LA Week #007: Tribe
“You’ll eventually find cool people to hang out with, it takes time.” — Cool Ass Roommate
In a short period of time, I call this home. I call it home because the first day I stepped foot in LA I truly felt like this was going to be the place to make me grow and I know I would find like minded people that feel the same way. In order to stay here (and survive) I would have to form my own tribe; group of people with common struggles, successes, and values that all want to be better versions of their self. And slowly I have.
Relationships >>> Networks & Connections
As a 25 heterosexual guy, relationships are more than just trying a wife up a chick and give them the title of bae/girlfriend. You have relationships with your friends, your family, your coworkers, roommates, the Barista at the Starbucks and even the girl you sat next to on the metro ride to LAX. Relationships are formed every single day. What makes it a relationship is that there’s a genuine interest to bring value to their life even if it’s not reciprocated. But in time a true relationship will always be mutually beneficial for both parties because both parties will understand that they share common values, struggles, and successes and will only want the best for people like them.
For example, when I came here to Atwater Village I needed a haircut. I was looking semi homeless for a moment after riding in a car for 4 days. What I did was at the local Starbucks I asked (a brotha) one of the baristas about finding a barbershop. After he gave me his lead, I went over to get a haircut, felt like a new man and thanked the barista for his help. After numerous chats, we created a brotherhood and in return I ended up going hiking with him, giving him life and girl advice and we’ve been supporting each other ever since. (GOOD LOOKS ON THE GREEN TEA LATTE HOMIE) All because I asked a simple question, consistently made small talk, I found someone that I believe that will support me in my future endeavors as much as I will do for him. This concept works with girls, coworkers, etc. When you bring genuine value to someone’s life, that’s when you start to see real relationships, not the toxic shallow ones people have.
Which segues to why Networking/Creating Connections is fake as fuck and I stay away from that behavior. When you network it’s only face value. What can I get for this in return. People that act that way or meet people that way are those that have a hard time building/maintaining relationships, real ones. “It’s hard to find real people out here” How sway? I’ve been here for 2 months and been on 5 dates, made a handful of good friends, and have positive people around me? Maybe there’s something about you that’s fake that you have to resolve. (I’m just saying.)
I believe that to really have great relationships whether here or where you’re at, you need to have thick skin and a soft heart. Don’t take everything personal and be open for new relationships to form. Being too stiff or too soft will only harm you more than do good.
Social Cleanse: Banishment
As the days go by I realize I don’t have time to deal with bullshit. I met some people that claim to say they’re high maintenance. That’s cool, i’m low tolerance/ low patience 🤓. Call me shallow but I don’t get paid to deal with personal problems from others. If you’re my friend and I like you and you’re going through some shit, best believe I’ll be there to support you the best way possible and help you in your highs and lows. But if you’re just bitter and I’m getting to know you and it’s slowly starts affecting my life, and it doesn’t seem like this relationship trajectory is going to a positive direction, deuces ✌🏾. Nah, get the fuck outa here B. Leo doesn’t get paid to deal with your problems, Leo needs to take care of his own problems, Leo needs to pay his rent for the month, Leo needs to eat, Leo needs a job, etc. Either get your shit together or just leave.
For example (cause it’s needed) I was talking to a girl, (very attractive, smart, funny, full packaged I would say… until) it got to the point where even being friends just felt toxic. Doing what’s best for me I decided to block her number, IG, (memory of her), everything. I told her to stop sending me messages I wish you the best and dipped. “Damn Leo that’s fucked up, you acting like a fucboi.” Hol up, let me explain. Prior to that move I gave her chances to resolve her bitterness, we talked, I tried being cool with her meeting up with her and it just felt like a waste of time (which it wasn’t cause I learned a lesson from it). A cute face slim waste but a distasteful personality can only go so far. So to protect my mental and emotional health I did what any logical person that would do; “i’ma cut you off”- K. Dot.
And so I did and the next day I got a phone call and a email on my music page (she snooped on my Soundcloud) explaining she wanted to meet up and talk. Nah I’m good, write me a email about how you feel if you reaaallllly want to be friends. If not I wish you the best. Sometimes good people aren’t good for each other and that’s totally fine, but don’t waste your time with someone that isn’t on the same page as you. A valuable lesson learned.
When I moved here I didn’t expect to find me a group of likeminded folks, I created the opportunity for it. I created my own tribe with each person I met and figured out whether they were the right people to be in my inner circle or not. A few times I had to go through a few mistakes but for the most part I am happy that I created a “network” of people that I selected to bring value to their lives just as much as they do for me. There’s no vibe of backstabers or fake friends in my circle. If I do smell it I cut it sooner than later, address the issue and hope it gets rectified on it’s own but if not then axed you go. I think instead of searching for a group and forming my own group I feel more in control of who enters my world and who doesn’t. People go through a vetting process, not because they’re bad but to figure out do we share the same struggles, successes, and values with one another. As a Chief, as the tribe gets bigger and tighter I want to make sure each people feel as valued as the next person in their own unique way. I want the girl I find as my girlfriend to feel just as valued as my homies that I roll with when I go hiking. The mentors that I find I hope they feel just as valuable as the roommates that I live with. I want quality people, not quantity of people and I think that’s what is gonna make the difference how successful I end up being here in LA.
Relationships are important no matter how you look at it so might as well look out for those that will genuinely look out for you.