Find Your Tribe

I’ve been stuck in this Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman phase for a while now. Not wanting to leave old high school friends behind but wanting new ones. I’m dancing. One day I’m in and the next I’m out. No matter how far I’ve wandered, I’ve always had a home base; that group of friends that you can always go back to. But lately, I’m left feeling like where do I fit in? I don’t recognize these people anymore and I’m starting to be more out than in.

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I take pride in my friendships. I don’t think they’re perfect but they’re the closest thing to having a family, so I cherish them deeply.

Like family, sometimes you hear or say things you don’t want to but need. I feel I’m doing a disservice to you as a friend if I agree with everything you do- good or bad. I’m that friend that will call you out and the mirror you refuse to face. Although I may not be always tactful, it comes from a place of love. I appreciated the ones who give the same in return🤗.

If you have been around me at all the last six months, you’ve probably heard (what sounds like) complaining about some of my friendships. One day, my guy friend said in the most sincere way possible, “Raya, it’s you. You’re the one that has changed.”

True.

The truth is, I have changed. I was naive enough to think coming back to the same group would mean picking up where we left off. I thought maybe absence does make the heart grow fonder and possibly they missed me as much as I missed them! I would even be so bold to say that I could finally have the girl gang I so desperately wanted all of these years.  Those ride or dies, the ones that support you no matter what, the ones that are excited for your promotions and ones that make time for you.

But I’ve been working overtime trying to fit into my old clique. The friendships you thought could stand the test of time dwindle, your circle starts getting smaller, you grow at different paces, and finally, open your eyes to their true colors. You’re the one constantly chasing, always the one reaching out, and making plans for them to bail on you last minute. You hold out hope thinking it’ll get better because it wasn’t always like this. And all at once everything has changed.

“If I just…”

“Maybe we need space…

I’m overreacting…”

Excuses.

Your feelings are valid and if your circle has stopped listening, supporting, and respecting you, it’s time to get a new one.

Relationships are not a one-way street. There is no tally sheet and they shouldn’t make you sit in uncertainty and anxiety. If they leave you feeling drained, it’s time to cut ties. You will never find your tribe by still being weighed down by those you’ve outgrown.

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Ah, I get so jealous of these girl gangs on Instagram that seem to have it all together. Married and some in different cities, on different paths and points in their life, but they’re all on the same wave. They always make time for each other and make it look so easy.

I evaluate and compare my circle, see what I want and need, and it doesn’t match up.

Most of my friends married in their early to mid-twenties, meanwhile, I’ve lived a whole other life. I’ve even been told that I live a double life, which is far from the truth. I have a deep desire to see the world and all it has to offer and all I want is a partner to do it with. Doesn’t have to be romantic necessarily, but just a buddy.

But instead of exploring with my besties, I’m left out of holiday parties, group activities, alienated from bridal parties because it was easier to avoid me than to invite me; It’s a numbers thing, it doesn’t mean anything! And you can definitely forget girl trips.

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The deep conversations we once used to have as teens, now barely scratch the surface and are filled with the mundane noise of junk reality tv shows. You become a number to a birthday because it’s something we’ve always done…and you’re not-not friends? But every time you’re around them you get sucked into the same routine that makes you want to scratch your eyes out.

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Now comes the uncomfortable part. Where do you go from here? I’ve thought about how you meet people in the most unlikely places. Striking up a conversation with a stranger while waiting in line to pick up your to-go food on your lunch break, swiping through an app to gain a new best friend, being approached in the park by like-minded creatives (which sounds creepy, but wasn’t), attending as a plus one to a wedding, moving in with a random hoping for the best, and rekindling old acquaintances that now serve a purpose in your life.

I’ve spent a lot of time with myself. I date myself and plan activities that I want to do. I don’t have time to wait around anymore, my time is valuable! I think that you will be surprised to find that when you start doing this, the right people, job, passion, relationship will find you at the exact moment you need it. I know this because I’ve seen it happen first hand in my life. When I head full force down my path and go all-in with God, He puts the right things in front of me.

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I understand that not everyone is as extroverted as me. Believe it or not, I get social anxiety too! Deep down I am a loner, only like to roll one to two friends deep when I go out, I like my space, but also know that I need companionship to survive. You can’t do this life alone. You weren’t meant to do this life alone.

Everything will always go back to God for me. The prayers I have been praying for years are finally being answered. My creativity has flourished which in turn, brought me a great work partner and friend. I found a community where for the first time, I fit in, and I’ve met some incredible, incredible (and patient) people who have really shown me what it means to be a friend.

 

Look, breaking up with your friend is the hardest thing you’ll ever go through. It leaves a hole that no one could ever fill or replace, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil to grow into the person you were meant to be. The thing about people is they always come back that exact moment you need them. If you’re lucky enough to find that one-of-a-kind friend that sticks with you through thick and thin, that’s rare and something to be treasured ♥️.

 

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1 Comment

  1. February 14, 2019 / 9:26 pm

    Poignant and motivating! A great read

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