When I was in high school,
I didn’t have a tribe. I had friends, but it wasn’t the friend group that all the other girls had. Let’s back up a little bit, to where my “friendships” actually began. When I was a child, my best friend was my neighbor. We played in dirt, we played with trucks, I forced him to play with Barbies, and watch Spice World, but he was a boy. Then I got a brother. From that point on, the idea of tutus and growing up to wear a white wedding dress wasn’t a thing. Being “girly” in elementary school might have been an option, but it definitely wasn’t an interest. My best friend Hannah and I pretended we were both dating Aaron Carter, but other than being boy crazy towards the dudes in BOP and J-14, we weren’t girly girls. This coasted through middle school, where I memorized a boy’s locker number and combination, just because he was my best friend and not because I liked him. Actually, most of the “popular boys” were at one point, really close with me, because I wasn’t interested in any of them, and we’d pass notes about being best friends and watching movies, not for them to circle YES / NO on if we were dating.
So, yeah, when I went to high school I was at a disadvantage. I didn’t create a “girl gang”, and most of the girls I went to high school with didn’t really like me. Luckily, our grade in Fridley was pretty tight knit, I think we can all agree on that. There wasn’t a whole ton of division, and the crazy “mean girl” thing that happened in movies- didn’t happen to us, but I definitely didn’t have a huge group of girlfriends. I can recall maybe six girls during all of high school who I was really close with at school, and I’ve talked to two of them since graduating. (Shout out to pretending we could manage baseball)
After high school, I had a summer of the “Y Girls”, which is so cringey that we called ourselves that, and most of us don’t keep in contact anymore. I have Chelsie, and we’re going on ten years, so I’m pretty sure she’s stuck, but other than that- they seem moved on and long gone. Still, after high school, I’d have just about one best friend at a time, that I’d spend all my time with, until we stopped being friends. It was like a pattern, and it was just how my life worked. I’ve always had really close relationships that turned into friendships with my co-workers, and I was so lucky for that, because they were who I spent the majority of my time with on a day to day basis. Then I met Dylan. He took that “main spot” in my friendships, and then we moved away, and then I stopped really being friends with everyone. (except Chelsie, duh)
So, here we are.
In Lincoln, I had made two whole friends. I have’t spoken to either of them in over a year. In Des Moines, I made two female friends, but they were the result of one drunken weekend in Chicago, and had we not gone to Chicago- I’d never have met them at all. Now, we’re in Indy, and I have one female friend. (Except, she says I’m on her “short list” and hasn’t decided if we can be real friends yet. I’m still going through try-outs) I also have met someone who, within the first hour, felt like I knew for years. In the last two weeks though, I’ve realized something.
Part of my relationship problems that I’ve had with Dylan in the last five years, have stemmed from the fact that he’s been the only person I talk to. So, when I’m angry with him, or my anxiety is really high, talking to him has exercised all my options. It’s been hard on myself, but also hard on our relationship. Of course, I always reach out to Chelsie, and that’s never not happened, but sometimes it’s hard when she’s been 3-10 hours away. She’s my best friend, my real life all the time best friend, but it’s also been hard on her being my only friend. I mean, spewing the anxiety and pain at someone all the time is a lot on a relationship.
Lately, I’ve found a few people who have spoken to my soul.
& that’s the thing. I’ve always had “a friend”, but never really had friends. Now I do. I have these ladies now, who are all so different, and speak to my heart so much differently, in ways I never knew I needed to be a whole person. (Granted, I spent a lot of my life not having a “group of friends”) These ladies that I have now are so different, and so necessary. Ones who know me deep and long, to the depths of my soul and the reasons that I cry on a Wednesday. Ones who know me totally surface level, but understand where I’m at in my life, right now. Ones who understand my heart, and me feeling lost, and offer a perspective of an older sister or a soul sister. Ones who are new, but match my crazy, and make me laugh about the stupidest things. I don’t have the traditional tribe, but I do have my tribe. I think some of my anxiety stems from my fear of never having friends, but I feel like I’m crawling out of the “fear of failure” hole, and I’m finally starting to feel whole.
Who’s in your tribe?