Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dedicated to my tribes, whom I love


Sometimes I write about my personal experiences, beliefs and value systems knowing full well that I might challenge other people's value systems. I like to make people think. Sometimes there are stories I share that I think one of the "tribes" in my wwworld might get more than others - but there are so many diverse tribes I've been a part of in this life so far. Which one are you from?

On facebook I have recently pruned my community down to include almost exclusively people whom I have shared the same air with in some physical time and space along the course of my life's journey so far. (Oh yes, and I had to like you too, or you got cut.) What an amazing difference that has made in how much I enjoy facebook these days. I highly recommend it.

And what a gift. I have lived all over the world, and loved people all over the world. When I first started living abroad, the world didn't yet have email or mobile phones. Now there's facebook, and it's so easy. Not only can I easily share my daily highs and lows with people who care about me, but I can also be a better friend by interacting more regularly with others I care about - even from a distance.

I currently have many of my friends at facebook organized in lists by the place that I knew them. But there are too many places, and it's often not the place that has defined the content of our relationship. In my mind, a new kind of time-stamped grouping system is coming together instead. There are key people who have impacted my life for significant periods of time. They are the people around which my friends cluster in my mind.

The tagline on my pArtY @ christinaswwworld! blog now reads: Dedicated to my tribes, whom I love. It's a public blog, but it feeds into my facebook stream. If you're seeing this, you are part of the 7 tribes in my mind that the celebration at this "pArtY" is dedicated to.

Here's what you look like:
  1. Evvy - If you've ever met my mother, or if you happened to know me when I still lived with my mother, you are part of my Evvy tribe. In my mind, that includes my time spent in Finland and Germany and at UCLA. I love interacting with this tribe about life, kids and general stuff. More than anyone, it's the people who've ever known my mother who remind me that I am real.

  2. Epko - If you ever met Epko or knew me while I was married and living as a couple with my husband, then you are part of my Epko tribe. (Yes, many of you are definitely part of more than one tribe.) That includes if you knew me in Geneva, or at Georgetown.

  3. BLT - if my kids, Ben, Lucas and Thomas know you, then I call you my BLTs :)

  4. Nobs - if you met N, or knew me in Uganda when he was the center of my life, you're my Nobs people.

  5. Mary Joanna - this dear friend's global path and mine have crossed many times in this life - usually in inspiring ways. I recently spent time with her in Holland, and I'm still inspired. If you and I have shared the delight of Mary Joanna's presence in our midst, you belong to this tribe.

  6. PamO - If your path crossed with mine in a real-world PamO related context, you are the PamO tribe in my new wwworld. You know who you are.

  7. John - When I decided to pare down my facebook to mostly only people that I've shared air with, my cyberfriend John immediately became symbolic of the exceptions to the rule that would need to be made. If you and I have never actually met and shared air but you're reading this, you are in my mental John tribe.
You are all so beautiful! I feel so blessed to have so many lovely people connected to my life after so many years as a global gypsy. Thank you, for being in my wwworld. Are there particular people and timespans that define your online tribes as well? Do you know which of my tribe(s) you're in?

Next time: Alas, there are gaps in the virtual re-creation of my life's journey. Whole countries of people I lived with have failed to resurface in my facebook stream. How do I find the clans that have been lost from my tribes?

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