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Challenge: Finding Your Village

I Don't Have a Tribe ... And I'm Fine With That

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Tribe, friend squad, mom club, girl team, whatever you want to call it. I don't have one. I don't have one set of friends who are my go-tos for shopping trips, coffee dates or girls' weekends. There isn't a trio of girlfriends I text every day, or even see every month. And guess what? I'm good.

I feel SO lucky to have the incredible friends I do. They are spread throughout my little world, from all areas of my life. My circle of friends is actually more like several small circles intertwined like the Olympic rings ... a circle from high school, a circle from college, one from my boys' schools and activities, another from my previous jobs, one from my blogging life, and another circle of my family girlfriends (my mama, sisters, cousins, aunts, etc.).

So, when I say I don't have a tribe, that doesn't make me sad. I have something different, something that fits me and my personality and my life. All of these amazing, caring women are in my life in some shape and form, and we love and support each other whenever and however needed.

They all crossed my path at different times and places, but I know it was for good reason.

Little Circles...

~I'm blessed to have a group of friends from "back home." Our high school class was (I think, unusually) close and so many of us still keep in touch. When I hear people say they'd never go back to high school, I shake my head. I'd LOVE to hang out in Coach Taylor's classroom or at McDonald's after a football game again. We had so much FUN growing up alongside each other, and now we get to share (mostly through social media) in the joy (and craziness) of raising our kiddos and becoming who we wanted to be "when we grew up." While I don't see them nearly enough, there is a crazy love I feel for my childhood friends.

~I graduated from the University of Florida in 1999 (yes, as my boys say "the 1900s!") and my time there gave me some of the best memories of my life. I didn't want to do the sorority thing at first, so I waited until my sophomore year to rush. You know when you just feel good around some people? You feel like they get you and it's just comfortable? That was the vibe I felt from ZTA, and I knew I was in the right house. While most of these friendships are now through Facebook because we're spread all over the country, we continue to support each other through our small businesses, Christmas cards, and texts and phone calls. After all these years, I still have a connection with several of these "sisters" from college.

~Thirteen years ago, I was a nervous first-time mommy who hesitantly attended a postpartum luncheon at the hospital where my little guy was born a few weeks earlier. The women I met at that Tuesday luncheon (and the ones I attended eagerly for the next two months) became my one and only playgroup. I had no idea we'd still be friends when our little ones were in middle school! We've shared everything from baby constipation to tween drama, from nursing complications to cancer diagnoses. Our "babies" are in all different schools and activities now, but we try to get together and hug each other's necks a few times each year, and thankfully social media lets us check in on everyone's happenings. I will always have a bond with the women who helped me become the mommy I am ... without judgment or pressure, and with just the right amount of wine.

~Each change I made in my career brought some sweet friendships along with it. You tend to learn a lot about someone when you're working toward goals together, and trying to squeeze a meal, errands and life discussions into your 1-hour lunch break. :)

~While I was always hesitant to become "one of those PTA moms" at my boys' schools, I'm actually insanely thankful I stepped out of my comfort zone and got more involved. Just like that need for a playgroup when your children are babies, you need a support system of mamas who now have elementary and middle schoolers. And you need to laugh with someone else who's finishing her child's history project at midnight, if that happens. ;)

~My blogging and writing adventure has led me to an online group of amazing people I now consider friends. We share each other's writing, help when questions arise (a lot!) and support each other in our career and personal goals. It's a sweet feeling of comfort and support in a sometimes isolated world of writing.

~I've realized that sometimes the best circle you have in your life was created for you. My mom and sisters are a constant lifeline of support and friendship for me. It's a beautiful thing when you WANT to hang out with your family. And you find yourself counting the days until you see them again!

So ... I don't have a tribe. I don't have that ONE group of besties I do everything with. I don't meet anyone at Starbucks every Thursday after pilates. I don't road trip with "the girls" every summer. I have small circles of crazy, beautiful friendships that I cherish, and wouldn't trade. Not even for Taylor Swift's squad. I promise.

Love (and hug the girlfriends in your life) more,


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