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The Five Women you Need in your Tribe (Part 1)

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I am blessed to have the most amazing tribe of women in my life.  My tribe is full of strong, beautiful, diverse women who offer so much to the world and me.  These amazing women have stood by my side through thick and thin.  Some I have known for only a short time and others for most of my life.  I find peace of mind knowing that I have a safe place within my tribe regardless of my struggles or success.

These amazing women are a constant reminder that I am capable of having lasting, meaningful relationships.  Not all of my relationships suck, just the romantic ones.

I often think about my tribe and how these women have played different roles in my life, but most recently in the last few years.  When I was in my darkest hour, they surrounded me with love, kindness, compassion, and no judgment.

What I have learned about friendships, is that they may have a shelf life.  If friendship is a garden, then sometimes you have to weed your garden and end friendships.  The ending of a friendship can be difficult, but not everyone is on the same journey as we evolve in life. And that is ok! The universe has a magical way of introducing the people you need in your life at just the right time.

Diane, what is the difference between friendships and tribe?

Thank you for asking.  I believe you build your tribe through your friendships.  I connected with the women in my tribe and had had the privilege of introducing these amazing women to one another.  Without me, they may have never met.  When my tribe is together, we are a dominant force.

I took my friends and created my tribe.

Which leads me to the five women you should have in your tribe. They are in no particular order, and I am willing to be that you have these established friendships. You can have more, but I think these friends are a solid foundation. If you feel you are missing something in your life and you aren’t quite sure what that something is, maybe your tribe is short a person.

1. Lifelong Friend

I am truly blessed to have a few friends that I have known for most of my life.  When I think of the friend, who is my oldest friend that would be Melissa.  We met in 4th grade, Ms. Dunn’s class.  I am pretty sure we were instant friends for a few reasons; 1. We were new to the school, and both of us came from Catholic schools. 2. A shared love of sports and beating up the boys. 3. Perhaps we were both a little awkward. 4. She played football, and that was cool.

Melissa lived down the street from my grandma.  We spent summers together scheming to take over the world.  One summer we were going to become famous songwriters, and of course, we wrote a song. We had a shared love of baseball that turned into softball, and we wanted our younger siblings to get married so we could officially be sisters.

W remember the most about my 30+ year friendship with Melissa because I laugh all the time.  I vividly remember one night we were watching a baseball game and we got the giggles.  I can’t remember what we laughed about, but I remember it hurt so good.

Over the years we may have traveled different roads, but our hearts are always connected.  Melissa is one of the strongest women I know.  I love and admire that she is 100% herself.

Why is having the lifelong friend important for your tribe? Melissa is a witness to my life.  We grew up together, and there is a certain comfort level with no explanation when you have had a friend in your life for that long.

I would also like to mention that I have two additional lifelong friends from high school that hold a lot of memory real estate for me.  I will introduce you to them soon!

friendship stability relationships laughter leadership

2. Sage

I frequently turn to my friends for advice.  When I am struggling with life or just need a fresh perspective, there are members of my tribe who are wise beyond their years.  Deanna is my wise friend who has always given me sage advice.  I officially met Deanna almost ten years ago at a fire safety educator conference.  But our paths were running parallel before our meeting.

We connected instantly and started working together on joint projects for work.  As our friendship developed, I found myself taking in Deanna’s wise words.  I was impressed by her strength, raising her girls, the bond with her husband, and her passion for the fire service.

As I began to confide in her, she would listen and then give advice.  She always knew what to say, and to this day continues to deliver her timely advice.  Deanna is a friend and a mentor and a woman I admire for her perseverance in the fire service.

Having a sage in your tribe is important to give you perspective when you need some, and their keen sixth sense of knowing when you need them is invaluable.

3. Unfiltered

The unfiltered friend is the friend who will tell you what you don’t want to hear, which isn’t always easy.  In fact, my unfiltered friend and I have struggled the last few years.  Keasa and I met through her now-husband.  Her husband and I went to the academy together, and when I was promoted to lieutenant, he was one of my firefighters.

Keasa was living in Idaho at the time and planning their wedding. Her husband knew that Keasa and I both loved to scrapbook so he thought we would connect.  Keasa and I became fast friends, and I instantly appreciated her honesty and unfiltered opinions.  We would spend hours scrapbooking and getting to know each other.

Keasa is not overly emotional, and what I love and respect about her is she will tell me what she thinks even if I don’t want to hear her thoughts. In the last few years, we have struggled to connect, but I think of her often, and I believe in my soul that we still have a connection.

Friendships, like all relationships, struggle. My tribe isn’t perfect, but the diversity and strength in my tribe make us perfectly imperfect.

What about the other women in my tribe? Stay tuned for the next post, including an honorable mention.

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