a quest called tribe… (pt. one)

Some tribes you choose; and some you don’t. When we choose the members of our tribe, we usually find people in one of four ways: similar interests, things in common, in close proximity, and/or through referrals or third-party introductions. Or you can be born into one and others can be born into yours.

When my mom married my dad, she already had two kids, a son and daughter, from her first marriage. When I was born, my brother and sister were 11 years old and 15 years old, respectively. Although technically they are my “half” siblings, I never thought of them that way; they were always whole to me. As the baby of this family unit, I loved my people, looked up to them, and was fiercely proud of them. This was my first tribe.

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saturday morning coffee…

On a Saturday morning back in February, I met my friend, Ali, for coffee. These weekend coffee dates had become a wonderful timeout from real life. For a couple hours, I could venture out into the world (just down the street, but still) as an individual person.

I didn’t have to struggle with getting a kid, or four, in and out of the car. I could just pull into a parking space and get myself out of the car; it was a lightness that I rarely felt anymore.

Our conversation that day spanned many topics—from plants to how much our time is worth to how our mindsets shift as we move through life.

Somewhere in the middle of our conversation, I had an epiphany. And then sometime after that, I forgot what it was. (This is why we can’t have nice things.)

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the world owes me nothing…

the world owes me nothing … we owe each other the world.

Ani Difranco, “joyful girl

Almost one year ago today I began writing a post about gratitude. It’s so important to talk about and I’m sorry that it took me this long to revisit the draft. But I kept getting a nudge to finally get my thoughts on this phenomenon out there, and I’m happy to be seeing it through now.

Let’s get things rolling with a quick reader poll…

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an empath parent… (the teen years)

Ever since Jillie crossed over into teendom, I’m either shocked, dismayed, angry, sad, impressed, proud, confused, “seriously?” or “wait, what?” For me, this has absolutely been one of the most challenging periods of parenthood thus far.

The mood swings, the attitude, the back talk, the disrespectful language, the terrible decisions, the doing dumb stuff…

And Elliott is only four months shy of entering this stage of life. But I guess this is growing up. (Cue Blink-182)

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an empath parent… (the early years)

My older kids have always been described as “sensitive.” This word has been used both as an insult and a compliment at various points in their lives. Having grown up self-conscious of my own quick-to-cry nature, I always thought it was one of my flaws.

It took me a long time to realize that this part of me was actually a superpower. In fact, it wasn’t until long after I had my first two children that I discovered I was an empath.

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surrender to the sound…

I was talking to a friend of mine the other night about music. It was harmless enough⁠—talking about Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins⁠—but then nostalgia started doing the thing it does, when it instantly beams you back to a long forgotten moment in time and makes you feel things you don’t necessarily want to feel, but it hurts so good. It’s that car wreck that keeps you from averting your eyes. Ya know what I mean?

On this particular trip down memory lane, I landed back at my high school orientation. As I recall, that 14-year-old girl felt many things that day: scared, shy, embarrassed, lonely, and exposed. What will usually happen on a look-back, such as this one, is that I’ll let myself be taken away; I’ll feel all the feelings and get lost in the mini-movie in my mind. I’ll sit in the sadness for a little while and feel a deep sense of loss. On this night, however… I didn’t. Instead, I laughed. I laughed at, ultimately, how small that moment really was. And I smiled knowing that there was a big world full of big experiences yet to be had. But why? Why, this time, did I feel joy instead of melancholy?

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