Today as I manned the carpool station at our school's Meet the Teacher event I was reminded of just how blessed I am to be a part of our school family. While classroom teachers were in their rooms meeting the children they'll work with for the next year I got to play catchup with current and past students. Some seemed to have grown a foot since June. Others hurled themselves across the room to hug me and chatter about their summers. But one in particular stands out to me...
Several of last year's 5th graders stopped by to get some love before they take the plunge into middle school next week. One of my dancers attends a school with a modified schedule, which means they've been in session for several weeks. She siddled over for a hug and a chat. When I asked how her year was starting, she answered, "It's good. I've found a group. I've got my people."
In that moment I was amazed at the wisdom of this child/young woman (because she's really at that awkward phase between the two). She gets it. She already understands what it took most of my adult life to get - find your tribe. Find your people. You know the ones I'm talking about. The friend you've known since the first day of kindergarten, who has stuck with you through college and into adulthood. The friend you've connected to in the last few years, who you didn't know well until you spent a week rooming together at a life changing conference and now can't imagine your world without. The friend who may be a decade younger than you but feels like your sister from another mister. The friend who was born the same year as your mother and yet always treats you as an equal. The friend you know always has your back. The friend who will call you on your *#$%. The friend whose hug always makes it better, who innately downloads calm. The friend that sees the best in you even when you can't. And if there's one thing, just one thing I've learned these last 9 months, it's to find the friend who's there when you need them (even if you don't know you need them yet).
Your tribe changes over time. Friends come and friends go. Embrace the ebb and flow. Your best friend from one point in your life might not even be a blip on your radar right now and that's ok. You were what each other needed then but you've both changed and grown into the different people you are now. Wish them well and spend time with the people who are here now. Likewise, you never know what circumstances may lead to newly strengthened friendships. Go with it.
Just find your people. Relationships are the key to feeling safe and being willing to take risks in life. They allow us to feel connected and like we're part of a greater whole. So hug a friend. Listen to a friend. Scream with a friend. Dance it out with a friend (and as we say in the dance community, leave it all on the floor). Sit with a friend. Lean on a friend. Take a road trip with a friend.
Find. Your. Tribe.