Finding your tribe will bring joy to your life, but who are they & how do I find them?
Somehow, over the years that skill faded into befriending the moms of the kids my kids hung out with, wives from clubs my husband joined, and work pals. As much as I cherish each lasting friendship I have cultivated through those sources, looking back I had to wonder, when was the last time I actually made a friend all on my own? The hard truth, I had not in a long, long time.
One thing I did was sit down and really look to pursuing interests all my own. I am a writer and have made many connections in that world, all of whom I value. But, although they are an amazing support system, they are still technically 'work buddies'. I had to sit down with myself and ask the question, "What do I enjoy doing that is not all about books, my husband, or my kids?"
That took some thinking. It is not always as obvious as one might expect. I love my pets, but was I interested in the dog show or rescue world? Not at all. I have enough critters at home, and if I brought home another, I might end up exiled to the hen house with them all. I love cleaning out closets and re-organizing, but really that's just an extension of my need to provide a somewhat orderly home for my family. What do I love that is not about anyone but me? When you ignore yourself for years, that question becomes harder to answer.
I looked at my neglected little corner of the hobby room as well as the groups I followed on Facebook and such to find common threads. I had my answer. Paper crafting. More specifically, planner crafting. Now I realize this may not be your thing, but stick with me here. This is about the process of finding your tribe, not about the tribe I found.
I looked at my Facebook groups again. I really had already built an online tribe within all my interests. If you think about it, regardless of your interest or hobby, they are already out there waiting to like and comment on your posts, yes?
Then it hit me, I looked for a local meetup to attend. There were some in Seattle and some in Portland. Of course I am right in the middle, and not willing to travel 2 hours for a coffee date. I knew this would not work, I have a life that requires my presence, much the same as you I suspect.
So I started my own Facebook group. (Learn how here.) You only need to invite one other person to start your own group, so I posted in some of the groups too far away and asked if there was anyone close to me. I pm’d one lady and she agreed to open the Tacoma Planner Peeps with me. I then posted in all related groups about our local meetup (with admin permission of course) and we grew.
We have one monthly meeting...easy...do-able. But I have had coffee and lunch with some of the ladies besides that. New friends who share my passion. It is amazing to have conversations with ladies who say things like, “You played library instead of dolls too!?! I thought I was the only one, I am so glad I met you!” Acceptance of who you really are, besides the roles of Wife and Mom. That is the joy of finding your tribe.
I am loving my new friends, as well as finding time for myself to be just ‘ME’ away from my family. Trust me, they are alive when I get home, and no worse for the wear. Chances are your tribe is waiting out there for you, you just don’t know them yet. Take a risk and find them, it will bring a new level of joy to your life that you've been missing for a long time.