When I was younger, heck, most of life, I did not gravitate towards one specific group of people, or certain group of friends, or ‘stay still’ long enough to be considered a part of this group or that. I was very much a floater. I enjoyed all people in all “groups”, and was very interested in being everyone’s friend. I had a few friends closer than others, sure. I don’t know that I’d ever term myself as someone’s best friend growing up. I suppose the closest I get to that is my friend Ingrid who lived across the street from us. Somehow we gravitated towards each other very early on and that ‘bff’ status stuck with us at least through middle school till I found myself in this floater’s type pattern. That floating pattern has stuck with me since and I have to say I really really enjoy that to the extent that I hope my kids can pick up some of that likeness towards floating for their own personal lives.
I have to admit though, that as of late, I have not so much liked the floating pattern for me now. I still very much maintain that type of lifestyle I think, but I feel a necessary urge in my parenthood years to feel more attached to a tribe. I hear this term so often and envy those that really feel connected and a part of a true community. They know they have people to lean on and people to reach out to in their times of need or in play. They have very very close pals that they may speak to on a daily basis on anything, everything and nothing. I like that they have their tight-knit little core and yet open to us floaters who pass on by once in awhile. I feel I have made some really very nice friends along this parenthood journey, but lack and so desperately want and need that lil’ tribe to call home.
I had thought I was getting better at this ‘relationship thing’ a few years back when we had grown close to a particular family that felt much like home to me and my kids. Things happened over the course of this past year, that make me feel a little jumpy now. Turmoil has ruined that closeness we once had, and now I feel super duper vulnerable to opening myself back up again. I had poured a great deal into that connection and having it go sour like that felt much like a break up with a boyfriend/husband. Maybe I am just not so ready to delve into this aspect of relationship building? I yearn for what I am not yet capable of? I am not quite sure how to get there. Get past the hurt I feel regarding this situation…. get past my inability to connect more deeply…. and to trust more fully in relationships I do cherish most.
I do see the floating pattern developing in my kids. It’s more apparent in D than in K, and that’s totally OK. I don’t want them to feel they have to befriend those they don’t connect with in more deeper levels or vice versa. I love that D is friends with just about anyone that will talk to her. And just recently she has deemed someone a “BFF”. That’s a healthy balance in my eyes, and good for her to cherish and explore both ends of the spectrum. K on the other hand, is not much of a floater…. at all really. He likes comfort and security and knowing that just a few are *good* friends. I really like that of him as well. I wish I could feel that comfortable. I find myself feeling like I might be missing out on something if I settle into a small group of friends. And in the exact same breath, I can honestly say I’m missing out on SO much by *not* having that small secure group of “good” friends. I need to learn from him… learn how to invest.
S I can very much see as a floater at this point. But he’s so young, who knows. He’s everybody’s buddy though, and I love that. I feel like it’s time for me to settle down! I do need to maintain my floater status to some degree… but I so desperately want to find my little tribe. I would love to have those buddies that I know I can call just because. People who you gather for a family meal together. Those you may take off for a quaint camping trip with. Mama’s who want to escape a night with me for a walk along the lake front to gab with…. there is just so much to benefit from the investment in tribes, not only for the personal growth, but the connections, relationships, the kids and lifetime of memories.
OR…. is this just not in the cards for me?