Find Your Tribe, Love Them Hard
The worst part about moving no matter what age you are is leaving behind your people. As an actor, your tribe is incredibly important. They are your life raft in a very large and angry ocean. When you move, the raft drifts out to sea. It's still visible but you can't grab onto it as quickly as you could before.I've been having a difficult time not having my friends in this new city. I love my husband more than anything and he's my best friend, my partner, my hero. But I would give my left kidney to go out with a few of my close friends for a happy hour (if it existed here in Vermont...that's a whole other can of worms) or just have some wine on a couch surrounded by a few ladies and talking about ANYTHING. Literally, ANYTHING. I feel like I haven't opened my mouth to speak since we were in New York a few weeks ago at a dinner party with some of our NYC family.I am spoiled. I have these fierce, funny, talented, beautiful, crazy, sarcastic, determined, amazing, magical beings in my life and quite frankly, not many can shine a candle to them. I relish being around them, soaking them in. They inspire me as a good tribe should. They are full of such light and love, it's almost too much to take in. Without them, it's felt cold and dark. It feels like leaving Neverland.I'm not here to explain friendship. Everyone gets friendship and what a tribe is. I really fell in love with the phrase from Danielle LaPorte (goddess):"find your tribe, love them hard" because I like the concept referring to my friend family as a tribe. A clan that sticks together, makes meals together, supports each other, and is there for the big moments and the small ones. You get it.I've never moved somewhere as an adult. Or even as a kid. We moved to a different town when I was in third grade and remained there in the same house until my brother and I graduated high school. I went to college out of state but it was full of other newbies looking for new friends. Moving to the city was a breeze as most of my college friends did the same. This is a new experience for me.And it fucking sucks. Moving back to your home state in your thirties means your high school friends who live there most likely have kids now. They also have their own tribe and routines. They are warm and welcoming and you get to see them, mostly for large gatherings, but it doesn't feel the same yet. You're not invited to the small stuff, the traditions they've started with their group and that's okay because you're not in the tribe. You aren't at the point of quick to the point text messages:"Working tonight?""Nope, free!""Great! Beers in 15?""Putting on my real pants now" And you don't even ask where because you most likely already know the usual place.From what I've observed, it doesn't seem like people meet for just a drink to catch up as often here. It's usually a longer ordeal. The city moves so fast and here, not so much. People have coffee dates, happy hour dates, and then dinner dates all within one day in New York. In Burlington, it feels like one date and it's usually planned a week in advance and takes up a short portion of the day/evening. I have to adapt.I have been able to deal with every other adjustment fairly well except this one. I feel myself welling up with tears when I serve two people having dinner together and apologizing because they haven't looked at their menus because they've been talking too much. I always want to hug them and let them know that's one of the best gifts in the world and I could never be mad at them for enjoying each other's company so much they haven't taken a breath.Being in my thirties, I've found there are fewer groups of people. There are the people with kids and a family life. There are the single people who are seeking a relationship or just a good time at a bar. Then there are the married couples and couples without kids. I fall in that category which is slowly but surely shrinking as I age.This isn't meant to be a 'feel sorry for me I'm so lonely' post. It's just another thing I'm discovering about moving somewhere new. I haven't had many friend adventures lately. I'm lucky to have close friends from childhood that I still see. It's different to get to know them again; we've all grown up and changed as people do. Some of us haven't kept in touch as much so we are getting back into it. I'm so thankful for that.I've always been really good at making friends. It's harder work in a smaller community. I have to test the waters to see if there are any rafts floating nearby I can grab. New York City is a battleground at times and we all look out for each other. It's not the same here; it's comfortable, it's laid back, the struggle is not real. Which is why we moved here. The quick bonding that happens in New York I'm realizing is rare and unique.I knew this would be hard. I have days I feel the warmth of new friends from my improv class or old friends from high school. And also days I cry at the drop of a hat. It's hard not feel left out when I see pictures of my friends doing things I was always a part of. (I recently learned what FOMO mean so I am using it here). It's extreme FOMO* even though I'm not left out, I don't live there right now so being upset is silly and the jealousy that arises is normal because I want to be there and miss those activities immensely because I haven't been doing them here.
*For those over the age of 21, FOMO means Fear Of Missing Out. First time using it and I apologize for doing so.
Moving isn't all bright and shiny and full of new experiences that justify leaving your former home when you do so by choice. It's full of challenges and painful experiences, too. Making friends as an adult is hard. I wish it was as easy as when you're a kid and just start playing with another kid on the playground.I'm grateful for the people who are taking chances on me and having beers with me after improv class or introducing me to others in the film community. I'm grateful for those who are getting to know me again and inviting me to gatherings. I'm grateful to those who know me best, who are my tribe, who never wavering in being my friends. Swimming is easier with them a phone call away.