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Fumblers, stumblers, and fools – all are welcome in my tribe

February 4, 2010

The wonderful response to my last post reminded me of two really important things about human nature:

  • We all want to find our tribes – those people who understand us and don’t turn us away for being different.
  • We all (at least I think it’s safe to make a generalization) feel like mis-fits now and then. NONE of us fit cleanly into the categories, boxes, labels, etc. that the experts say we should.

Isn’t that the great thing about the internet, though?  We get to find people who understand us. We get to put out tentative little feelers and have people connect to them. (Yes, I believe that they are real connections.) We get to form tribes that might not naturally happen in the circles where we find our real live bodies. (‘Course, some of my favourite readers are my flesh and blood tribe – lucky me – so I get the best of both worlds here.)

Judging from the response, many of the readers of this blog feel like they’re the same kind of mis-fit as I am. Which makes me wonder – are bloggers disproportionately scanners and/or creators, or is it just that we tend to attract like-minded people and that’s what drew you to my blog in the first place (or me to yours – whichever happened first)?

I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot in the last few days. First of all, when I re-launched my blog on its own URL last week I found myself thinking “What is this blog’s reason for being? What makes it unique or of any value? Is it just a place for me to sound-off about my life or is there a deeper reason for why I’m putting this stuff out there?”

Then yesterday I was interviewed by my friend Stephanie for an article on women in leadership and she asked me some fairly pointed questions about why I put my life out there into cyber-world in the way that I do. What do I get out of it as a woman in leadership?

With all this contemplation and the fun interaction on the last post, I came to the conclusion that I am here because this blog has helped me find my tribe. I have found people to connect with. People who understand my idiosyncrasies and connect with me because they have idiosyncrasies of their own. People who value my stories and support me through the tough spots. People who will be kind to me and share their own vulnerability when I talk about personal stuff like breast reduction surgery. People who will cheer me on when I try new things. People who will offer different perspectives when I develop a bad case of tunnel vision. And (perhaps most importantly) people who don’t mind hanging around and watching me fumble through new art forms, writing, parenting, etc.

And in the middle of all that thinking, I had an epiphany.

I have found a tribe of fumblers.  

It’s true, isn’t it? We are all fumbling for words, fumbling for truth, fumbling for beauty, fumbling for wisdom, fumbling for art, fumbling for friendship, fumbling for peace, fumbling for significance, fumbling for faith, fumbling for connection, fumbling for meaning, fumbling for justice, fumbling for hope.

I have always been a fumbler. I like to try new things, explore new ways of doing things, take pictures, paint things, write stuff, go on adventures, offer friendship, teach people stuff… but most of the time, I’m just fumbling my way through. I’m not an expert on anything, and even when I get recognition for things people think I know, I feel like saying “hey – I’m just a fumbler like you! I don’t really know what I’m doing, but you can come and fumble with me!”

This is not an expert blog where you’ll find advice on how to live your best life, how to maximize your assets, how to find true happiness, how to move past the blocks in your life, or how to make a pile of money the easy way. You won’t find ten easy steps toward ANYTHING around here (unless it’s tongue-in-cheek).

But if you’re a fumbler, you’re more than welcome to join my tribe!

There’s a great line in a Bruce Cockburn song that says “come all you stumblers who believe love rules, stand up and let it shine”. Hopefully Bruce won’t mind if I tweak it a little for selfish purposes and say “come all you fumblers who believe love rules, stand up and let it shine!”

If you’re a member of my fumbling tribe, stand up and let it shine in the comment box! You are all welcome here!

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Dovelily permalink
    February 4, 2010 8:48 pm

    Fellow fumbler present and accounted for! Proud to be a member of this tribe! Let’s fumble forward, shall we?

  2. February 4, 2010 9:12 pm

    It’s true, isn’t it? We are all fumbling for words, fumbling for truth, fumbling for beauty, fumbling for wisdom, fumbling for art, fumbling for friendship, fumbling for peace, fumbling for significance, fumbling for connection, fumbling for meaning, fumbling for justice, fumbling for hope.

    Yes! Yes! Yes, Heather. It’s true. We’re all fumbling – in beautiful, artistic, profound, and exquisite ways. LOVE that you’re talking about it – and living it! I’m totally there!!!

  3. February 4, 2010 10:06 pm

    I’m relatively new the fumbler tribe. For a long time I stayed stuck because I wouldn’t allow myself to fumble. It was too dangerous or embarrassing or something. If I couldn’t do it without fumbling, I didn’t do it at all.

    But slowly I’m learning how to fumble, and I feel so much happier for it.

    And how comforting that there’s a whole tribe of us out there!

  4. February 4, 2010 10:08 pm

    hey, thanks for this! I’m working on a performance piece for a cabaret comp next week and i feel like i’m just fumbling along (doesn’t help that one of my props is a bit faulty!). but it’s good to hear from others that have embraced fumbling and giving things a go. I feel better now 🙂

  5. February 4, 2010 10:24 pm

    I’ve struggled with this idea, as well, thinking that fumbling was a negative thing. But I’m learning that fumbling takes courage. It takes courage to fumble, fall, and pick ourselves up again. It takes courage to fumble in one direction, change our minds, and fumble in another direction. It takes courage to fumble in three directions at once. And really, this is what life is all about. It’s about the beautiful, fumbling journey.

    I have loved watching your journey, Heather, and am proud to count myself among your tribe of fumblers!

  6. February 4, 2010 10:42 pm

    fumblers unite! i love the excitement of a good fumble; lets embrace that for a bit and see what happens!

    thanks heather. this is great.

  7. February 4, 2010 10:59 pm

    You know I always was, you know I always will be! Love you!

  8. February 5, 2010 7:29 am

    Fumble, stumble, mumble – humble.

  9. February 5, 2010 7:30 am

    Fumbling daily over here!

    Count me in 🙂

    LOVE the look of your new site!!!

    {{Hugs to you, dear sister tribe member}}

    Thanks for sharing the path!

  10. February 5, 2010 8:23 am

    When you say that you are not an expert at anything, you resonate with me. I have done a number of things capably, but that’s about it, and I move on to this and that stumbling and fumbling and often wishing that I could be really good at something. But I don’t think many people are really really good at what they do, else we wouldn’t recognize the great ones who come along periodically.

    BTW I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that there is a somewhat disproportionate share of “don’t-quite-fit-in-perfectly” bloggers.

  11. February 5, 2010 8:23 am

    Thank you for so clearly describing a fumbler. But I don’t necessarily think that bloggers are more fumbly (like that work eh!) than others. I would argue that fumbling is part of the human condition.

  12. February 5, 2010 2:23 pm

    I’m a total misfit; so glad I can fumble along with you my friend. Thanks for the interview. xo

  13. February 5, 2010 3:44 pm

    “This is not an expert blog where you’ll find advice on how to live your best life” – I’m SO glad. I’d be running from that kind of blog!!

    Let’s keep our fumbler flags flying!!

  14. February 9, 2010 7:42 am

    Love this post! You expressed so well why I blog, why I read blogs, why I’ve come back to blogging over and over, after many “fumbles.”

    “Re-found” your blog via BlissChick. So glad I did.

  15. February 15, 2010 4:38 pm

    Long ago in our relationship, Rob called me a rover… it’s an old position in hockey…

    In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ice hockey consisted of seven positions. Along with the goaltender, two defencemen, and three forwards who remain today, a rover was also part of the team. Unlike all the others, the rover did not have a set position, and roamed the ice at will, going where needed.

    I don’t do really well with a set position, but I do like to move around as needed. Sounds a bit like your scanner thing.

    Nice to be reading you again!

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