You’ll Never Find Your “Tribe”

You contain multitudes! If you want to find a community that matches your every desire, interest and eccentricity, compress yourself into a caterpillar! Otherwise, either delude yourself or silence all the inexpressible — and most marvelous — parts of your Self. That would be unfortunate, because the goal of life is to compress yourself as little as possible, while sharing with, connecting with and discovering the world as much as possible.

Yes! We all need to surrender to some things, at some times. We all need to throw ourselves into a collective, to become greater by becoming smaller, to expand by shrinking, but beware the collective you join does not reduce you to just a tiny cell that fits cleanly within it.

Find your communities! Dance with them, get lost with them! But at the end of the night, find your way back home and rest.

Build a solar system around yourself! Your moons and planets don’t always need to engage with each other — you’re the Star, and that’s it. Some networks function best with a single node. Your mother may provide a warm, special kind of affection, but perhaps she’ll never understand the thoughts that keep you awake at night. Let her specialize in her own kind of love! As you build a galaxy around your Star within, its place within the larger universe will reveal itself.

Bring the spirit of Ford to your relationships! Specialize and refine your connections; the world is so big, so liquid. Eventually, you will come across a few master craftspeople who can disassemble and reassemble almost every part of you. Keep these people close, however you may feel about them.

Don’t expect everyone you encounter to learn the entire Trade of You. To do so thoroughly is a commitment. Eventually, you will find the people ready to face the challenge. You too will find individuals to face the challenge for.

Do not shrink yourself to accommodate others. Be honest about their place within your inner galaxy. Everyone is a stranger to at least one part of you. Constantly acknowledge this! Remain attentive to it! That will be a great act of generosity and love to both yourself and others.

Student @ Brown U. Author of NYTimes Bestseller ‘This is Me: Clickbait in My Bio.’