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  • Writer's pictureK.C. Runkel

Finding My New Tribe and Loving the Old One

I saw a sign today that said, "Your vibe attracts your tribe."

Tribes. They are the new hip thing to talk about. Whether it is your mommy tribe, girlfriend tribe, your BFFs, your book club, wine club, whatever! Call it what you like, but it all boils down to finding a group of ladies in which you share a common interest and find support in their company.

Though I never really considered my particular group of friends my "tribe", that sign today did get me thinking. I have to say I agree with it. Whether you are a Law of Attraction, like-begets-like sort of gal or more of a spiritual, practice-what-you-preach person, it seems to fall under the same idea. We surround ourselves with people that most closely reflect us.

Has there ever been a truer statement? While I thoroughly love my current tribe, I do feel a sense of sadness and loss for my tribes of the past. It is hard to reminisce over lost or faltering friendships that were once so incredibly strong. It is equally disheartening to think that my current tribe might one day be a thing of the past as well.

But life is all about learning lessons and moving on. We go into relationships hoping they will last and when they do it is nothing short of remarkable. But if they end, whether on good terms or bad, we always end up taking a little piece of them on the road with us, ready to use their lessons in our next set of relationships.

I am now in the Mommy Tribe and man is it fierce. The only unfortunate outcome to joining this tribe would be that it meant leaving my last one. My College Tribe. The group of ladies I journeyed with on the path to adulthood. They were in my wedding, served as my closest confidants and best friends. I loved this tribe with all of my heart. I still do.

It was with my College Tribe that I grew to understand who I was and what I wanted to do in this world. They were women from all walks of life, backgrounds, and perspectives, but we experienced life together and that made us close, even if we were separated by distance. I am so fortunate to have had this tribe and cherish each memory we made. Those really were the days.  And I would be lying if I said seeing all these kids moving into college didn't make me a little jealous because, yes, those years were just that good.

But life moves on and seasons change. After I finished my Master's degree I knew I had to leave that life behind to start the next chapter. I would say it was bittersweet but, honestly, I didn't even know I had left the tribe until they were already in my rear view mirror.  I moved on thinking things would stay the same as they always were.

It was a gradual process. Visits with old friends became fewer and far between. Texts turned from daily, to weekly, to occasionally. We went from being in each other's Facebook posts to simply liking them. But this was all right. I would much rather drift slowly apart than end things on bad terms. This way I know I still always have their love, support, and friendship. I hope they know they always have mine.

Just as leaving my College Tribe was a gradual process, finding my Mommy Tribe was rooted in slow beginnings. My entrance into motherhood was rather lonely as I was one of the first in my group to have a child. But before I knew it my tribe began to grow. I would meet one friend that would ultimately lead to meeting many more. All of these women, whether they had children or not, revived my mommy spirit with much-needed community.

These are the women I go to now when motherhood has gotten the better of me. I can tell them why life is hard without fear of judgment. Even better, I can tell them why life is so great without fear of receiving envy laced criticism. They see my struggles and help me through and I do the same for them. Every woman, mother or not, needs this in her life.

And you know what? I have a pretty spectacular group. Not only do I have new friends that have earned an irreplaceable seat in my heart, but time has a way of reviving the old and making it new again. In fact, many of my old tribe members have since crossed over to my new tribe. I love welcoming them—and their precious little ones—with open arms.

These words are for all my girls, both OT (Old/Original Tribe) and NT (New Tribe). You have impacted my life so many times only for the better. I wish you the best of luck as you move forward on your own life journeys, joining new and exciting tribes along the way.  I find comfort knowing that as you move on a small part of me will go with you. And should we meet back up again someday, I know my heart and soul will flourish in your company once again.

I love you!

"The best kind of friendships are fierce lady friendships where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other, and think the other deserves the world." --Unknown

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