From Elaina: My girls and I are all going through significant life changes. My oldest daughter will be graduating from college in December and starting her “adult” life. My youngest is headed to college in a few weeks. I will be an empty nester. We have all been talking about how our life changes will affect the friendships we have and the new friendships we will make.
We often look at other people and see their highlight reel. If social media and casual conversation is to be believed, the majority of people out there have full social lives with deep, fun, long lasting friendships that satisfy them on a soul level. It’s funny because I think that all of us feel lonely and excluded half the time. I wonder if we conflate the times that we feel included because we know what it’s like to feel excluded. There is a sense of urgency to share the times that we are “in” to prove to ourselves and others that we aren’t always on the outside.
What does it mean to be “in”? I think it goes back to feeling recognized and appreciated, our basic human desire. We are so grateful to have that need met. I often wonder if, when I’m in, do I see the people who are not being included? Am I so entranced with having my desires met, that I can’t see the people around me?
The truth of the matter is that we are all on our own private ship in the same ocean. No one knows all of our personal struggles and triumphs. We all feel alone sometimes, even when we find our tribe and are alone together.
Here’s to me and my girls and all of you out there who are trying to find your tribe. May we find people who recognize and appreciate us for who we are.