Finding Your Tribe- Part 1
“Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.” – Plautus
“The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.”– Henry David Thoreau
Most of my life, I feel like I’ve struggled to cultivate deep friendships. Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing, amazing friends, but I could probably count them on one hand. I think I knew how hard it was to form friendships inherently as a child because I was always the first person talking to the new girl at school. I wanted her to know she wasn’t alone and had at least one person she could hang out with or sit at lunch with.
When I moved on to college, I found a group of friends that felt like hitting the jackpot. We were a mix of guys and girls, and we did pretty much everything together. Grocery shopping, vacationing across the country, staying up half the night, you name it. I always figured those friends would be in my life for the long haul. Years later, I talk to one of them on social media…sometimes. Those friendships I thought were so deeply formed weren’t as deep as I’d thought after all.
A few years ago, I found myself calling out to God for some real, authentic friendships. Namely, women I could call my “tribe”. It was pretty much a daily prayer: “Lord, send me true friends.” Fast forward two children and a busy life later, and I realized that He’d answered that prayer. He’d sent me 4 ladies that truly lived life with me. I could tell any one of them anything and they wouldn’t think of me as less of a person or try to tell me I was crazy for feeling what I was feeling. It was wonderful.
Then my husband and I decided to move 800 miles away. I was excited about the move so I could be locationally close to all of my extended family, but once we settled in, I realized how much I missed my girlfriends. Seeing them on a regular basis was something I’d taken for granted until I couldn’t do that anymore. True, lasting friendships are so precious! This I’ve learned. And those 4 girls I grew close to when I lived in FL are still true friends. I just don’t get to see them or talk to them as much.
Now that I’m settling into my new life in a new place, I sort of feel like I’m back in grade school, only this time, I’m the new girl. I am grateful to be surrounded by my wonderful family, and yet I long to find my tribe in this place.
When I sat down to write this post, I intended to share some tips on how to cultivate true friendships as an adult. Then I realized I was probably the last person who could speak to this at this season in my life! So I decided to do some market research…
Enter Facebook. (Don’t you just love Facebook?) I posted this request on my personal Facebook page a few days ago:
“Doing some market research and I’d really appreciate any and all responses, especially those of you 25+ years of age. When you get to the season of life where you’re done with school or maybe just starting families, how do you form your deep rooted friendships? I’m talking about those friends who’ve always got your back and you can share anything with. What do you think is an important quality for developing those kinds of friendships, especially if you’ve “started over” or moved somewhere new? I am writing a post about this and would love feedback!”
I was hoping a few people would comment, and to my surprise, this question seemed to strike a chord with people (excuse the musical pun; I’m a musician, ya’ll!).
So, instead of sharing all of my “wisdom” on finding your tribe as an adult who is probably very, very busy raising a family, working, keeping your house clean, and trying to have some semblance of a life, I’ve decided I will glean wisdom straight from the awesome comments I received in response to my post. And I’ll also use this as sort of a litmus test in my own life as I strive to incorporate some of that great advice in the search for my own tribe.
This will be a 5 part series, and I’m sure it will be a fun ride! Look for Part 2 soon: “Get Out There!”
If you’ve struggled with finding your own tribe, I hope we can both learn something together.