Life before my tribe was lonely.
I wanted friends. I needed friends. I watched through the window of my computer screen as people who had their tribes, leftover from high school or found by chance, enjoyed time together and I was so envious. I tried different meet-up groups here and there, but no one from those ever stuck. I just could not find my community, and coming from a place where ‘community’ was ingrained in almost everything we stand for just made it sting more.
If I’m honest with myself, it was partially my own fault. I’ve learned since then that the first step in finding your tribe is knowing yourself. Figure out who you are and what you’re really looking for. People tend to gravitate to what we project; I’ve heard it said, “If you want a happy tribe, be happy.”
That’s how it happened for me.
Eventually, I joined online mom groups and engaged in conversations. I connected with like-minded moms and opened my home up for meet-ups so I could connect on a more personal level. I also made a choice to stop being a homebody. This one was hard for me because of my anxiety about being in a place where I didn’t know anyone. I had to take on the mindset that anyone who was also at a place I wanted to be already had a shared interest.
Getting over my fear of being an outcast and adopting an attitude of, “smile and say hello,” was so hard, but it was really rewarding. Choosing to say hi and smile to everyone, not just the people I knew or the people who looked like me, opened me up to meeting a ton of new friends. Nothing worked as well as joining groups of people who were doing the things I loved to do.
Thankfully, Lafayette offers countless opportunities for meeting new people.
There are tons of moms out there looking for a like-minded tribe, many are just waiting for a sign … so, put out a want ad on your social media. “Wanted: Moms who swear and drink beer after the kids go to bed,” or “Wanted: mom friends who want to meet up weekly for a book club,” or maybe, “Wanted: a tribe who loves to have game nights and potlucks.” You’ll be surprised at how many people just need an invite to come over. So, once you know what you want, put out an all call and then take action.
Finding my tribe has truly been something that has changed my entire life.
My tribe is a group of women who lift me when I’m down, cheer for me when I’m winning, and come to me for judgment-free support. They’ve become as close to me as friends I’ve had for 15+ years. And my tribe continues to change as I change. Some who were in my tribe a few years ago are now acquaintances. Some I’ve met in the last year are close friends. It’s okay to grow together or apart as long as you do so in love. So get out there, say hi, compliment someone’s outfit and take a chance. Life is better with a tribe.