Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
On Urban Tribes.

So, after reading the book and talking with Ethan for a while, it's really made me think about my current situation. There have been waypoints for my friends getting married – a couple got hitched after graduating from high school, a bunch more got married after graduating from college, and now... Well, I'm waiting for another round of hitchings to commence after folks graduate from grad school – but there's a whole bunch of us currently bopping around, trying to figure out what we're doing about grad school. Or, well, just doing at all.

One of the things I liked the most about Urban Tribes was the great sensation of "you are not alone." The same thing happened after I read Quarterlife Crisis. I know a lot of my friends and I currently feel like we're spinning our wheels, which isn't exactly accurate. We're trying new things, working different jobs, moving around, and, well, living. Yes, there's a sense that our parents were all married and spawning by this time in their lives, but hey, we're not our parents. There's nothing wrong with this, per se, it just means that we're taking the time to try some things out before settling down.

I know I've been doing a lot of thinking about my tribe this year. After things got all shook up back in January, I rekindled some old friendships and lost some more recent, more phony ones. I now talk with some of my old friends from high school on a regular basis, and don't talk to some college friends at all. That's okay, it's sort of the shifting nature of the tribe – some phase in, some phase out. At the core, though, I have a collection of friends that I consider real family. And a lot of them are right here. Thanks to all the folks who have stuck with me.

Still, there are lots of times when there's real attraction to settling down, buying a house, putting down roots... These are natural feelings – especially when things are so up in the air. Stability takes on a new shiny glow, the same way that adventure and experimentation seems so appealing when things are stable and settled. Sort of a "grass is always greener" thing, I expect. It'd be interesting to read a book written by a 25-30-something who took the other route, getting married early and starting the family. How do our lives look to them?

Right now I'm planning out how to do next steps. I'm trying to figure out how to grow my business, how to make Inkblots pay for itself, how to keep it growing, how to get better and writing and designing and all my artistic stuff, how to buy a house of my own... And, yes, how to support a family someday. Whether that's sooner or later remains to be seen, but I don't mind running with the tribe for a while.


Yes, we were married and "spawning" when we were your age, but conditions were different 25 years ago. It's not necessarily a bad thing that you have taken your time to find your way in the world, to find your "place" and your sense of being. I hope that none of you feel a need to rush into situations just because....

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