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Friendship is so weird... you just pick a human you've met and you're like "yep, I like this one" and you just do stuff with them.
That was a quote from Bill Murray and when I read it I thought.. "Man, that is spot on... and kind of strange now that I think about it."
Friendship as a kid is easy. You live on the same street, go to the same school, are on the same teams, in the same clubs. It just kind of happens. As an adult it's a little different. Everyone's lives are crazy; you don't have all of the opportunities you used to as a kid, teenager, or young adult to just "hang out". You have to find time and make it for meaningful friendships. Which, isn't always the easiest thing to do when there are what seem like a million other things competing for any free hour you may have.
When my girls and I get on a group text to try to figure out when we can all get together it sounds like this:
Hey! I miss you guys.
Let's nail down a date we can get together.
Ohhh... this month is bad, but the month after next I am wide open.
Weekends are tough.
Weekends are the only time I am free.
Okay. My husband is out of town then, so that won't work.
Really? Shit. It's literally the only weekend I have open.
9 weeks from now, on Friday night we are doing it.
We are getting together.
Remind so and so... tell her to write it down.
Now, are we hanging at someone's house in yoga pants or are we getting showered and dressed? Dressed.
HOW dressed are we talking?
Are we just doing dinner or are we going out?
Like on a patio, for dinner, at a club?
I am not going to a club.
Let's get a table at a club.
Are we too old for that?
Shit. I don't know.
I don't go out.
I don't have anything to wear.
I do. I have a closet full of shit I buy but I never go anywhere to wear it.
This mom needs a drink.
Lots of drinks.
Let's get fking DRESSED. Like... DUUHHH-RESSED.
Ahhh man. I hate getting dressed.
Now I'm stressed out.
I'm already picking out what I am going to wear.
*Then an entire other string of messages ensues to figure out what we are doing in our allotted time and to what level of "dressed" we may or may not be.*
Now, that may be more dramatic and drawn out than your conversations with your girl friends but I think you can probably relate to trying to find free time, coordinating with other busy adults, and working out the logistics.
But somehow... even if months go by in between we always seem to make it work. Be it for lunch, an hour on someone's couch, dinner out, a double date, an impromtu breakdown session filled with more tears and hugs than words... whatever it is, somehow my bonds with these women are maintained.
I am a REALLY low maintenence friend. Some of the people I love the most in this world I go months without talking to. But, they know and I know that they are my people... MY TRIBE.
Your tribe are the people you choose.
Sometimes they include your relatives, much of the time however they don't. They are your friends. New friends, old friends. Friends who live close, those you only see on social media or once every 15 years. They are people who know you. They may not know the daily workings of your every day life, but they know who you are. They were with you when shit went down, when you needed support, when your heart was broken, they had your back, were your cheerleader. They comforted you. Made you feel not quite so alone in this world. They made you laugh. You fought. Made up. They know your secrets. Your good shit. Your bad shit. You have known them for 25 years, or maybe only just met them but clicked so fking hard you had a feeling you had just spent your first 2 hours with a friend you are going to have for life.
However you slice it, whatever you call it. Whether it's same sex or co-ed (two of my best friends, Ali and Court are men and I most CERTAINLY include my love, my dude, my ace, my Manfriend in my tribe). Find your people. Make time for them. Whatever that means. An hour lunch once every fiscal quarter, a text message every other week, a shout-out on social media, or spending every weekend with them... whatever works.
You're tribe are the people who get you through this life. They should represent you, reflect you, but not be clones.
In my tribe we look different, grew up differently. We are from different parts of the world. We speak different languages, are different races and ethnicities. We are married, single, separated, divorced. We are 25 years old and over 40. We are mothers, step-fathers, childless by choice or otherwise. We vote differently. We are white-collar and blue collar. We are struggling to make ends meat. Hustling. Soaring. Some of us believe in God. Some aren't sure. We could not be more different, or more the same.
Your tribe does not have to be big, but it must be strong. Don't take them for granted. If you are thinking about them, tell them. If you miss them, say so. If you need them to make time for you, ask them. Life is hard, we all need our people.
I have been working on making time for my people lately. New friends and old. When I see them and talk to them I always leave happy, energized, cleansed, rejuvenate, inspired, relieved. I have new perspective. My cup is full.
It has been my experience that you approach life with more courage, more zest, more energy and less fear when you know you have an army of your own choosing behind you.