I’ve thought a lot about my friends recently. Partly because I get to see some of them in one week — eek! — but mostly because they have just really been on my heart lately. My two best friends live to the north and to the west, and to put it plainly: I miss them. But the more I miss them, the more grateful I find myself becoming. It’s like Winnie the Pooh says: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
How grateful am I to have something, and some people, to miss.
I’m pretty dang lucky to have the best friends that I do.
I have always eyed the groups of girls who grew up together, and still managed to keep their friendships tightly knit, with a twinge of envy. I’ll admit that. And while I am still lucky enough to have occasional contact with some of the people I grew up with, for the most part, my friends now are not the ones I had in high school. We met in college — but that doesn’t make them any less important. In fact, for me, that makes them even more so… because we met at the most crucial part of our lives to date. We were fully-formed humans and somewhat adults, and since that moment we clicked, we’ve been navigating the waters of young adulthood arm-in-arm (figuratively, of course).
One of my best friends and my self-proclaimed partner in crime, Kacie, and I spent some time talking about the oddity of having friends splashed around the country, and world. For both her and I, most of our dearest tribe members have left the state, with the exception of one another. In fact, we even made a pact that neither she nor I can move out of state unless the other one agrees to do so, too (it was sort of a joke, but Kace, I’m holding you to it).
Jokingly said or not, our conversation got me thinking more deeply about what it means to have a tribe, a support system, and a general sense of best friendship.
For me, it means never feeling alone, even when I am, quite literally, the only one around. My two best friends don’t live in Arizona anymore, and it’s been nearly a year since the three of us have all been together. But they are never more than a quick text, phone call, or Face Time away, even when we all manage to work entirely opposite schedules (shout out to our nighttime producer pal).
Having a tribe means always knowing exactly who to turn to. Let’s be honest — not every friend is going to offer the best support in any given situation. That’s just human nature; we’re not all built to think the same, and we don’t all go through the same things. One friend is going to be much more understanding of one problem than another; another friend entirely will be more willing to sit there and let me gush on and on about how in love I am. But the key is not necessarily that you only speak to certain people about certain things — it’s that you, yourself, are aware of who to turn to when, and are transparent about it. I’ve never wanted one friend to think I was hiding anything from another… it’s just a matter of who I needed to talk to at any given moment. The best part of finding your people will be that they completely understand that.
Having best friends means having a stable foundation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my best friends are my rocks. They ground me when necessary and they let my dreams and desires run wild with the utmost support. They do this whether they’re here in the Valley or scattered across the country. Distance doesn’t matter — though, I will say, I am selfishly stoked that a few of my friends have been moving back in state, and that Kacie and I are soon to be “neighbors.”
This post is little more than one of appreciation, for the people who constantly have my back, even from miles away. And to the friends who I do get to see more regularly, thank you, too, for understanding exactly where I may be at on any given day.
Finding your tribe is an essential part of discovering yourself, and I am immensely grateful to have found mine. Whether you’ve been buds since birth or connected later in life, I sincerely hope you have found yours, too.