Quotes of the day
- ‘Be yourself and you’ll find your tribe will gravitate to you’ – unknown
- ‘If someone offers a life boat grab it with both hands’ – unknown
Tribes & Communities
I feel that everybody needs to feel part of a tribe or community. For me I’m lucky enough to say I have multiple tribes, whom especially over the past few months I have relied heavily on. These tribes are of different variety there’s my family, multiple friendship groups, the hospital tribe, my work tribe and my neighbours. All of which have been my life line over the past few months. Helping with things such as running me around on trips, getting shopping for me, walking Woody and just generally checking in on me.
These tribes are vital to my wellbeing and hopefully recovery. See you should never feel ashamed to ask for help when you need it. This is something I am slowly realising (it’s only taken me nearly 42 years). Grab that life boat with two hands and who knows one day you may be able to return the favour to those that threw you the lifeline when you needed it the most.
Now tribes don’t always have to be of the human variety many people much prefer animals to humans. I can see why because a. they don’t tend to answer you back and b. if you fart or pick your nose in front of them then they don’t judge you. Now for me I’ve always preferred dogs to cats. This goes back to when I was at primary school and my best friend at the time had a black cat Sammy although for some reason unbeknown to be (still to this day) they used to call her Hamish.
Now it’s no secret that I did not like Sammy at all and I think the feeling was pretty mutual. Not only would Sammy jump up at me whenever I sat on the couch but she would bite my right hand slyly walk past me whilst simultaneously pulsing her brown starfish at me as the final insult. Maybe Sammy sensed something in me that no-one else could detect or maybe she was just one evil fecker?
Either way my experience with her was enough to put me off cats for life and it always seems to be that cats know when you don’t like them as they seem to bother you more. For me with a dog you know what you’re getting especially with my whippet Woody. He sleeps (quite a lot well certainly more than me anyway), he nudges you when he wants stroking and he looks at you with those big eyes as if to say ‘we’ve got this kid’. In fact, he has literally just jumped up on the settee (which he knows he’s not allowed unless there is a blanket on there and parked himself right next to me). They do say dogs can sense cancer and I really think that’s true certainly in Woody’s case.
Being part of a community is also essential to our wellbeing. This doesn’t necessarily mean your neighbours but it can be a sport or social club and by social I don’t mean social media. Although face time and social media can be beneficial and a part of our daily lives there’s nothing better than real face to face time.
I’m so lucky in that I love where I live and feel a real part of the community. The people are so friendly there’s a few pubs and cafes all of which just a stone through away. We did move to the other end of town back in 2014 to what we thought was going to be our ‘forever home’. It was amazing and couldn’t quite believe we had moved into such a fantastic new and unique home. However, it was clear from the off set there were already a few disgruntled neighbours whom over petty insignificant reasons such as a delivery drivers blocking a shared driveway, a parking bay and a fence to keep our children safe and secure it was clear that we weren’t made to feel welcome in this ‘community’.
Which on reflection is a shame as I know for a fact that just on the doorstep are some beautiful surroundings and a great community atmosphere (should your face fit). I really do hope that the people who live in our old house have been made to feel a part of this community and are truly happy there. For me what I once treasured walking round the woods and the reservoir I can no longer do. Not because it isn’t beautiful but because of the negative connotations and memories it brings back.
Back in 2017 when I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma, we made what we thought at the time the difficult decision to sell our forever home and move back to somewhere where we knew the kids, who were young at the time could play out on an estate with friends and enjoy themselves. It’s simple things like that that meant the most to me, I wanted to see them laugh and play.
It was then that we just panicked as we didn’t really know what the future would hold. It just so happens this turned out to be the best decision we had ever made and with the help of the estate agents whom we had bought the house from they went above and beyond to help us. Karl Baxter at Hunters, isn’t your normal estate agent, he is a lovely person that helped us a lot, so thanks Karl. See most people when they know you are going through pretty shit times will do their upmost to help you and I hope one day that these people know that I would gladly reciprocate the favour should they need.
I’m now in an area with not only one of my ‘tribe’ next doors but surrounded by multiple friends and family. I always knew that my mum grew up on the village with her 4 siblings but it’s only just recently she mentioned that they once lived on the lane where my house is. Who knows maybe I was always destined to be here? I’m pleased to say I’m quite content in our ‘forever home’ even though you can’t choose your neighbours ;0).
But for any tribe or community to thrive it takes effort by all parties. There needs to be times when you ‘muck in’ and in return you will reap the benefits.
- I am not a fan of a brown starfish nor am I of cats.
- It might take a bit of trial and error but you can and you will find your tribe, make sure you love them hard (in a non-sexual way of course)
- You can take the girl out of a trailer park but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl!
- If one of your only worries is a ‘large fence’ or not having access to your shared driveway then count your lucky stars especially now in the current world we are living in.
- Sometimes the worse things that happen to us turn out to be the best things. ‘Fate’