Why I Don’t Use the Term “Tribe”

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Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of retlaw snellac

 

You’ve just discovered an awesome new blog or a website for a cool YouTuber, and after a few clicks, a javascript window pops up with these words in large letters: JOIN MY TRIBE! Ugh. Every time I see this, I groan. Unless it’s someone I know and I actually want to follow them to keep updated, I usually don’t “join their tribe,” and often I’ll navigate away and never come back.

I’m going to start by saying I don’t have anything against the people who use the word “tribe” to describe their network of followers and colleagues. While it turns me off, I understand the idea that these people want their social network to be more than just a collection of likes and views. For some, a tribe is a good visual representation of what they want their network to be. Who am I to say they’re wrong?

However, I just don’t see you guys that way. To me, a tribe is much more personal. The members of my tribe are the people I would leave my kids with (if I had any). They’re the people I trust to with a spare key to my home. My tribe is my network of family and close friends that I share the personal areas of my life with. They’re the people I love. That’s not you (unless it is … Hi, Mom).

The word “community” has much more meaning to me in the online sphere. When I think of community, I think of Davis (that’s where I live). I think of my church. I think of the people at my work. I think of the people that work together to make my local area a better place to live, work, and raise families. That’s what I want my social network to be like. I want to be in community with you, working together to make the world a better place.

So join my community! Comment on my blog posts, join my mailing list (I seriously haven’t even sent anything out yet; that’s how often I send things), like my page on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I love communities, and I would love for you to be a part of mine (even if you’re crazy; I know and love a lot of crazy people).

Classics Never Die

Today is my little sister’s 23rd birthday (which makes me feel super old since I’m five and a half years older than she is and I can remember the day she was born). She and my mom are coming over tomorrow to celebrate, and I’ve put myself in charge of dinner. Of course, this includes a cake. A vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, her favorite.

I love baking birthday cakes. I often bake my own. I used to have to compromise with my family by allowing them to decorate it because I was so adamant about baking it. (The result is that I cannot decorate a cake to save my life, but I can bake them pretty well.)

Now, for this particular cake, I could have gone and bought one of those box mixes (I remember my sister enjoying the “Funfetti” cakes as a child), but I’ve turned up my nose at pretty much all box mixes since my brief time in culinary school (don’t ask). I could have googled a recipe. There are probably many food and baking blogs with excellent recipes.

I couldn’t bring myself to do that, though. To me, birthday cakes are classics, and classic dishes require classic recipes. Therefore, I turned to one of the classic cookbooks of my grandmother and mother’s generations: Joy of Cooking.

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My beautiful second hand copy of Joy of Cooking.

Again, I know there are newer cookbooks. There are even newer versions of Joy of Cooking than the one I own, but I just can’t get over this 1975 version I found at a library book sale. It’s either the same edition as my mother’s or slightly newer, so it brings back memories of flipping through it as a teenager (not to mention the “fancy” Turkey Divine I asked Mom to make for my 16th birthday, which caught on fire and filled the house with smoke, something we laugh about now). I just love it, and I can’t see myself ever getting rid of it.

So this is what I used tonight. I can’t say whether the cake has turned out any good. I won’t know until tomorrow. I do know that I am very proud of this birthday cake (even if I ruin it by tomorrow evening), and I was much more confident using Joy of Cooking‘s recipe than I would have been using something else. Sometimes it’s okay to hang on to the classics–especially if they work for you.

Days Off

motivation

Does anyone else feel super productive on their days off? I mean, all week I feel tired and drained, which I suppose is understandable since I work on my feet all day, and I don’t have the energy to do a single dish, let alone all the other things that need to be done. But the minute a day off rolls around, I have energy, motivation, and tenacity. Here are some of the things I did today:

Today is Monday, and every naturally procrastinating University of Phoenix student knows what that means … It’s time to do a week’s worth of schoolwork in one day. Theoretically, we’re supposed to spend twenty hours a week on our schoolwork, something I’ve never managed to work into my schedule no matter how hard I tried (also, it takes me a lot less than twenty hours to complete all my required assignments, including participation posts). So today, I’m utilizing the Pomodoro Technique to crank out a worksheet, a time line, and a few participation posts after having not read the 126 pages of assigned textbook all week. (#confessionsofashittystudent?)

However, between schooling pomodoros, I have been doing laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. Once upon a time, this laundry was clean. It sat in a laundry basket in an inaccessible place for so long, it developed a musty smell. I’ve been meaning to wash and sort through it for weeks (okay, months) now, and I decided today, a day when a billion assignments (and my own personal goal of writing a blog post) are due, was the best day to do it.

Before any of that, though, I also did my Miracle Morning routine (which took about two hours), went for a walk with my boyfriend, poked around at Goodwill for a while, went to Grocery Outlet, and cleaned off my desk and the surrounding area in order to use my desk to do schoolwork.

Wasn’t it just last Thursday I was calling in sick because I felt like absolute shit? Where did all this motivation and energy come from? There must be something about having nowhere to be that automatically makes me want to do things … or something. 🤔

I’m Weird and That’s Okay

You know how epileptic people have tremors before they have a seizure? After it’s happened a few times, these people learn to recognize the feeling and can warn the people around them they are about to have a seizure. (How do I know this? A pregnant coworker told me one day she was having tremors, and because I was the shift leader on at the time, I got to call 911 when she had the seizure. As terrifying as it was for me, I can only imagine what she went through.) At any rate, I’ve found I have similar warning signs when I’m about to have a breakdown and/or panic attack.

I can’t exactly explain to you what these symptoms are. I just know that yesterday morning, I knew that if I tried to deal with anything that day I was not going to be able to handle it. It’s not the vague threat you tell your kids or your significant other when they’re pushing your buttons. It’s not the feeling of overwhelm you get when your boss dumps another project on your already overloaded plate. It’s a deep sense of knowing that says, “I’ve been here before. If I don’t change directions right now, I’m going to wind up in a very bad place.”

So yesterday, I called in to work. Did I feel guilty about it? Hell, yes. I didn’t give a lot of notice, so there probably wasn’t enough time to find a replacement. That means someone else had to stay late to close, despite being scheduled earlier. I felt bad about that.

I don’t know what the trade off would have been, though. If I had gone into work, the first table to give me trouble could very well have triggered a panic attack. No one wants to see that (believe me). Was it worth the risk? Not to me.

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Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Elizabeth Cooper

I stayed home. I got some more sleep. My boyfriend made me pizza. I watched Netflix, poked around on the internet, and played video games. I mostly stayed in bed, which is in a protected little alcove in our room that makes it feel like a cave. I felt safe and cool (it is summer), and I had the time and space to heal from whatever had gotten me to that point.

I didn’t realize until this morning that not everyone has to deal with this. Some people never call in sick to work. Some people very rarely get to such a raw emotional state that they have to seclude themselves from the rest of the world. Some people find two days a week off from work to be more than enough time to recharge and recover from the week. I can’t even imagine what that would be like.

Just when I feel like a normal person, I come to realizations like that. I recently bought health insurance for the first time and found I can’t get the cheapest plan because of the amount of medications I take and follow ups I need. Does that make me weird? Because I take two medications every day and need to see a doctor every few months just for my mental illness?

And then I see the phrase “mental illness,” and it’s just sitting there staring at me like, “Um … yes. You are weird. You have a mental illness.”

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Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of John Connor

That doesn’t matter, though. It doesn’t mean there’s something inherently wrong with me. It doesn’t mean I have to explain myself to anyone. What matters is that after thirteen years of dealing with depression and anxiety, I know myself pretty well, and if I say I need a break or I’m going to lose it, I need a fucking break right now. It’s okay to take care of my weird self. It’s okay that I take more sick days than most (sorry, employers/health insurance). Dealing with these issues helps me work my ass off on the days I do go to work. I refuse to feel guilty for that.