Hi guys!

Let’s talk about friendship and finding your tribe. When we’re young, every person we meet is our “best friend “and I love the innocence of that. However, as we get older, I think we become pickier with who we spend our time with because the fact is, we just don’t have as much of it so we have to spend it wisely. I’ve never really stopped and reflected on my friendships until the last year or so. I’ve always been incredibly grateful to have them, but never thought in depth about what they mean to me.

A few years ago, my husband and I made a pretty big life change and decided to move back to our home town. We went from being close to the city to a small town where the nearest Walmart is an hour away. You don’t even want to know how far Target and Starbucks is! I have to tell you that I absolutely LOVED where we lived before this move. We were 20-30 minutes outside of a big city and felt like we had the best of both worlds. We were close enough to the hustle and bustle of city life and all the amenities it had to offer when we wanted it and the quiet calmness of living in the country to retreat to every night. I had my 3 closest friends (my tribe) living less than 30 minutes from me, my career was going great, we lived in a wonderful community, and I felt like my world was exactly where it should be. Well, we all know what happens when we get a little too comfortable right? The universe decides to shake things up!  Hence our move from city to country. Let me tell you friends, I DID NOT HANDLE THIS MOVE WELL!!! I prepared myself as best as I could and truly thought that it wasn’t going to be that big of a deal, I mean I grew up there, so I was completely knocked for a loop with how hard this move was for me. I completely lost myself and felt like I was drowning with no life raft or land in sight. I felt like I was failing as a mother, friend, wife, business owner, you name it-I was sucking at it.

This is where my point about friendship comes in. You guys, these ladies saved me. I was going under water and was losing all strength to continue trying to swim and they reminded me who I am, what I stand for, and exactly how tough I can be. So, let me tell you a little about these amazing women and I hope that you all have people like this in your life.

Billie-I’ve known this girl since I was seven. I walked in to the first-grade mid-year and was assigned a seat right next to her. She will tell you that this was also the exact moment that she decided to hate me on sight because who wants to sit next to the new girl?! Well, luckily for me this hatred lasted all of two seconds before she became my partner in crime. Throughout our childhood, we got scraped knees, mended each other’s broken hearts, and spent endless hours staying up all night listening to Cyndi Lauper CD’s and eating cookie dough out of the tube (you all know how amazing those tubes of goodness are), all while building a friendship that would withstand the test of time, distance, and all the shit that life throws you. As we got older, we had children at the same time, weathered hardships, and continued having fun doing just about anything. So, when I was lost at sea this girl reminded me who I am and that I’ve encountered far worse in my life and would get through this too. She allowed me to wallow in my fear and loneliness and voice the things I needed to, which ultimately allowed me to heal and embrace my “new life.”

Sarah-I met Sarah my Sophomore year of college. We had several classes together and I was the one to hate on sight in this friendship. She was gorgeous and bubbly, basically the girl that other girls wanted to be and that boys wanted to be with. I would still hate her today on principle, if she wasn’t one of the most amazing and resilient women I know. We got to know each other when our professor sat us next to each other in class (is this becoming a theme?). We were both getting ready to transfer schools and decided within 10 minutes of actually meeting and speaking to each other that we were going on a road trip that weekend to check one of the schools out-she’s been my ride or die ever since. We have lived together, been broke as a joke together, dried each other’s tears when life punched us, supported each other through illnesses and life’s greatest milestones, been the voice of reason and hope, and also demanded the absolute best out of each other. She didn’t let me wallow for long in my pity party with this major life change. She let me yell and scream about how much I hated this new life and then she told me to do something about it. She reminded me that it could be so much worse (she was right, I had so many things to be grateful for) and that I had the power to make this life whatever I wanted it to be. She helped me realize what I already knew deep down, that I had two choices-be miserable or make some changes. This girl tells me like it is without really saying much at all and pushes me to be a better version of myself every single day.

Julie-I met Julie in 2012. Her husband coached my son’s soccer team and this is the first time in my adult life that my husband and I connected automatically with another couple- any couples out there know how hard it is to find a friendship that both of you adore. We have kids the same age and our families have been travel buddies since the moment we met, our yearly adventure with them is something we look forward to every year. Telling them that we were moving away was one of the hardest things about leaving. My husband and I would start to tell them and then stop because we just didn’t want to say goodbye. We were terrified that it would be the end of our friendship. Well, this is where she stopped being just a friend and became one of my tribe. We have maintained this friendship long distance for almost 4 years now and they have supported us ways that I can never repay them. Julie encourages me to take risks in life and in business and has allowed me to give myself a little grace when I’m less than perfect. She is the laid back to my control freak and allows me to just let go a bit. I always feel like I have to be 100% prepared before I can attempt something and she just has this innate confidence that she can do anything (she can by the way because she’s a bad ass) and inspires me to takes risks that I might not have otherwise.

To wrap this story up, this move made me feel out of control. I went from city to country, working with my spouse to rarely seeing him, knowing exactly who I was to having absolutely no idea who this new version of me was going to be, having my tribe right next door to them being several hours away. I lost who I was, got caught up in drama that I didn’t want to be caught up in, and was quickly becoming the worst version of myself. I would still be that person if it weren’t for this tribe of women. They supported me, challenged me, grounded me, and more than anything held me accountable. These women don’t pull punches, if I’m wrong, they tell me. They will still love me, but they demand that I do and be better. They remind me of the following:

  • Billie-reminds me of my roots and grounds me. She has known me most of my life and has seen me at my worst and at my best all while supporting and loving me with no judgement. She has been the constant for me for as long as I can remember.
  • Sarah-reminds me that sometimes life sucks, but you deal and move on. Not only that, you tell that bitch to sit down and watch while you take over the world. She demands that I try to be better tomorrow than I was today and inspires me to continue learning and growing.
  • Julie-Reminds me to relax and live. To enjoy the journey and not take myself or life so seriously. That it’s ok to not always have a plan and in fact, some of life’s greatest moments happen when you don’t have one. And to have the courage to go for the things I want, because “why not me?”

This tribe of mine has taught me to be fearless and to know my value. That it’s ok to be lost sometimes as long as you never stop trying to find your way home. That you can make mistakes and not be perfect, but will always be forgiven if you have learned and are genuinely sorry. I hope you all are lucky enough to find a tribe like mine because they are priceless and they will be the anchor to hold on to when there is a storm in your life and the light house you need to find your way home.