The last two months have been quite a transition for me. Although I can’t speak about it yet, I am so grateful to have my tribe. I am so appreciative of the women in my life, because they are part of my friend ecosystem. Their diversity of perspectives and interactions makes them exactly what I need in my friendships and my support system.
Friendship to me is like sipping on fine wine
Making friends is not difficult for me, but I don’t easily let others in. I am not closed off, as a matter of fact, the contrary. People tend to connect with me easily, and tend to say, “I feel like I’ve known you for a long time.” In spite of all that warmth, people who latch on too quickly tend to terrify me, so it takes me quite a bit of time to get to a place of trust, as it should.
Friendship to me is like sipping on fine wine. You don’t chug it down. You smell your wine for its aroma and take small sips and let it spread in your mouth. So with my community, I’ve found that taking it slow has been the key. We have built a relationship of trust, of honesty and one of mutual respect.
For my friends of twenty five years, I am so grateful. These ladies I’ve known since I was twelve years old. One turned out to be a distant cousin. We have formed a group chat, a place we can express every emotion and talk about anything. We say it’s a no judgement zone, but we judge (LOL! We’re only human). The beauty is that after every conversation, I am always able to see, hear and understand a difference of perspective.
They have challenged me and broadened my perspective, and I have done the same for them. We got to known each other at a pivotal time in our lives; the beginning of high school. We were the best of friends. After graduation, we all moved to different parts of the world and lost touch for years, but somehow, we found our way back to each other. They remind me of who I am and challenge me to see my true worth. I am grateful.
Now motherhood came along and presented its own challenges. Finding an ideal mom friend is like finding a unicorn. You not only have to like the mom, but you also need to love their child/children. I happened to find two amazing families that matched our pace. We just connected from our first encounters and developed a beautiful friendship. Our children love playing with each other and we love spending time with each other. What more does a girl need?
Finding your tribe may not be easy
I am so grateful for all these amazing women who have brought so much joy, laughter, kindness and love into my life. For those times I needed a listening ear on the most intimate aspects of my life, I could reach out to my childhood friends. For those times I needed parenting support and even marital advice, I am grateful to my mom friends. I am appreciative of the times when a parent takes one or both my girls to the park to give me a break. I am even happier to do the same for them.
Finding your tribe may not be easy. It’s even harder when you have difficulty making new friends and even keeping friends. Building relationships with others is a wonderful nurturing act. It is one that requires effort and persistence to cultivate, because some friends become family. They’re the family you choose, the family you want around, and when you find that, you hold onto it. This is for my tribe, my queens, my rock.
(Photograph by Chitral Jayatilake for National Geographic)