By Susannah Hutcheson, Regular ContributorAugust 23, 2015
As I sit here writing this, I’m wrapping up a week long vacation with my best friends. I can’t count the number of times that I laughed so hard I thought I was going to completely lose my mind or the number of times that we all got so annoyed with each other that I wanted to walk home. I also can’t count the number of times that I looked at the sky and thanked God for my incredible friendships. I found myself so incredibly thankful for my tribe of wonderfully insane, neurotic, kind, hilarious people- not all of them on my trip, but all of them always on my heart.
The things I’ve gone through in life- silly and serious- would have been almost impossible for me without my tribe.
image of contributor, Susannah, and her tribe.
How do you know that you’ve found yours? Here is a list that I consider most important:
You can be silly with them: What is a friendship without crazy silliness? Find people that you can blast “A Thousand Miles” in the car with all the windows rolled down and your hair blowing fiercely in the wind. Find those that will laugh at your jokes even when they aren’t that funny and those that will let you twist your faces into unimaginably ugly faces and laugh at your loud cackle. Find the people that will let you laugh and will laugh with you.
You can be serious with them: Find friends that will pick you up the floor when you are crushed and defeated. There isn’t a whole lot that a long night crying and laughing with your people on the couch with a bottle of wine and a box of pizza can’t fix- or at least make bearable. This also means that you need to find the tribe that you can call in the middle of the night when something goes wrong and the friends that will listen to you when you are in pain. Your tribe should be able to give you solid, dependable advice, and you should all respect each other’s opinions.
You can get mad at them: My friend group is a wild mix of personalities. Some of us are hot heads, and some of us are calm and collected. The majority of the time, we flow with each other well. However, there are days where we get on each other’s nerves so badly that someone ends up angry. There has rarely been a day where an argument hasn’t been resolved by the time we go to sleep. Instead of letting things break down walls, use arguments as opportunities to learn more about each other. Use silly fights as a way to grow as a person- with me, this sometimes means growing a thicker skin. It also sometimes means learning to think before I speak and learning to adjust my tone and my facial expressions. Every time I get mad at someone, I learn something new about myself as well. This also means that when you get mad at your friend for a legitimate reason, you have already opened a line of communication.
You can see them at their worst- and at their unfiltered-selves: No solid, unbreakable friendship has ever been built on seeing airbrushed versions of each other. The best connections are made when a few of you drank too much moscato and end up sleeping on the bathroom floor together. Your tribe can see you when you just wake up in the morning, pre-coffee, and with your hair looking similar to that of a Trolli doll. They don’t judge on those six slices of extra cheese pizza nights. Your tribe sees the most ugly, most selfish corners of your heart- and they still love you anyways.
You know them like the back of your hand: You know your tribe’s little quirks- and they know yours. You know that one of them gets pepperoni and olive pizza, and then picks off the pepperoni. You know that one of them is almost completely useless without, like, 4 cups of coffee. You know that the other one’s grandma’s brother’s daughter’s best friend just had a baby, and you know that one of them hates when people say the word ‘moist.’ At the same time, they know that you watch scary amounts of reality TV, that you have a three-legged cat named Zoey, and your little sister’s birthday is tomorrow. When you’re all together, you can judge their moods and their opinions by a nod of the head or a flick of the hair.
Most importantly, you love each other unconditionally. You sometimes get on each other’s nerves: but at the end of the day, they are your tribe.
Have you found your tribe? Are you still looking? How do you know/will you know? Tell us below!
Susannah is a Journalism major, passionate about social justice and Jesus Christ. She loves cold weather, triple-shot lattes, and macaroni and cheese. When she’s not writing papers or baking cookies, you can find her Googling random things on the Internet or watching large amounts of reality television. You can read her ramblings at ileftamessinthekitchen.wordpress.com, or look at pictures of her coffee on Instagram: @susannah.beth.
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