In my last post, I told you about three of the five women you should have in your tribe. You can read that post here. Before I dive into the last two women to have in your tribe and an honorable mention, I want to clarify that your tribe is not just these five women.
The women I am describing are a small part of my tribe. My little man, family, pediatrician, male friendships, and coworkers are all part of my tribe. If I had a partner/ significant other, they would be part of my tribe (maybe). The beauty of a tribe is the diversity and strength it provides to you.
As Anne Lamott writes “… the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day.”
Let’s pick up where we left off with the remaining women you need in your tribe.
4. Woobie (workout buddy)
Brittany is a new member of my tribe. She and I met at our CrossFit gym during the 6:00 AM class. We shared a mutual crankiness about moving our bodies and weights in the early morning. I was striving for consistency, and every morning when my alarm went off, I wanted to roll back over and sleep. But I knew that Brittany would be there, and I didn’t want to let her down.
And that was the beginning of a great friendship. Fortunately, we have transitioned to attending the 9:30 AM class, which is better for everyone. We are both athletic girls that push each other to do better in the gym and what we eat.
Brittany is wicked smart and is one of the funniest people I have ever met. We recently took a girls’ trip to Vegas to see the Back Street Boys, and I asked her how she handles being so smart and usually right. Her reply was, “it’s not the being right; it’s that no one believes me.”
Last month Brittany signed us up for a team CrossFit competition. I was super nervous and would have never signed up on my own. Our team represented well, so she signed us up for another competition next month.
Having a friend in my tribe that I can work out with, hold me accountable for eating, and push me out of my comfort zone has helped pull me out of my depression. We have also found that we both make poor choices when dating, giving us never-ending laughs.
5. Thelma, Bestie, Sister from another Mother, Soul Sister
I saved this one for last because I cannot put into words how this friend means to me. Wendy and I met about 15 years ago at work. She was hired a year before I was, and we were always friendly, but it wasn’t until I asked her if she wanted to do a triathlon that our friendship took off.
The triathlon’s funny part is that neither one of us ran, swam, or rode a bike. I thought it would be fun because we would be in the Athena (women over 160 lbs) division. We tried to prepare for the triathlon and failed miserably. I hurt my shoulder; her swim coach told her that she didn’t need swimming lessons but a shrink.
We never competed in a triathlon, but I have spent some of the best and worst moments of my adult life with her. We have had our struggles and stopped talking to each other for a period over a guy. It turns out she was spot on about him; he was not a good man. In fact, she has been spot on about all the guys I have introduced her to, and she still stands by me to pick up the pieces.
Our sons are six months apart, we sound the same, and most people think we are sisters or confuse us. She is the nice one, the responsible one, and I could fill up hours of stories where she has saved my bacon. I am the cranky one, more fun and more emotional. I never had a sister, and neither did she, so I always tell her she is the sister I got to pick.
Wendy knows me better than anyone else, and she is one of the few people in my world that I feel loves me for who I am. I don’t have to pretend, and having that type of love in my life from my soul sister is hard to articulate. I admire her strength, honesty, and her loyalty.
While writing this post, I realized that there are six women you need in your tribe. My mom is an essential part of my tribe. But she hasn’t always been part of my tribe. See is an alcoholic and for the first 34 years of my life. She was there, but she was never actually present. She stopped drinking in 2010 and hasn’t had a drop since. I am so proud of her.
My teen years were difficult, to say the least, and I spent a lot of time angry with her. The worst part about her drinking was the family just ignored it. I now have the relationship with my mom that I always dreamed of as a little girl. My mom is strong, dependable, and loyal. She has stayed married to my dad for 52 years and is the matriarch of our family.
Mom is wise, beautiful, funny, smart, and I have loved watching her blossom. Every morning when I am on my way to work, she sends me a text telling me to have a safe shift. And on the days I am going home, she sends me another text telling me to have a good day off. She encourages me, and I try and talk to her every day.
Madeleine Albright said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
There is a lot of truth in this statement. As women, we need to spend more time picking each other up and let go of judgment. I have learned how to be a better human, mom, friend, and daughter from the women in my tribe.