Where’s my tribe?
I’ve been thinking about many diverse and exclusive things these past couple of weeks, such as difficulties I have with getting on with people, my personal social media use, with-us or against-us political environments and I have come to the conclusion that all these thought processes have been triggered by being away from my tribe. This has caused a lot of self refection, some not so good internal dialogs and finally, a mini revelation.
Reading back over old entries show that I had quite an outgoing self confidence in the past and despite feeling happier these days I think that that confidence is decreasing somehow. I see this as a good sign somewhat, in that I am not so old and stuck in my ways that I think everything I do is right or perfect or that I have a fallen into the stale patterns of comfort. But I do feel that I can be knocked down easily by the judgement of some who don’t understand me or my style.
I try my best to fit in wherever I am but I am just not built to think like other people. Now I need to re-learn that that is ok and I am still worthwhile and offer value in this world, in this space.
In the last 2 weeks (since starting to think about this topic) I have gained back some of my self-confidence and understood (or re-understood) that I am OK the way I am and I don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations except my own. If some people are rubbed the wrong way by my own manner then I can see the balance between it being my problem and being theirs. After all, these people are not part of my tribe. I still value their connection but ultimately these are not going to be people that I will, or want to, spend my free time with.
I am who I am, and I understand myself.
So – what is my tribe?
They must be connected to punk, music and the DIY ethos that I have worked with, on and off, over the last 30 years – the people and connections I have made within those spheres are my tribe. There is no punk or music scene here where I live though the DIY ethos is quite apparent in the way Thai people tend to do as much as they can by themselves, usually in order to save money.
The DIY ethos inspires me to do things under my own influence and to work hard for a common good, even if the result is personal and self-serving, the action is often the reward rather than the result.
In the past I partook in scenes as a show organizer or music producer but at this moment and place neither of these is feasible. Perhaps in an effort to discover something new to take part in I have cut myself off a little from those things from the past – particularly in an effort to remove myself from social media as much as possible. But I haven’t really discovered that something new that sparks my heart in the same way. So now I wish to reconnect – but how?
Must I soil my soul descending back into the hell of social media. Can I use it without it using me? I actually, really don’t want to do it at all but there seems to be no alternative. In the absence of anything local to be involved in, the easiest way to connect is via social media. I do miss message boards and forums of old and don’t feel the same connection with a Facebook group or even a Reddit thread.
The recent release of Senyawa’s Alkisah album, which was a worldwide cooperative release with 40 plus labels from all around the world, was an inspiring effort from everyone involved but I also feel a little reluctant to be taking part in the side of the music production cycle that I dislike the most and that is the promotion and marketing. I’ve never enjoyed it and I feel my influence is very minor compared with others who can muster the enthusiasm for these things.
The overall effort for the release though has triggered some further ideas to be more involved again and perhaps build on the catalogue of music that I have already been involved in over the last two to three decades.
Or perhaps I should just write about the music I discover in the future but even that feels like it has all been done before – much like the Gide quote at the top of this page. Can I make something new, that not only inspires me but also inspires others? Bring my tribe back together, rejoin my tribe, build my tribe again?
Pic: At the office, 2004, before re-discovering my tribe
- When I had my original inspiration for writing this I has much more clarity around what I wanted to say. Unfortunately I didn’t get chance to write immediately and ended up with this rambling text, still searching for clues and answers.