People enter your life and often exit just as quickly. Sometimes you will meet the wrong ones, but every so often, certain people who you know are going to stay in your life forever will appear. These are the people who will rejoice with you on your sunniest days, but also console you in your dimmest nights. They are your cheerleaders, and dream boosters, the ones who uplift, push and accept you. They are the ones you will spend hours talking late into the night with, the ones who will laugh at you and cry with you, the ones who will never leave your side, and remind you who you are when necessary. They remind you every scar can be healed. You won’t them see as often as you’d like, but the moment you do, the time which has passed will disappear as if it never existed.
I have stated this many times over to many people in my life before: Family is NOT simply a blood relationship, you shape the family you want in who YOU choose. When a man and a woman marry, their parents and extended family are no longer priority, the unit they have created becomes the most important. Your husband or wife are not your blood relation, but they should be the closest family you have, your next of kin. The first family I created for myself was with my ex-husband, a life with laughter and joyous memories with our children, but also one which fell apart at the seams after many years of abuse.
For most of my life, I have struggled with feeling like an outsider. I didn’t have “best friends” in high school, and the select from childhood I was close with, have faded into the past many years ago, only a few sticking around on my Facebook friends list who I actually care to even keep track. I lived thru my twenties grasping at an identity I believed was wanted, but truly deep down, it was not it. Now in my 30s, I sit here thinking about this new venture and how magically it has unfolded because of my tribe. No, excuse me, my tribes. There are many. My sisters are near and far, some I’ve met in person, some I’ve not met who are closer in relationship to me than any blood relative, and almost all who know things those most likely reading this do not and will never know about me and my life. This is my family. My tribe.
One of the first tribes I built for myself is comprised of women who were with me through trying to conceive my son Cam and his birth. I remember reading the messages from by birth buddy as I was in labor, getting the details for check in so she could report back to our tribe. We have children around the same ages and it is now a decade we have spent supporting one another from afar, never having met once in person. One of my sisters is a celebrity to my oldest daughter, who loves baking. She thoroughly enjoyed watching her compete on Cupcake Wars and has watched the episode multiple times on Netflix!
I have a work tribe from the first serious job I was employed at in Oregon, where I peacefully and happily coexisted in a workplace with an amazing group of women, who were with me thru some of the hardest days of my life and still stand by me to this day. We have group text message threads every few months to update where we are in our lives. We had one this morning!
There is my ADHD tribe, who understand my weirdness and dysfunction the most out of all my tribes. I was put into this group by a close friend in another tribe, my “almost twin” as we refer to ourselves. These tribe sisters are accompanying me at moments like this one, when it’s the middle of the night and I cannot sleep.
I once read a post on a mommy blog called “Here’s Proof That Online Friends Are REAL Too,” which detailed the journey of a group of mothers, all whose pregnancies were due in 2008. The words the author penned could’ve been written word for word by any one of the women in MY family. You see, my family is composed of a similar group of women, one of the largest and dearest to my heart. My February 2014 mommy tribe are the part of my family I have affectionately titled my “Underground Railroad.” It’s the women from this tribe who carried my kids and I across the country during summer of 2016, when we were running from our home and life as we had known it in Oregon. We’ve celebrated triumphs, we’ve mourned losses together, shared wedding and first date nerves, divorces and welcoming of younger siblings. My children have become loved parts of their families and their children have become mine. We could retell you some outrageously funny conversations which have been had, too! These women have stood by my side through the most difficult times in my life and I’m beyond blessed and grateful for them each day. They’ve been here through every single moment for the past 5 years and I can honestly say I do not know where my life would be without many of them. One put me in contact with another very important and crucial tribe that saved my life: Healing Household 6.
I cannot say I would have survived leaving my abusive marriage, or the months and years following, had it not been for the work of HH6 and the beautiful women who have founded and run it. I have developed friendships with women who understand the pain I feel in the deepest core of my heart. These women have helped me navigate very troubling waters with my past, never judging, never scolding, only supporting best they knew how. These women celebrated my engagement recently, many invested in seeing the result of my story end happily.
I have a fitness tribe, a narcissist support tribe, a divorced single mom tribe, and let me tell you what a kick ass group of women that is! I have my Army tribe, which is not only comprised of my sisters but my brothers in arms as well, there’s quite a few who have stuck by my side and I know should the day ever come I need them, I can always reach out.
My tribes are who inspired Sorelle, beginning with my two actual sisters who bear the word “Sorella” in ink on their bodies, as well as I.
These once in a lifetime people, the ones who will drop everything in the middle of the night to answer your call, are your people, they are your tribe. Love them and protect them as fiercely as possible, they are more than friends, they ARE your tribe. Hold onto them tightly, as you are far better together than you could ever be apart!