being vulnerable + finding friends at 35
There are so many layers to making friends and finding your people. It starts with meeting people when you are a kid, some friends stay forever, some come and go as the years go by and you grow. Some come back over time and you meet each other where you are in a new chapter. You grow up – you go to college and it starts over in a whole new capacity, you may know a few people at school but you essentially start over to find your people, your tribe, the people you do life with, your family away from home. Then you graduate – you get married start a family of your own and here we go again.
Do I really have to find a new tribe? I don’t want to do this again.
I will never forget the physical pain it felt to leave my roommates in college when we left our house we made a tiny little crazy college home. They were my family.
When I graduated, got married + had kids, I became more of a close circle kind of gal – quality over quantity and I like to pour into my people immensely. I keep it small so that people can get the most out of me as a friend. A small circle to me felt great in a big city – it was just comfortable to me. Throw in a curve ball of moving 6 hours away and the process starts over at 35, with a husband, and 3 kids later.
s t o r y t i m e
So as many of you know, we just moved 6.5 hours away from Orlando to the Panama City Beach/30A area. I have been getting so many messages from people being anything but clear on how we know people here. Disclaimer- this made moving so much easier and I am so very aware of how much harder it would have been if I did not know a soul.
So, I will fill you in — It has been our home away from home for years because Tom use to live here before we were married. During that time we built a tight group of friends that have been more like family to us. Friends that stuck and were/are some of the deepest friendships we have formed as a couple. Our little beach family has been through a lot together. I met my best friend here through our husbands who worked together – our relationship took a huge shove from acquaintance to soul mate real quick, years ago when I was with her on a trip where she got a call that her mama had passed away. I was meant to be with her then in that moment because God knew I needed her just as much. When I say we have been through a lot together, its a lot. So, it was very natural to feel like we could move back and fit into our group with our people we love.
This, I will be forever grateful for, like SOOOOO very grateful– but at the same time there is an small inkling of doubt because I am fitting into their world. Even if it seems natural for them, right now it can be hard to feel like I can deep dive and belong fully into the local world they have been in forever. BUT – that is where confidence in yourself comes into play. Yes- I am essentially fitting into their world, their already made schedules, their play dates, their lives but what I tell myself is that I am 100% worthy to fit into their puzzle. Why not?
I have been the girl asking all of these ladies and more about where to register for school, swim lessons, best beach access, and 10000 more questions. It’s easy to feel like the most annoying new local on the block.
e n c o u r a g e m e n t
I wanted to write this to encourage you, in whatever season you are in that you are worthy. You are so worthy to shove yourself into an already established mom friend group, bible study, or neighborhood clique. Whether you have moved to a new city, new part of town or are just looking to fit in where you are–Believe in yourself that you can have a new circle of friends and do life with people without letting your old people go. You can tear down your walls and be open to friendships. They may not be what you thought or they may bloom into something beautiful. You take that risk.
On a rare occasion, we encounter special people that we know we met for a reason. These are the kinds of friendships that last forever no matter what city you live in or how old you get or what phase of life you are in. Open yourself up because you could come across the friendship that has no judgment and sticks by you when you royally screw up. It’s the kind of friendships that make you understand unconditional love. Be vulnerable and be YOU.
v u l n e r a b i l i t y
Vulnerability is not an easy thing, but what it brings is:
connection with others
knowledge that you are not alone in what you share
Vulnerability is almost always worth it when we compare it with the damage it does to NOT be vulnerable. I am also not going to say this is easy for me – but writing it helps me keep myself accountable. I struggle with social anxiety even at 35 – in a nutshell its just my confidence in myself. In new settings- it shows, but I show grace and compassion for myself these days. When I finally felt like at 35, I had it all under control- I moved to a new city with 3 kids (hello darkness my old friend- anxiety)– I am a huge enneagram 2 if you know you know. I care a lot if I am pleasing the masses. It’s silly, but I own that.
You absolutely HAVE to become okay with not being liked. No matter how loved or kind you are, you will never people please your way into collective acceptance. You could be a whole ray of sunshine and people will dislike you because they are used to the rain. Be okay with shining regardless.
S H I N E
You are worthy of a great and happy life. Shine your light- Go gettum girl. Be yourself, tear down your walls and show the people who you are. In doing so – you may meet one friend or a tribe of beautiful souls you wont let go of. Either way- they are both gold if you find that safe friend space and can be 100% you.
You aren’t going through it alone – lets walk together!
Do you and SHINE anyway.