When I moved to the United States so many moons ago, I did it fully aware that I was leaving everything and everyone I knew behind to pursue an education and future that my parents had dreamed for me. A future that they encouraged me to chase and watched me achieve with pride and joy. My parents and my sister were there for me every step of the way. To say that my family was my support system despite the disparate time zones and distance would be an understatement. Was it hard to leave all of my family, friends, places and familiar traditions behind for the unknown? YES, YES it was. But isn’t that what us humans are adept at? Adapting to change – you acclimatize, pivot and make the new, your normal.
So, this is where I get to share with you my story on how I tried to adapt once I had the chance to settle down in my new home. For those who know me know that I am a person that is always surrounded by friends, and I try my very best to keep in touch with friends from all walks of life. I have been asked “How do you do it? How do you always keep in touch with people? It has got to be hard.” I don’t think it is hard at all. It is not hard because friendship like any other relationship is a two-way street. You get what you give. I give them all of my heart and that is what I get from them too. When I was very young my parents always told me “Your friends are those that will stand by you despite all the challenges. When the going gets tough, look around, the people that are with you are the ones that you know you can count on”. I was incredibly fortunate to have had so many of these friendships growing up and they are still very much a part of my life (you know who you are!). Which is also probably why it was so hard leaving it behind.
When I am at a friend’s baby shower or wedding, I still get wistful when I see childhood friends together and listen to stories from times that they spent growing up together. I miss having those roots here. I miss it dearly but then I look around and find myself surrounded by so much love. I feel this love because even though my “old friends” (childhood friends, friends I went to high school with, friends who I played in my neighborhood with), are spread all over the world today, I know that when we do meet, it is like we have not been apart. We can pick up where we left off and it doesn’t seem like we haven’t met in months, most likely years.
I also feel ALL of this love because over time I have built some new friendships and forged new bonds. When I look around me I feel blessed to have found my tribe.
Friends, who I know will be there for me no matter what, no questions asked.
Women, who know what it means to support one another and build each other up.
Friends, who are happy in my happiness and are willing to stand by me in my hour of need.
I believe that I am surrounded by the most positive influencers, a lot of them within hugging distance when I need them and some not in the same time zone and geographic location as me. But, when your heart and mind is on the same wave length, no amount of time and distance can overshadow that relationship. I found my best friend, confidante and life partner by listening to my parent’s advice – “Always listen and follow your heart”. It is a very interesting story but we will save that for another time.
As I grow older and wiser (ahem, ahem) I want to be a role model for my boys just like my parents are to me. Be honest in every aspect of my life, be kind, be brave and show them that a true friend is one who builds you up. A true friend supports you and is not wary to share their successes/failures with you. They do it so you can learn from one another and grow together. Our children should know how to be a good friend to those around them. They should also know how to recognize a good friend when they are blessed with one and nurture that friendship. Because each amazing friendship builds that village we all want for ourselves and our family.
Look around you and count your blessings when you see your tribe standing beside you.
They will be the ones cheering you on when you are deciding to step back in to the work force after being a stay at home mom for the last few years;
They will let you cry on their shoulders when you feel like you failed as a mom that day;
They will encourage you and cheer you on when you pursue your love for writing in the form of a blog
They will laugh WITH you when you have had one too many at the end of a much needed girls’ night – no judgment, just laughter, support and LOVE! (You know you have been there!)
Tell us about your tribe and your funniest or most memorable experiences together. Mine involved me moving across continents to realize just how lucky I am. I am sure there are many out there with a similar experience especially if you grew up in one country and then moved to another. Share with us how you forged new connections to build YOUR tribe.