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Finding Your Tribe

How to make Friends and love yourself? Just do it like Nike.

Since growing more in my thirties, I’ve become more mindful of curating what and who I surround myself with. Before, it didn’t take much for me to make friends, we would have some things common and that would be enough. But, if all 5 seasons of Insecure taught us anything, it’s that with a group of friends, let alone women, its way deeper than that. Your tribe should entertain you and you them, while allowing grace and bigging you up along the way. However, what if you fall, or are falling? Life does happen. What if your mental is being affected or worse what if they are affecting your mental? How do you know it’s time to end the things? Like with romantic love, you can want for more from your friends and have expectations–and you’re entitled to that. Friendships can flourish when the expectations are healthy leaving space for grace. However, when those expectations are superficial, that’s when it becomes a problem. Whether it’s unmet or denied, you realize then, that it might be the expectations that got you to this point.

So, what can you do? For me it was being honest with the kind of friend I was and the kind of friend I wanted to be, along with being real about the kind of friends I wanted to have. It wasn’t until recently, I decided “to hell with it” and literally shoot my shot with some ladies who seemed to match my energy (Team “vibes don’t lie” over here). Now, I’m not out here sharing my darkest secrets at the first brunch, but your girl Is applying pressure and loving it. Planning future brunches and having dope conversations about what we want from life, planning couples’ dates with our partners with hopes of us all being connected, and let’s not forget playdates with the kids—we haven’t crossed that bridge yet because my youngin’ is wild, but its planned though. This proved to me that your people will find you, but you must be equally as willing to find them to; and if it’s taking some time, just be patient.

There was a time I used to be so jealous of people saying they have sisterhood, and because of that I felt obligated to find my Khadijah, Regine, and Sinclair to my Maxine. If it wasn’t them then, it wasn’t worth trying; but that’s not always the case though. Your people will find you and will be for you completely, regardless of the amount or gender. We must be open to putting ourselves out there, because honestly who are we frontin’ for? The other person is probably just as nervous as you or has their shit together as much as you; so just do it Nike. Put the effort in where you would want effort to be returned. More importantly, allow grace knowing that’s what you and your prospective tribe deserve.

Sure, it took me until my thirties, some painful friendship breakups, and finding the right therapist because sis was damaged. But it wasn’t until I accepted being secure in knowing my insecurities will always be there, realizing my worth as a friend and who is worthy of being a friend to, that really made things change for the better. From that, I don’t regret one second of my journey. It got me here. It’s been a long few years, and for some it may have felt longer. We’ve been either stuck in the house with nowhere to go, tied to a job that this pandemic proved to not be worth it, or tied to people that no longer serve us, yet we remain loyal. I say all this to say if you know what you want in a friend group —go for it! it’s the bonds we made have made that got us this far. So, if you think you’ve found your people, put in that work, sis. if it doesn’t work out, know that that it is okay they weren’t meant for you nor you them, but this isn’t the end. Work on you in the meantime, and watch your people show up in the in most gratifying ways. Mines was social media, what will be yours?

By Eboni Strickland

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