Someone told me once that I had to lead my tribe. At the time I thought my tribe consisted of several nerds – Mutt was still around at that time – and a couple of people I knew online. I thought, “You realize I don’t really have a tribe, right? Tribes are generally made up of people and I know like… six?” So I started trying to look for a tribe. Somewhere I fit in, somewhere that people could find me. I ended up trying to be someone I’m not, really. I tried all sorts of things, and going back through some of my old posts the other day really served not only to remind me of this thing I was told to do but also how far afield I stretched myself in an effort to do it.
Weird. For a few months a while back I distinctly remember saying that I felt I’d spread myself too thin. At the time I thought it was because I had so much stuff going on, so many things I wanted to do, too many projects. Looking at it sideways, from the perspective of, “I was trying to find a way to be something I wasn’t,” makes it look more like I was trying to be too many things, rather than do too many things. Oddly enough, that’s not what I expected this post to be about but here it is anyway. Hopefully someone finds it helpful!
So then the whole thing with Mutt happened and “lead my tribe” turned into, “hold everyone together at all costs, including yourself.” Which got upsetting real fast as one of my friends – Tentacles – turned to a person we all know to be a manipulator and a sleaze, presumably to fill the talking-space that Mutt used to. Obviously, I didn’t take too kindly to that, and let Tentacles know what I thought about it. “Hold everyone together” became “I have Bran and that’s good enough.” The nerds are usually nice and all, and we do still talk – I would feel guilty leaving Pup blowing in the wind, so to speak – but they aren’t my number one priority.
My tribe – at least, those I could connect to in person – went from five to just me and Bran in the space of a year and a half. I kinda forgot about the whole “Lead your tribe” thing until a few days ago, scrolling back through old posts. It’s taken me about two and a half years to figure out what Oðinn meant when he said that. Two years and a lot of wandering, as I am wont to do.
I am a hermit. I am my tribe. In order to lead anything outside of myself, I must first lead myself. I must first have responsibility; the ability to respond. In leading myself I can find where others like me are. If that means a bunch of Skyrim roleplayers, it means a bunch of Skyrim roleplayers. If it means an entire writing convention – which I did go to one, and I am a changed man holy crap – it means an entire writing convention. If it means the Weirdfolk, it means the Weirdfolk. The key thing in all of that is that I am leading my tribe. I am leading my self.
Oddly enough I first made this connection reading a short book on money magic in which the author suggested looking at each chakra as a different gateway, and a corresponding guardian. She likened it to a regent ruling a kingdom. I likened it to a captain commanding a ship. Or a chieftain leading a tribe.
Moral of the story: sometimes it takes two whole freking years to figure out what People mean when they say things. Especially when it’s Oðinn.