what about when you don’t have a tribe…

So here’s the thing: I don’t think I have a tribe… or a squad… or whatever they’re called anymore.

Well, I suppose I might…

But at what point would I know for sure? Is there a point you get to where you start calling each other tribe members? Is there an initiation process? Membership fees? Is there a leader? Are we all followers? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

See, there was a point where I know I did have a tribe/squad. I did cheerleading all four years of high school and my teammates were definitely part of my tribe. The tribe changed over the years, with members added and subtracted, but I definitely was aware of who my core group of friends was. Is that what constitutes a tribe/squad?

This concept has been brought to the forefront of my mind a lot lately. It seems that everywhere I look on social media there are groups of friends or people with shared interests joining forces and having a magical time together.

In the years since I’ve graduated high school (please don’t make me count them, I’ll sprout a gray hair) my core friend group has changed a lot. I took a less traditional path toward college and ended up kind of doing my own thing for most of those first few years. Inevitably, this led to the demise of what I once considered to be my “squad.” Obviously, not solely my doing, of course. We all kind of did our own things at that time. Nevertheless, it caused me to redefine my circle of close friends. Fast forward a few more years and I’m still kind of feeling that awkward in-between phase of limited members of my tribe.

I think that’s another contributing factor to my “tribe” issue – I DO have a handful of really awesome friends in my life. I don’t necessarily see them on a regular basis, but I’m kind of a homebody nowadays so I’ll take the blame there.

One aspect I think I miss the most is the unwavering support of each other’s dreams and goals.

But, maybe I’m the one who’s not participating in that aspect of communal friendships anymore…?

I regularly feel a sense of perpetual non-belonging in the vast majority of activities that I participate in. Casual conversations, family get-togethers, parties, you name it. I’m an extrovert to the max but, 9 times out of 10, I’m completely uncomfortable in social settings and am just flying by the seat of my pants. I’m always not quite sure if I’m behaving properly. Not in an “appropriateness” kind of way, but in a way in which other supportive, healthy adults are supposed to act if that makes sense.

I think it’s challenging to make friends as you get older. I don’t think it’s impossible, but for whatever reason, it’s more challenging to find your “people” when the majority of your time is spent with family or at work. Thankfully, we have social media that allows us the opportunity to fit friendship aspects into our lives where they didn’t use to exist, but I’m still somehow faced with the feeling of not having an official tribe.

Normally, I don’t think this would bother me. But for whatever reason, the last few months it has been a continued focus in my life. I think it’s a newfound awareness of mine since I’ve been slowing recovering from isolation. (I wrote all about that on this blog post.)

I’ve realized I truly value the people and friendships I have in my life. Often times more than I can accurately convey in the occasional verbal exchange. I’m left feeling as if I should be doing something differently, from a friendship standpoint. Like how do I know I’m being a good friend?? How do I make sure that I’m being the supportive, loving, selfless version of myself that I know I would want as a friend?

Why am I so socially awkward?!

The more I ramble and ponder on this topic, the more I’m left reeling and considering that my “tribal” problem might be internal. Like, Jordan, you have friends that love and support you. It’s different now that you’re in the midst of adulthood and these relationships will develop and transform over time just like every other relationship you have with another human being. Chill out for once!

We all know the chill out method isn’t exactly my style though.

I would rather torment myself by overthinking and overanalyzing every possible aspect of communal friendships and why do I feel so weird about the ways in which I participate in them?

Ya know, there should be an honorary PhD for overthinking like mine. I’m not the traditional overthinker where I only obsess and draw out the same experience over and over. No. I’m the one who will google 75 different societal, cultural, and psychological perspectives of why am I experiencing the things I am and what kind of solution can I find or create in order to either accept it and adjust accordingly or change my experience.

Anyone else do this too??

If so, we should totally start a tribe.

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