Last night my 14-year-old daughter reminded me of how essential it is to surround yourself with a tribe you trust and love, who has your back unconditionally. It began just like any other Wednesday evening, we were out to dinner as a family at our go-to Mexican spot when my husband casually broached the subject of chores with the kids. Suddenly, my easygoing, happy girl dissolved into tears.
Turns out she’s been feeling tremendous stress learning to manage the workload of several ongoing school projects and is having a reeeeeally hard time in math. At the same time, she’s trying to balance being a good friend to her best girlfriends with carving out some quiet time–essential for my sweet introvert.
She feels pulled in a million directions by work, friends, life…and the pressure of how to please everyone. She needed to let it out, all that anxious energy she’s kept bottled up inside. And thank god, she did. To us. To her tribe.
I imagine some if not all of this story resonates with each of you who are reading this. We all feel the strain of having a full plate, an ever-changing pie chart of responsibilities. My daughter is just coming into the age of womanhood where she is experiencing it all for the first time…and seeing her tears and hearing her emotion reminded me again of how very REAL and HARD it all can be.
And so I sat there across from her. Reaching for her hand over the guacamole. Handing her paper napkins for her tears. Quietly shushing her brothers when they tried to interrupt with well-meaning suggestions or help. I listened.
I thank god for my tribe of women. You know exactly who you are. We laugh, we cry, we take big leaps, we worry, we celebrate, we fail, we love…and we do it together. Unconditional love and support, cheerleading and commiserating, unparalleled loyalty. When you win, I win. When you need me, I’m already there. And vice versa.
A couple of weeks ago I spent a blissful weekend here in Atlanta on a Staycation with my tribe. As is our custom, each of us brings a little sercy for the others and we exchange over dinner one night. This time, I had made us each friendship bracelets.
I used gorgeous gold-toned Moon & Lola ‘Preston’ Bracelets that I picked up at Swoozie’s here in Atlanta as a base and added vintage coins and tokens; some were specific to each girl and others we all had on our bracelet to remember the trips we’ve taken together. (The coins were fun to hunt for on eBay!)
I have to give a huge shout out of thanks to the jewelry making queen of Atlanta, Anne Kosmicki, for drilling and attaching each coin by hand on such short notice. She’s magical, I swear.
The bracelets were a hit! Yay! And we wore them for the rest of the weekend, jingling as we raised our glasses and clapped our hands and reached for hugs. I’ll admit, they turned out pretty fabulous. And we are going to keep adding to them over the years as we enjoy more adventures together.
But more important than how they look is what they symbolize…that we are a tribe. This is our circle. Each of us is unique. Life can be hard. Life can be unbelievably incredibly awesome. And we are not alone for any of it.
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