For about the past year, I’ve been feeling a certain way. I wasn’t sure what to call it until recently, but I can sum it up now as feeling tribe-less. It’s not a real word, but it’s how I feel.
Growing up, my family moved around every year or two until age 8. Starting in middle school, I was quite social, started dating, and had a few close friends, one of whom I still keep up with today.
In college, I joined a sorority, and the college marching band, and student media, and had many acquaintances through these groups. I met my husband there, too. Post-college, I volunteered extensively with my sorority and never had a shortage of invites to weddings, baby showers and brunches.
But something has happened, especially since around the time I turned 30. First, my dad passed away, and some of my friends didn’t know how to deal with me for a while. Then everyone else started having kids, and I didn’t, so there was less in common. And third, my husband and I moved to the very transient Central Florida. We’ve been renting and have moved locally every year or two since being here, and we don’t really know our neighbors. People aren’t overly friendly here.
And now, I don’t know that I really have any close friends at all. I have my wonderful husband and our dog, a few acquaintances here in Florida who I occasionally might see in person, some folks I volunteer with each Sunday, and a few friends scattered throughout the nation who I talk to, occasionally, over text and Facebook. That’s it. No BFF, no besties, no Snapchat streaks, no brunch or bunco crew, no Sex and the City-style talks.
So I sit here wondering if this is my fault. Am I just too introverted, too much of a homebody? Am I a bad friend, or boring? Or are others looking inwardly at raising their families, and we’re all just using social media as a crutch to “keep in touch”?
I don’t know the answer. But I do know that I see others curating a vibrant social media life full of friends, family, backyard BBQs, parties and dinners. And I’d like that, to an extent.
So, I am feeling tribe-less. I am married, in my mid 30s, childless. College is in the rear view and my peers are mostly dealing with breast pumps and day cares. I don’t know the answer to finding a tribe, but I hope that my husband and I can buy a home in a good neighborhood and have a family soon, so that I might cultivate a tribe again.