Finding a Tribe

As I write this post, season 1 of Friends plays in the background on my cell phone. Skyler is climbing at the gym with our friends Carly and Pablo. Our roomies Philip and Jamie are at the fish store. In about an hour, we leave to go to our friends’ Naomi and Jason’s house with our other friends Maddy and Jessica in our car alongside us to hang out, have drinks, play games, and generally just enjoy one another’s company.

There’s this article I stumbled upon today, “The Health Benefits of Finding Your Tribe” on Psychology Today (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/owning-pink/201209/the-health-benefits-finding-your-tribe). There are some interesting facts sprinkled throughout this article. Some of them:

“…people with the most social ties were three times less likely to have died over a nine year period than those who reported the fewest social ties.”
“Those with more social connections were even found to have lower rates of cancer.”
“In fact, a Harvard study examining the lives of almost 3, 000 people found that those who gather together to go out to dinner, play cards, go on day trips, vacation with friends, go to the movies, attend sporting events, go to church, and engage in other social activities outlive their reclusive peers by an average of two and a half years.”

2 sentences that sum up the article: “Finding your tribe is not only fun. It can also save your life.”

There’s something about not just finding tribe, but finding your tribe.

The other evening, I wrote about the magic of having supportive female friendships. Today, I bring in the guys. Our group is full of people with quirky personalities, interesting hobbies, unique perspectives on the world. Some quick examples: Pablo, Jamie and Philip speak the language of fish and aquariums and can bond over details the rest of us don’t understand for lengthy amounts of time. Carly, Jamie and I all work together at the same school and share a group of students we’re trying to help support and grow the best we can. Naomi and I tend to be the hostesses of the group, always planning gatherings and opening up our homes and kitchens. Naomi and Philip are the best cooks of the group. Skyler, Carly, and Pablo love to climb together. Naomi, Jessica and I are fans of happy hour instead. We all love board games, though I’d venture to say that Jason is the biggest fan of the group. I could go on and on about all the overlaps.

On top of the overlaps, we have things that we uniquely bring to the group. Naomi’s confidence and up front nature inspires me to feel more empowered. Jason brings specialized knowledge to the group, like his expertise on video games, his talent for art, and the fact that he makes the most delicious cocktails. Carly and Pablo’s love of nature reminds me to go outside more often. Jessica is the adventurous one who will try anything once, and she inspires me to be braver and step out of my comfort zone. Jamie and Philip have psychology knowledge that always adds depth to conversations. I like to think I have quirky hobbies that bring shared experiences to the group–last night, the whole group found themselves watching me at a dance show that featured a lot of athletic acts like aerial silks, aerial hoop, and more. And of course, my husband, the magician, brings magic.

I love Skyler, and I know I’d love him no matter what was happening in my life. But I think that we are stronger together when our interests, passions, and areas of growth are fed and supported by not just one another but by a beautiful tribe of people. I couldn’t be more grateful for this bunch. They’re more than just a group of friends. They are a tribe I am lucky to be part of.

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