“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it family: whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
Jane Howard says it best: you can’t get through life without support from a group of like-minded people. People who understand you, support you and cheer you on. When you find that group, the passion and energy is contagious. Perhaps it’s a group of people who share a major hobby, maybe it’s co-workers who relate to your daily struggles and triumphs or friends who are in the same stage of life. You may even have more than one tribe, but you definitely need one.
But as much as people shout from the rooftops about how wonderful tribes are, they usually leave out a bit piece of the equation: how to find the elusive group of people who just get you. It’s not as easy as snapping your fingers; finding that group takes work and putting yourself out there. While stepping outside your comfort zone may be scary, it’s really the only way to step into a group of people that you’re meant to find.
But it can be hard!
I get it.
To be honest, I had a hard time finding my military spouse tribe. I had great work friends, people who shared my hobbies and a wonderful support system in my family, but none of them truly understood this new role I was taking on when I fell in love with my husband.
Despite going to each event with lots of hope, I struggled to connect with other spouses at social events because I was new and attended so infrequently thanks to living an hour away. I never had time to get to know people before they moved on and I trudged through the ups and downs without ever really feeling like I had someone to go to. I had all these emotions about being part of the military lifestyle and, without knowing if they were normal or not, felt terribly ill-equipped to handle things.
In short, I felt like I wasn’t cut out to be a military spouse.I felt like I wasn't cut out to be a #militaryspouse. That is until I found my tribe. Click To Tweet
As I googled acronyms and how to put together care packages, I found this whole world of military spouses who openly talked about the ups and downs of their lives. Their words held encouragement and humor and a few sobering realities that kept me grounded. Reading their blogs made me feel normal and I began to worry a bit less about whether I was cut out for this life.
Essentially, I’d found my tribe without even realizing I was looking!
Throughout the years, I’ve developed true friendships with military spouses all over the world. I’ve drawn inspiration from them, both virtually and in person. Our shared connection to the armed forces bridged differences in every other aspect of our lives and we’ve connected. I have cheered for them, cried with them and celebrated with them. They got me and I got them.
It’s made a world of difference.
Thanks to my online military spouse community, I know that whether or not I attend the monthly lunches my husband’s command hosts (always during the work week!), I will have a group of people who I can turn to with complete understanding. Since then, I’ve really blossomed and made connections that would have seemed impossible six years ago.
All thanks to finding my tribe.
Do you have a tribe? How did you find them?