As a human race, there seems to be a natural desire for tribalism. Something about knowing there is a group of people that would be loyal, understanding and who you can relate to, that also seem to play a role in determining who we are as individuals, can bring us a sense of belonging. In fact, the importance of finding your tribe should not be taken for granted since it is this collective group of people that will support your ideas, provide clarity upon your dreams and help you to feel empowered and strong.
As we each weave our way into each other’s lives, tribes naturally form. Whether it be within the family or the workplace, the comradery and influences upon a person’s life are what makes them individual. I say this after engaging my new found tribe and realising that they are me and I am them.
As a natural hair blogger, I along with several other local natural hair content creators, was invited to attend the official launch in Trinidad of a US-based natural hair product brand Carol’s Daughter on March 14 at Veronique’s in Port-of-Spain. Looking back, I have to admit that I had an amazing time enjoying the vibes, sipping on cocktails, learning about the history of brand, interacting with the products, looking on at hair demos and mingling with the other bloggers and Youtubers. But not only did I enjoy that moreso, I enjoyed being around my tribe!
I follow many of these other content creators on social media, so I was really looking forward to seeing them all in one place. While I wasn’t worried that everyone wouldn’t get along, what I didn’t expect, was how well we all connected and spent the evening together. From the outside looking in, you would think that we all knew each other on a personal level for years but, in fact, quite a few of my fellow content creators met in person for the first time that same evening.
I took a step back and looked on as everyone posed for pictures with each other, took each other’s pictures, shared editing tricks and hyped each other up! And I smiled. I smiled because I felt as though something in me finally clicked, like something finally fell into a place. A piece of my life puzzle that I didn’t even know was missing was filled.
Let me explain. While I follow all these beautiful women on social media and interact with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram practically every other day , we never met up in one place.
So when we finally were able to meet up, we were able to have brief conversations about our experiences as content creators in the local landscape about our challenges, successes, the good, bad, and the in between.
Meeting up with these wonderful women solidified notions that I’ve been thinking about for the past few years about my content creation. But even more so, it made me realise that for the first time in a very long time in my life, I am surrounded by people who truly support me.
Now, admittedly, as friendly as I always aim to be in my interactions with anyone that crosses my path, in reality, I have very few friends. I could probably count on one hand how many friends I genuinely have. The term “friend” is used so loosely nowadays, but for me, there is still some sort of endearment in the term. With two of my closest friends now living abroad, I found myself becoming a loner, but as life would have it, things didn’t stay that way for long.
It started off with me wanting to go to brunch and taking a chance and asking fellow blogger, Rochelle of Eller Style, if she wanted to come. She agreed without hesitation, and since then, we’ve done brunch dates several times. Then, a chance encounter with La Shell of One Pot Living now results in me accompanying her to all sorts of thrift markets and events. I eventually also met the vivacious Dinelle of This Pretty Nerd when I carried her to meet my swimsuit maker.
All these connections and more, have come about, due to the fact that we all share a common goal: creating content, be it for YouTube or our own blogs or other media forms, we use our platforms to offer some substance that goes beyond the pretty face/excessive skin and other visuals that social media has become inundated with. We share in things hair and beauty related yes, but we also share aspects of our lives, things that our followers can relate to and can share in.
For me, having a group of women that surrounds me this way gives me hope, and shows me that at least, I’m doing something right. They have kept me afloat when I wanted to give up on my blog, my YouTube channel,or, any sort of content on a whole. They are the ones who kick my butt if I get lazy and feel unmotivated. They are the ones who truly understand the struggles in this whole blogging business and have practically always been the first to commend me on a job well done.
I write all of this to say thank you to these beautiful, dynamic women. From all over the country, from all walks of life,thank you. We may not be the closest of friends, and that’s okay, what I do hope is that as time goes on, we can meet up more, develop stronger relationships, where we can share with each other, and build each other up. I hope we can become a resource for each other and that we can present a united front forward as the women in the emerging fields of blogging, vlogging, and other online content creation.
After all this time, it feels amazing to have a community that shares the same passion. I’ve finally found my tribe, and it is my hope that our tribe continues to grow and flourish. Whether you’re into the arts, sports, animals, cars, photography or any field in fact, connect with your tribe and let that energy flourish.
Tshenelle Bethel-Peters aka Nelly B, is a natural hair, plus size, beauty, and lifestyle blogger; an avid supporter of buying local and a firm believer in the power of a smile. Follow her at www.adayinthelifeofnellyb.com or @blessednelly on Twitter and Instagram