Find your tribe

Find your tribe

I have always loved this quote. Find your people in life. Find them and appreciate them. Nurture them and in turn, they will nurture you. I have done so and feel very lucky. It's not just one set of people either but anybody who gets you and you get them. 

One thing I have learned though, the hard way is that your friendship groups may change as people change. People's needs, interests, passions and feelings change. I kind of had this idea that once I was friends with someone and them me, that was it, for life. We do this. We hold onto things and people in a sentimental way. Just because someone was an amazing mate at school, doesn't automatically mean they still will be close to you into adulthood. We try and keep these old friendships, these bonds that have seen us through many heartaches and we try to freeze them still. Only, we all move on and some friends move together, growing together and others drift apart, leaving poignant memories.

I know now, we are still finding new friends as we travel along in life, people we meet and feel the need to get to know on a deeper basis. People we bond with straight away. I also think, as we age, we kind of gravitate to folk we are in alignment with. We also make less excuses for people too. Hence, parting of ways. Once we can see this is a natural way of things, we spend more time with those we feel understand us and want to be with us. There is that need for connection, that looking forward to being with someone. Yes, we are busy. I've been there. We do prioritise to see those we feel the need to see. It is a two way thing. It can only stay one way for so long. 

Friendship is not meant to be forced. What is the point? What may have been a lovely, easy going friendship where conversation came easily, can, over time just dry up until you have drifted that far apart, you don't have as much to say to each other. Life is hard enough without having to force things. 

I will never forget meeting a certain person in my teens who was amazing to me when I was ill. I put her on a pedestal; she could do me no wrong. Except when she let me down a few times! I wouldn't have it. She had been there that week for me. Excuse, excuse! In the end, I had to admit, the friendship was going nowhere and chalked it down to experience. 

We meet friends throughout our lives. Childhood friends. I am so lucky to still be friends with my best friend from our street, from me being 5. We'd play together on the backing and have sleepovers. Of course we are still fab friends as she's now my sister in law!

I am very lucky with both my sister in laws! We are so on the same wavelength and can't be doing with any drama! It's a 'I'm here for you' with both of them. When we have people in our lives, who are this constant we can rely on, we are blessed.

I am still good friends with some lovely school and college friends, meeting for coffee when we can. We reminisce about our teens and early twenties. They can't get over the minute detail to my stories. We will always have this history together. Our first boyfriends, our first gigs and our first traumas. Lots of firsts! The excitement we all shared together. And, not forgetting our fashion faux pas and hairdos when we get out the photo albums! 

These childhood/teenage tribes are so important. Our first friendships and teenage peer group mean everything. People we can trust and a group where everyone has each other's back. When you have faced a childhood/ teenage trauma, I feel it is lovely to have some of these friends still, in your life who lived through it with me. As I did with some of them. 

And our first jobs. The first work mates we meet and bond with. I will never forget working at Pickering's Wholefoods in Barnsley with this amazing girl. We would put Meatloaf on really loud and turn it down when a customer walked up to our section. Still friends now. May only see each other once or twice a year but that bond is still there. These easy relationships, where you can just pick back up where you left off are so valuable to have.

I also worked at McDonald's and some of us would do a long shift, run up to the staff room, get changed, spray a hefty amount of perfume on and go straight to Hedonisms in Barnsley. Those were the days! There were a few I got along with really well. Fast forward 20 years and now I am friends with one of them again through our daughters who love it that we used to work together! I do feel, with some people, you are supposed to remeet and rekindle friendships. I'm so glad we did! That feeling when you remeet an old friend and carry on where you left off is amazing. I'm lucky to have done that a few times.

I have one uni friend I lost touch with when I moved house. She is my regret. I tried to get in touch with her to invite her to my wedding. I tried Friends Reunited but could not find her. I have since looked on Facebook. I do think of her from time to time and wonder what she is up too. It's that feeling that I did not mean to lose touch but can never let her know. She may, one day read this and message me!

Work mates are another amazing tribe, especially when they become family. I had this in the school I worked at for 15 years, Goldthorpe Primary. I was lucky with the timing too as I was a new, young teacher and I had a fab mentor and learned from some of the best. These remarkable women were a work family. Everyone had each other's back. They  truly cared, not just about helping with your lessons but with what was going on with you personally. I had a tumultous time at one point whilst I was there and going into work, seeing them everyday, helped get me through. We all did this for each other. Yes, teaching was not as pressured then and we seemed to have more time, but these women dropped everything for each other. It was lovely as we played to our strengths. People asked me about Literacy and I knew where to go for other subjects. That feeling you were looked on as an equal? Priceless. I am still in touch with some of my lovely ex colleagues. To me, they will always be firm friends.

I totally get now, from moving on from this school, that you are going to meet kindred spirits you work with, who become firm friends but also, that not everyone is going to dig you or support you. I learned the hard way not to trust everyone; I was very naive and trusting. I had been spoiled at Goldthorpe and just assumed everyone would be your friend and would have your back. Once you learn that lesson though, you find out who your confidantes are and who to open up more to. You get a gut instinct for who you will vibe with. I love this card on pinterest, celebrating those who do get you and think you are fab. Not just those who have to humour you because they work with you!

For those of you who have sat in play areas for hours, telling your kids you need to go home; have run into school on the last push just before  register; stood at the school gate, freezing and sat in dance/gym/swimming changing rooms, you will appreciate the friendship of other mums. You will have bonded over homework stresses, school trip queries and chaperoning dance shows! I think of three said mums in particular as I write this. One, was always on the last push with me, one so laid back I could kiss her and the other really was my PA! The times she would remind me things, knowing full well I would have forgotten! My laid back friend. Well, let's just say that she has humoured me so much! Someone needed to! Eee, we have done some cultured stuff! She drew the line at taking a clipboard into Barnsley market to draw people. She settled on sitting on the bench at the top of Market Hill instead. They only went to the ladies and I had them signed up when they got back! Flexible friends are fab. I'd be like, there's a craft fair on Sunday and we'd be off. There's a dance workshop in the hols and off we'd go!

We have situations in our lives where we are thrown together with people we do not vibe with and we feel we have to tone our personalities down, watch what we say and try to fit in. Work settings can be one of these. This is why we then need to go and have a cuppa and a chat with our friends who love us for us. We can say daft stuff with no fear of being criticised. 

It is so true. Folk are so different. Life is more fun that way! Your people will come to you, as you will them!

We are all weird in our own little ways. It's about finding the same quirks that fit and complement each other. 

So yes, find your tribe. Although, personally, I think you have more than one tribe and you might be different, depending on which tribe you are meeting. Although if, like me, you have no filter and over share, you will tell the story of your dress ripping at your cousin's wedding whilst kicking your leg up in the air for 'New York!'. You will relay this in the pub to your hubbys friends' lovely wives and in the staff room in front of your boss! 

I do believe there are different types of friends and friendships. All different folk make up the tribe! When you think of your different friends, and yourself, which one are you? Well, I'm definitely not firm, bodywise or emotionally! I'm a fruity one I think!

Some days it's fab to meet in a group and catch up, having a laugh. Other days, it's lovely to meet on a one to one and have a deeper catch up, a deeper conversation. Some friends are the life and soul who lift you up and others are the quieter listeners who talk you through things. Both friendships are precious. Either way, they are our unpaid therapists! 

It's fun meeting people and connecting with them. It's good to know that out there there maybe a few more on the horizon! I have met some gorgeous ladies through my blog. Very creative and soulful ladies. Who would have thought that two years ago? Keep open to new vibes and new people. Some of these ladies have really brought out the best in me! I feel energised from our conversations!

Another amazing thing about friendship is the unexpectedness of it. You can be in a cafe, strike a conversation up, meet the next week, and the week after and become close friends, helping each other through health worries. You can know someone, like at school, lose touch, then remeet as adults, not realising just how much you are going to mean to each other in such a small space of time. Friendship like this can bowl you over. How fast you can get to reknow each other, understand each other and be totally there for each other.

Family is not always just family. This tribe can be precious friends too. Family friendship is unconditional. But that's another blog! 

It has been said that I have too many friends. My response? That's like saying you can have too much carrot cake or wine! We are all different. I do get that as you get older, your friendships dwindle as people move away and lose touch, have families and busy careers. I do get that it becomes quality over quantity but you can have different levels of friends, like an archery target board. On the outside are those friends you maybe see once or twice a year, send birthday cards to and enjoy meeting up. You might not see them much, but they are in your thoughts. As you are in theirs. The next level are the friends you maybe work with, and neighbours, and you see more often. Then your close friends who you see on weekly, fortnightly basis. The inner circle who are your 'go to' people. You might have quite a few friends but only a handful who you properly open up to. Why would you want to open up with everybody? Sometimes, you just want to go out and have a laugh and not talk deeper.

It is about connecting with other like minded people. Social media may have its downside but it has been lovely for me, with my blog, virtually meeting other people who think like me and share my passions. It's good to have a mixture of physical friends you sit with a coffee and, after this pandemic, share a hug with but it is also nice to converse on social media and send virtual hugs. Especially in this pandemic. 

Whether you see someone every week, every month or every year, what is key is that you are both friends in the heart. You think of each other when you are not together; you text to check up on them and you invest time into the friendship. I am thinking of some friends now I don't see often but I know if I was to text them tonight with a problem and needed a favour, they would be straight there, helping.  Friends are precious. Cherish them. 

So, let your fellow tribesses, and tribesmen know what they mean to you. This year has definitely brought it home how much relationships mean to us. Tell them how appreciated they are. People need to hear this. 

Family and friends do share your story. Some begin it with you. Some enter in the middle. Some enter stage right and quickly proceed to stage left! They all have a part to play in the saga of your life! They add colour and adventure. They are there for the cliff hangers and the 'Eastenders' drum worthy episodes. Some stay to the end, hand in hand, heart to heart, completing that gorgeous tapestry of life.

Think of all that has already been. Those wonderful chapters so far. Then think of all the fabness to come! Friends do come and go. Concentrate on those who have stood by your side and know how blessed you are. 


  1. Lovely blog as always. Yes friends keep us all going in this pandemic. Certainly appreciate them more than ever!

  2. I can identify with so much of what you write here. I can go back to 5 years old with some friends too and you know we must have met as Pickerings was my go to for food and the awesome cafe too- those salads were scrumptious and the quiches , well just delicious !

    1. Oh my goodness! Those quiches and salads were divine! Wish it was still open!


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