I’d lived in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley since 1968. Then I remarried at the ripe old age of 64 and moved to my new husband’s large, stone farmhouse on three acres in the middle of corn fields. It was also in the middle of The Oley Valley in Berks County…fifty miles from my family and friends.
No problem, I thought. We have cars and I can just drive there whenever I want.
I’d forgotten that I have a crappy back and driving causes pain.
My long-time friends were mainly from work and from two writers groups. So, in spite of my back, I tried to keep seeing them. Work friends were more difficult because the company had been sold and they had scattered to the wind…not really, but it does sound lyrical. When I was gainfully employed, I could see most of those friends almost every day. I would see my writer friends at least monthly.
But life always seemed to intrude and I saw both sets of friends less and less.
I had a great husband, a beautiful old stone house, country life with companion animals, my daughter, home from Seattle…what more could I want?
I wanted “my tribe.”
I went searching for that tribe…people who had like ideas, who were interested in the same things…my tribe.
So I tried different things…from college classes to painting classes.
I loved taking the college classes and was welcomed as an older student but I drove myself and my family crazy by trying to get and keep the great 4.0.
In the painting class I found that it was not for beginners and I was lost.
I tried another writers group but, as before, life intervened and I didn’t get back.
So I stayed with my “old” friends from the Lehigh Valley and saw them whenever I could.
Being a writer can be a lonely job. I usually don’t mind that. I love being alone.
However, there are times when I need to be around other writers. I need their vibes, their feedback.
So this weekend I solved both problems: I was around other writers and I was with my tribe…or part of my tribe.
I went on a writers retreat with five old friends and one brand new one. We stayed in a large Victorian house with plenty of antiques and room to set up our laptops.
We drank wine, ate good food, and talked about our lives.
But mostly we did what writers do: we wrote, we critiqued, we brainstormed stories.
During this retreat, I worked on my memoir, started a new short story, and did some research. I even wrote this blog.
I was very productive among my tribe.
No matter that your “thing” is, there is a tribe out there for you.
You’ll find it.