So here I sit….. 47 years old in a couple of weeks. In the past two years I have experienced utter devastation, destruction, pointless loss, happiness, love and freedom. What a ride.
So where am I at? No where close to where I imagined that’s for sure! Bought my first house at 19, 3 more after that for a delicious loss of close to some peoples yearly wage. Was going to be a career Cop…… that lasted 10 years before the hierarchy had beaten the shit out of me and asked me to choose between family and job. Fell into Real Estate cos I needed to feed that family and buy more shit. Kept the economy rolling along and making rich people richer richer……… for what end?
After 17 years of hard slog relationship (not all bad but more bad than good) the inevitable decision to divorce arrives. Sad but for the better. No matter the glow of hope destructive is destructive and two people destroying each other is never the best for the kids. Separation was going as well as could be expected.
Then out of fucking no where our son has cancer. A less than one in a million cancer called chordoma. Death sentence from day one. Jake is diagnosed in November, our divorce comes through on my ex’s birthday of all days. We go for a drink, farewell the past and try to prepare for the future fight. One year later, after every imaginable misery Jake dies. It was a good death for what it is worth. It is both a relief and a realisation that there is a dark hole that will never leave you.
However, during the misery of separation a friend becomes so much more than that. She becomes my best friend. My partner. My lover. My protector. My psychologist. My anchor as I rock to and fro trying to figure out who, what I am now. What do I do now.
I needed to do something. To create a light in the inky darkness of impending death. Real Estate is a soulless exercise unless having a better couch or the latest car is important to you. I gotta tell you though, when you are at the bottom of your grief that stuff really doesn’t seem that relevant.
So Tribe is born from late night concern. As I battled through my fear I always had support, always had a friend or a shoulder within reach time.
But what if you didn’t? What if you where going through your own Hell on your own with no support…. No friend……. No shoulder to lean on. We can change that. We can create opportunity by getting together with our community and caring about each other. It’s not difficult. It’s not expensive. It’s an hour. It’s a coffee. It’s a beer. It’s an ear.
We can do this.
So we did. We created Tribe. We host events, invite the lonely, anxious edge dwellers and offer them safety and acceptance. Give them your time your ear, your shoulder. Give them opportunity and see what they do with it. Over 3000 people have attended…… some missed the point, some couldn’t get it or lashed out but so many thrived! It was a nice feeling, bright in the dark and made my existence feel worthwhile. It gave me a taste for doing good.