I have always heard about tribes and you know your people. Your community. But I have never been one to have people that I relied on. Maybe you are like me and have an I can do it attitude. You know that if you just pull yourself up from your bootstraps and go everything will be okay. Or at least it used work that way for me. But now I realize I need community.
Maybe it is my inner introvert that has led me on this path. Maybe it was the constant moving from school to school never really getting connected. Even when I joined the Air Force I had friends, but kept them at arm’s length. Never letting them in close enough to see what was really going on.
My first exposure to a tribe
Years passed, I deployed to Afghanistan and I got my first taste of what real friendship was like. I also got my share of hurts and betrayal too, but let’s not focus on that now. In Afghanistan, I found two groups of friends. The people on my team. We were there to support each other, we hung out, watched out for each other on each mission and for the most part as we went our separate ways toward home, contact was lost.
But then there was another group. A group of four that probably shouldn’t have been friends, but there we were. Talking mostly via email since two of us were at one base and the other two at the Forward Operating Base. We shared inside jokes, like the one time Mary* had to find a picture of a cat with a purple hat. We got each other. And we are a community of sorts, but since now we are all located in different parts of the country it is hard to be there for each other. But we do our best as babies are born or parents are lost. And they are the reason I look back at Afghanistan and look back beyond the hurt and betrayal. Probably the reason I was able to move forward. And maybe the hope I needed to let others in.
Becoming a mom, becoming a friend
Motherhood required me to reach out beyond my comfort zone as I made new friends in our new life in LA. The friends I found were in the same life stage and quickly met me where I was. And the time my husband was gone and my son was very sick they came to me with food and encouragement. And for a moment in time I had a special gift many military spouses don’t get. I had a tribe behind me and a list of phone numbers I could call for help.
And as life changes we say goodbye to old friends and make room for new friends. Our community changes, but doesn’t change the fact that we need community. I have quickly learned life doesn’t stop. Just when you are comfortable and think you know what is coming everything changes. Maybe it is a good thing because it keeps us on our toes. But it also sometimes makes things hard to find your community.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could use technology to make it easier? To make it easier to connect. Make it easier to stay connected. Our lives get so busy sometimes we forget the importance of taking time for playdates or even spending time with each other.
Guess what? There is an app for that.
I stumbled across Komae on accident. It wasn’t even something I was looking for or even knew I needed. But there it was. An app that allowed me to set up a play date last week with friends that ended up being just the breath of air I needed. And my kids loved the time with friends as well.
Komae mean village.
And I have just started using it to breathe new life into mine. I think you should too. Maybe your village is like mine local, but also spread out across the country. Maybe you just moved to a new place and are looking for friends. I’ll be in that boat in a few months. Komae can help. Komae can help you find your village and in the end a reward to help you find new friends and stay connected with old ones.
What ways do you connect with friends?