I’ve been stumbling upon this quote here and there in the past few months, and I found that it resonated with me immensely and has motivated some very important relationships. I’ve always put a lot of energy into figuring out the kind of vibe I want to relay to those around me, and that vibe has changed and transformed as I go through life changing experiences and meet people who push me to develop myself even further.
I want to share with you guys a struggle that’s been a part of my life since I was a teenager, something that I have constantly worked towards understanding further. A struggle to belong, to feel like I was in “my place”. Growing up in Wisconsin has always been something that I appreciated; that Midwest hospitality most definitely helped to shape the person I have become. But I couldn’t help but feel a bit trapped, that I was destined for bigger (And warmer!) places. Growing up, I was always encouraged by my family to be independent and to follow my heart, and I intended to do just that.
Upon graduating from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, I had my sights set on the beautiful city of Vancouver. A year prior I had the amazing opportunity to intern with the Graphics Team at the head office of Lush Cosmetics, and fell simply head of heels for the city. Filled to the brim with enthusiasm and ambition, I applied for a working holiday visa, saved my pennies, and within a few months was on a jet plane (Okay, it was really a Boeing) with my bike, my cat, and a few large suitcases. To put it simply, my entire experience living in Vancouver was amazing, and the opportunity to experience a different culture from what I had always been immersed in changed my life in so many ways. During my 12 month work visa I met people that I am proud to say will be life long friends, even though we may not always live in the same city, let alone the same country. Though I had every intention of finding a way to gain another work visa and stay in this city that had captured my heart, I found myself in a the difficult spot of choosing where to go next. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty devastated at the thought of leaving Vancouver. I had worked so hard to get to this amazing place, only to give it up.
When my work visa came to a close and I had to return to the States, I was in a really dark place. Leaving my friends in Vancouver behind, I returned to Wisconsin to start my next venture in the capitol city of Madison. The first few months were emotional torture; I saw this as a personal failure, as opposed to stepping stone in my journey. What I wasn’t expecting though, was to be surprised by the connections I made with some very special Madison residents. I found solace in the friends that I made, which turned my depression around. What I began to learn during my time in Madison is that it is not the physical, geographical place that really impacts your life. Rather it’s the people you allow to be a part of you journey. This sounds like such a simple concept when I type it out now, but in the past I was so focused on finding and getting to the PLACE that I thought I belonged in, I completely overlooked the fact that it’s the people you connect with that drive home that feeling of belonging.
Madison is a wonderful city to live in, but I’m excited to spend my life experiencing life in other cities, countries and climates . My new found knowledge and sense of belonging will stay with me where ever I go, I’m sure of that. I’ve begun to explore my inner peace as I make incredible, meaningful connections with those who share my vibe. I know that going forward, I will continue to find those people and make those connections, and my dream is to grow old and look back on a life that is overflowing with wonderfully positive friendships and relationships. Upon discovering the quote “Your vibe attracts your tribe”, I realized that all along, that’s what I’ve been searching for. My people, my tribe. They may be scattered across the continent, even across the globe, but it’s our personal connection that knits us together.
I am SO GRATEFUL for the technology that is available to us today, which makes maintaining these kinds of relationships so easy. Long distance friendships have never been more exciting! Each day I look forward to the Snapchats, the Instagram photos, the Facebook posts from my friends around the world who are on their own amazing adventures. I may not speak to each of them on a daily or even monthly basis, but knowing that we’ve shared some great experiences together, and that we’ll meet again at some point fills my heart with a joy that I never thought possible. Those people are my tribe, I’ve never felt more sure of that. It beats the sense of belonging to just one place, that’s for fucking sure.
Now that I’ve rambled on about this journey towards realizing that my tribe has been around me all along, I encourage you to go find yours. Take a risk, go somewhere that you’ve never been, and I assure you, you’ll find your people. If you already have, let them know how much you appreciate them. Remind them just how important they are to you and your journey. And there’s never enough people in your tribe, the best tribes are ones that are always expanding and growing. The human connection is really what brings us all together and makes our lives so meaningful and valuable. My journey so far has been incredibly humbling, and I can only hope that my story will help others along their own path.
In the comments below, I would LOVE to hear about your experiences in finding your own tribe, or any thoughts you want to share on this topic!