moving forward

Who needs a “village” of friends anyhow?

I keep hearing women talk about how it takes a village, or how thankful they are for their “tribe” of friends. I find myself wondering if there is something wrong with me because I don’t have those sort of groups in my life for the most part anymore.

In my 20’s I had a huge group of friends. We spent all of our free time together. If we had a little extra money we were out partying, dancing and having the time of our lives. When we were broke, we hunkered down at my house, playing cards, listening to music and talking until way past midnight. We celebrated our youth, and grew up together nearly becoming family as most military friendships do. I am lucky to still have a few of those friends left in my life.

In my 30’s, the group grew smaller as I was married and had 2 kids, yet we still had a blast having driveway parties with our neighbors after the kids went to bed. We were there for each other in good times and bad. We celebrated 1st half marathons, and grieved when we lost loved ones. We’ve mostly since grown apart, only keeping in touch via Facebook etc. The one close friend I kept from my late 30’s, was also military and we’re still very close.

In my early 40’s, I struggled finding my way after retiring from the military, but found myself a fantastic group of friends in the running community. While the friendships weren’t nearly as tight knit or long term, they served such a wonder stepping stone for me to find myself. We were there for each other to support during races, and even sometimes in regular life. Most of us have since grown apart minus one very dear friend I met through the running community. We were also extremely close with our next door neighbors, and even though we live far apart now we still remain close.

Now as I peak my late 40’s, I used to honestly question why on earth I even cared about fitting in anymore? But I’ll admit, it bothered me for the first couple of years after we moved to Florida. I wasn’t part of the Mom’s groups as my kids are much older, I didn’t fit in with the stay at home Moms as I work full time and trying to make conversation was a struggle, and I couldn’t handle the gossipers or 40 year old something “mean girls” because that’s just not how I roll…

And then it hit me about a year ago. I have never really fit in, in general, and that’s ok. It just means I am now more selective in who I choose to spend time with in life, and that’s ok. Quality beats quantity any day of the week if you ask me. As long as you have a few good friends in your life, you’re ok in my book. And I’m lucky to have a small handful that I talked about in this post. Maybe it just means you finally realize that you deserve the very best, right?! Who needs a village, anyhow?

Cheers,

Michelle

13 thoughts on “Who needs a “village” of friends anyhow?”

  1. Not sure it’s just a female thing, well maybe the tribe thing is, but growing apart from friends I think for you, me, and most other military folks is a result of how we change. I clearly remember the day I separated from long-time friends. After my first tour of duty, I was excited to go back to my hometown and hang out with my group of friends. That lasted ONE DAY and I had no interest in being around them. I had changed and they seemed stuck and all about themselves. I realize that they were always like that; I grew up so to speak.

    My military friends, even though not long-term, were the ones I am close with. Nowadays I can only say I have maybe three friends that I see regularly, and that maybe 5 or 6 times a year. Except for my best friend that I have known since grade school but we are more family than friends and try to be together as often as we can. Like you I am selective who I assoscate with now .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although I am still in my 20s, I feel this. After I graduated from college, I have struggled to make friends and I struggled with fitting in while in school, so I get this. I completely agree with quality over quantity. Even if I only 2 close friends I know I can 100% count on and talk to that’s what matters. It’s still hard, but normally the what’s wrong with me moments are pretty fleeting.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Finding the right people who are the right influence on you and your family is by far a harder and more rewarding experience. Yes: quality > quantity (I’ve never heard the pennies versus quarters analogy, but I’ll probably steal that one). At the time my best friend and I were hanging out, I didn’t realize how much my presence even meant to him at the time and that was 20 something years ago. We don’t hang out because we live in different parts of the country…

    Ultimately, the “takes a whole village” thing is nonsense anyway: it’s merely a way to spread the blame if something goes tango uniform.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think this is more universal than most people think.
    I think most friendships are based on a situation such as school or the military. You have so much in common and so many shared experiences with those around you.
    Early in your career the “new folks” might get together for drinks or go skiing once in a while.
    Later in life you hang with people in your stage of life such as other parents, folks from soccer etc.
    When the kids grow up those common interests go off to college, etc.
    You hung out with those people because you had a common interest i.e. the kids and their activities.
    Common interests also brings people together at any stage in life. In school it may have been the kids on your sports team or in your club. As we get older it is the parent groups that surround our kids activities.
    When we are seniors it may be the group we play cards with at the senior center or volunteer with.
    Friends come and go as life changes.
    I envy those who keep a few friends from each phase of their life. Most of us don’t.
    These thoughts aren’t fully developed but I hope I am conveying my general point.

    One last point, I think all of us feel odd and different. Everyone.

    Like

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