reading about what you took away from the Conference, the afterglow and your tribe. I agree, what an afterglow it is. Aside, it did feel good to tweet as much as I liked.

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  18. Annie, I was so excited to meet you. You're just gorgeous, and next time we shall have to make more time to chat! xx

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  19. I love the way the conference has made everyone feel and the connections it has confirmed. And as always, you put it into words beautifully xx

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  21. Can I just say.....I am so looking forward to meeting you next week Annie. I won't have to share you with 170 people and I can't wait to see you face to face. xx

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  22. Annie, It was like coming home meeting you. It really was. You have written about it so beautifully. xxx

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  23. GORGEOUS. As were you. And breaky was FAB. Next time in the pod, baby xxxx

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  24. I think I have found my tribe, and you my lovely are part of it xox

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  25. finding your tribe... what a lovely way to put it :) I was actually have a convo about that very thing at breakfast on the Sunday morning with one of 'my' tribe. I think the great thing though is that those boundaries are so flexible... there are people I connect with more on twitter than on blogs or facebook more than twitter, and they each have their own dynamic, but none of them exclude the other.

    Nice post :)

    xx

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  26. That's brilliant, Annie. I can't help but feel that as a non-tweeter I am missing out on a lot of the blogging friendships, but I guess it just doesn't do it for me. I am glad you have such a strong tribe. x

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  27. I'm chiming in here rather late Annie, but I wanted to say that I loved this post and know just what you mean about 'tribes'. I too have connected with people through Twitter who are now an important part of my life. I hope that soon enough I will spend time with people who feel like 'my tribe' in person and experience what you have. Beautifully written too!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me x

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