Updated: Sep 15, 2020
Recently, my band discussed adding a Frank Zappa song to our set list. As I started to learn, Apostrophe it brought me back to high school and gave me pause about what happened back then, and how it matters today.
In high school there are tribes (or clicks) where we're welcomed with open arms, that define who we are, and where we feel like we belong. In my school, there were the jocks (and cheerleaders), the drama club kids, the stoners, the surfers (who were often the same), the musicians (and music lovers), the goofballs, the leaders (ASB), and the brainiacs.
What there wasn't (at least that I could see) was a group for the kids who were considered handicapped, but took all the same classes, ate in the same cafeteria, and had lockers in the same place as everyone else. Unfortunately, not only were these kids considered outcasts, they were often bullied.
As a freshmen, I pulled a boy who relied on crutches to walk out of.a trash can after he was stuffed in there by seniors. That same year I added another friend after helping him clean up after he had the contents of his locker dumped out onto the ground—he also used crutches to walk. The three of formed our own tribe.
We bonded over our love for Frank Zappa, the Dr. Demento Radio Show, animation, and art films—all things outside of the mainstream, but we didn't care. What I loved about doing things with these guys was not just how much we had in common, but how our differences didn't matter. I was also a part of the surfer tribe, as well as the jocks and musicians, but our little group of three was my favorite.
Find your tribe (or tribes) and you can be you with no judgement, no compromises, and no more feeling like you're the weird one. (At least that's what I experienced.)