I realized with a sad little jolt the other day that I need a new tribe.
I know I have a lot of people that love me. I was reminding myself this, and talking kindly to myself about all the things I’m grateful for. It was in this gratitude practice that I came up with the class I’m going to start teaching here at my farm.
But the other thing that moved me, and that became very clear to me, was that I truly need to build new tribes. I need a business/entrepreneur tribe. I need a “I’ll go out on the town with you” tribe, I need a “let’s go to the coast and do art” tribe. When relationships change and children grow up, tribes change. IT’S OKAY.
I am looking for new groups, joining a few groups and being very up front with people about my journey and that I’m looking for friends. It feels so awkward. But I know it is 100% necessary.
I know some of my tribe members from the past read this blog. This is not in any way meant to hurt feelings or attack anyone. People move on and it is a natural part of life.
When my kids’ dad and I divorced and separated after almost 26 years together, a lot of my identities died. I’d been with him my entire adult life. Many of my beliefs about myself and what kinds of things were important to me have changed or shifted. I have spent the last 2 1/2 years building myself back up, making new identities and new ways of thinking and being while honoring the parts of myself that I want to keep, resurrect, cherish. It has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done-watching relationships change or die. It’s been heartbreaking, mostly.
I was 19, a freshman in my spring semester in junior college when he and I began. He was 27. I had no plans to ever ever sever that relationship. Luckily, thank the gods, he and I are still friendly. It’s still a huge shift, for obvious and some not so obvious reasons, but we are still friendly with each other. I really enjoy talking to him, and I miss our camaraderie and love of language. We could talk about words and books and ideas for hours. Our friendship was the cornerstone of our marriage. When we separated we both had to let that go. It is honestly something I’ll always be sad about, because it was one of the most important relationships of my life. It ended so sadly. But I don’t for a second miss the fact that he was a crucial part of my development as a person.
If I hadn’t been with him I wouldn’t be who I am.
But shifting identities is an incredibly shaky thing to do. To use the words of my astrologer, I’m being invited to change my entire life in my chart, and I just came out of a let go phase. These are her exact words, since she graciously taped our two hour session. I’ve listened to it about 20 times since March when we met.
Creating change can be disruptive. It can be disassociating. And it can be frantic. But the idea is that you are being given an open door, Jennifer come over here, to change.
Door number one was okay, but you had to back out and let go. Come over here and try door number three and see what’s here to explore.
How does this affect your job? How does it change how you think and communicate with people? It will affect everything, all aspects of life.
And if you do the work, you will be a completely different person afterward. At the end of the day, it’s all about growth. It’s nothing to fear though. You’ve done this work before.
So this time was meant to be for me. It was always in my path, always something I was going to experience. I don’t know why I was chosen for such a path. I guess I just have to stop worrying about that. I have to have faith that God wanted something different from me. That what I have learned and will learn from severing one of the longest relationships of my life (so far) must be something that is more important than the relationship itself. That seems so counter-intuitive. And it’s been so painful. I’m on the other side of the pain now, and it only hurts now and then. I’m still working out what my identities are in my conscious and unconscious selves. I dream constantly about who I am and what I want.
There’s a path here. I can’t see more than a few steps ahead. It doesn’t matter. As long as I trust that there is love and joy on the path-along with the obvious pain and destruction of identities, I can make it one step at a time.