TRIBE: A group of friends that becomes your family.
The people that will be there for you no matter what and who you’re guaranteed to have a good time with. Although people may not understand how close they are and their relationships with each other, it doesn’t matter because they all appreciate it and love each other.
Remember when I talked about not having any drama for my senior year? I thought wrong. Of course, my involvement in these sorts of issues is minimal, but it has shed a lot of light on my personal life as well. There’s something about friends arguing that brings chills down my spine. Mostly because, to a certain degree, it scares me that those who were once very close to you have all the power to hurt you. My tight group of friends, or tribe, are those that I know won’t fail me because they’ve proven their spot in our group of loyal companions.
Since pre-school, we’re taught that we need to be friends with all the other kids around us because we happen to be in the same place at the same time. The whole “being friends with everyone” thing grows out of fashion as we grow older. We come to notice that while we may have similarities with other people and we might coincide during class hours, we don’t have to be friends with everyone. The meaning of friendship is often distorted in the process of growth, and we tend to believe that we need to categorize on a scale that reads “friends or not friends,” instead of finding other words that define our relationship. We can have colleagues, co-workers, acquaintances, and classmates—but we’re not all friends.
So then, what defines a tribe? Although some might say my intimate friends and I are like sisters, or brothers for that matter, we’ve found that sometimes our differences have brought us even closer than our similarities. My friends are foreign, athletes, movie geeks, bookworms, straight, gay, lesbian, actors, and most of all, massive party animals. I can assure you that I will never be an athlete, and I watch movies to enjoy them, not critique them; but I learn, and they learn, and we become empathetic towards the things we love as individuals, together. We’ve seen each other at our worst, we’ve argued about how Leo DiCaprio did not deserve that Oscar, but at the end of the day, what matters is that we’ve got each other’s backs. Choosing your tribe isn’t finding someone who likes your same genre of music, it’s the people that genuinely celebrate your triumphs and the first that you run to when you’ve had a tough day. They’re not the ones that will speak behind your back, but the ones to tell you what they need to say to your face.
I’ve always been a people pleaser, to an extent. I try to get along with everyone I meet, and that won’t change. What has changed is my lack of desire in trusting others who I know aren’t genuine, and my “black or white labeling” of friends or best friends. There’s a whole lot of shades of gray (more than 50 I’m sure), and if you look closely, you will quickly see the difference between your acquaintances, your close friends, and your tribe.