Updated: Nov 1, 2018
I've heard the word tribe tossed around a lot over recent years. In fact, a group of three families including my own have a self-proclaimed "tribe" with a silly inside-joke name, that is seemingly inseparable. We love hanging out. Our kids love hanging out. That. Is. HUGE. Amiright? It's our tribe. I don't have an aversion to the word itself, but having such a strong personal definition, I don't always buy in at first glance. I'm a cautionary inquisitive–a girl from the show-me state itself. So, you've kind of got to prove it first before I fully trust that what you're saying matches what actually is.
Attending the Tribe Conference as a newcomer this year, what I saw is that it truly is about a tribe. Like, in my sense of the word. A community. And not just one that you're welcome to join, but one that feels right. Where people who have success stories scoop little fledgings like myself up into their powerful flight and teach you–no–show you step-by-step how to succeed with little to no thought of self gain. And those who are at varying levels of their writing journey share tactics that may have worked for them that might not apply to you, but you know someone in the room relates. Where a take-it-or-leave-it mentality embraces a show-up-everyday-and-keep-trying-whatever-works-for-you work ethic is coupled with free-flowing information sharing. I haven't quite experienced anything like it before.
I nursed a tiny cold as I sniffled through the sessions, absorbing as much information as my foggy brain could handle. I wrote furiously and snapped as many pictures as my iCloud would hold. Information? Heck, yeah. So. Much. I have yet to be able to go through all of the notes, information, courses, and books that were given away. It'll take me some time to even process all of it. But what I actually learned was that my story matters when I bother to tell it. That the people I needed to speak into my doubting heart were in that room. My tribe. Right there in glorious little Franklin, Tennessee. I learned that I'm part of something, regardless of what role in the grand scheme I might play. And aren't we all? I've believed that about you for a long time. You matter. Your story matters. It has value. What's funny is what I think I learned in a beautifully twlinkly-lit conference room is that I have scarcely believed this truth about myself. But, today, I do.