I hope you find your people
Every so often, you’ll hear or read this, “find your people, find your tribe” on whatever your social media platform preference is social platform is. And my hope for you is that you’ll find yours.
And as you read it, it’ll make you think: Do I have these people? And if I don’t, am I doing it wrong? I’m going to say no. Nope. You’re not doing it wrong because chances are, you have these people. Let me tell you where they’re hiding because perhaps, it's not always so obvious.
We read these heartfelt pieces about the “real ones” who sit with you on the floor as you fall apart or swoop in to save the day when it feels impossible. And if we’re being honest, there's a certain aspect of that that brings pressure, that feels like a scene of a mid-life crisis novel adapted by the Lifetime channel. But I'm here to tell you not to look too hard, don't overthink it. Those people, they're right there no matter what season of life you're in.
I’m also here to tell you this concept will hit you a bit differently when you're in your thirties versus your twenties or your forties versus when you’re actually that midlife age. Typically, your second decade is filled with cranberry vodkas and nights that last till 2:00 a.m. And I have no doubt that as you are stumbling through the parking garage, high on the music still pulsing through your ears, you’ll be hand in hand with your people.
But then 30 hits and you’re no longer walking a zig zag in your sky high heels, but rather, tracing the familiar route from your kitchen to the couch with a chamomile tea. Perhaps you’re wiping down a high chair and cleaning up the toys on your way. For me, the third decade hit almost a year after losing my husband and the five month birthday of our daughter. It’s a life you’d never picture yourself living. And so, the idea of finding your people, well, it hits differently.
Yes, you hope your people are there for the funeral, for the days, the weeks that follow, all of which seem so surreal, after your world has turned upside down. They're amazing then and you're forever thankful for them. But I'm here to tell you, I hope you find your people for the long haul.
The people that are there in the months and years after the date you’d never relive but these few, they’d never forget it. I hope you find the people that send you pictures of your daughter at dance class because you're now a solo parent and couldn't be there that morning. The ones who stop by a day long event with water bottles and lunch, but most importantly to be there because they know the anxiety has taken over and your chest feels like it’s ready to pop. The ones that jump in when you need them but even more importantly, when you don't even know that you do. But oh, they sure know.
For the ones who invite themselves to the cemetery on his birthday because they know that's what you need. They help you celebrate and they know being there makes you feel a little less alone. For the ones who simply listen when you’re too in your head about things. And instead of trying to get you out, they meet you there. They tuck their feet under themselves and they get cozy, sitting here with you until you're ready to leave.
Find the one who brings champagne on Christmas Eve morning and helps you build an easel and spends the time listening to what you wish it was. Find the one who sends you a picture of the Bud Light they’re drinking with a toast to him without a second thought. Find the one who doesn't second guess it, the one who knows what you need to hear, sometimes, even before you know yourself.
Find the one that doesn't mind the messy house, the toys everywhere, the messy bathroom because you couldn't clean it that day. Find the ones who sit with you. Who choose you in your darkest moments and don't expect you to be anything else but what you feel that day. Find the ones who aren’t afraid to ask you if it’s hard and respect you enough to honor that it is but also honor your request not to change it because that would be another abnormal and you simply couldn’t bear to face that, too.
Find the ones who sit with a mask on, on your couch as you sit on the floor six feet away because a global pandemic was still very much a thing when your husband died and your daughter was asleep upstairs. Find the ones who will be in it, with you, in the good, the bad, the messy, the ugly. When your anxiety takes over and you don't feel like you but they’re there to remind you while also finding ways to love the you you're becoming, even when you can’t. Find the ones who are in it for the long haul.
Find the ones who sit with you on a Saturday morning doing nothing but simply being there, holding space for a moment you might need with tears streaming down your face and laughter echoing and none of it makes sense. Find the ones that raise their kids to love you. To bring you into their lives, to show you their pastries at the counter or finding the cat hiding under their crib, while they manage to love you just the same, even with your broken pieces.
Find the ones who love you even when it feels impossible to love yourself. The ones who haven't forgotten who you are but continue to be supportive of the person you're becoming. The ones who are scared of change, though you’d never know it. For as much as they fear the unknown, they promise to face it with you, head on, like they’ve done it before and they’ll do it again if that’s what you need. Find the ones who are in it for a long haul.
If you haven't found them yet, I promise you, they're out there. They might walk into your life when you least expect it and you might not know it at first but then you look back and wonder how you lived your life without them. Maybe you know exactly who they are, because they've been there since second grade, or the 7th grade or your senior year and at 31 years old, you need them just as much.
Whoever they are and whenever you meet them, don't lose them. Because they’ll be there, and that's the best thing about them. In a way, you might feel like your life is shifting so much you lose them occasionally, but they never lose sight of you. They love you and they choose you and even in the days you feel like you don't know yourself they know you and they're ready to know the new you, too. Whoever that may be. Find your people. I promise you, they're out there and when you find them, let them in. You really can do this life with them, because of them, through them. Find your people.