Sustainable friendships: In a time of girl power and tribes that slay

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We are eight. Like a magic eight ball eight. We banded together in college and are still going strong. What does it mean to be part of a long-lasting girl tribe?

It was freshman year. I was MCing the Indian variety show, which was mainly dancing, a fashion show and a sing song or two. During fashion show practice, I instantly gravitated to two chill, smiley gals. Another two sassy dolls stepped up and another three, the rest is history.

Over the years we started norming and forming who we were. The NCKK girls (please send a personal DM for the acronym). We celebrated turning 21, endured tear gas riots on campus after NCAA basketball elimination rounds, vacationed on multiple risky beach trips and city scapes, held each other up one drunken shoulder to the next and cried, laughed, screamed and giggled like schizos on multi-drug highs.

College was college. And once we all left, we hit the big bad world. We physically went our separate ways, venturing off to different cities for work, some of us furthering our studies, some mingling and jingling with future husbands.

Over the years, we started hitting different milestones, all at our own pace. Some of us married, some moving states and countries, some expanding and raising the next generation. Sometimes we were lost, sometimes we hit the milestone by accident, sometimes we hit milestones too soon, and sometimes we didn’t hit them at all, even though we thought we should. But despite where we journeyed on our individual paths, we always knew we had seven onlookers guiding, praying, crying lecturing and laughing with us along the way. And most importantly, we were and continue to be allowed to live our lives and when it looks like someone is headed into deep crocodile waters (literally or figurately) or barely staying afloat (or bit by menacing sea predators) we all dive in to rescue.

Take a look around. There aren’t many big groups of girls giving each other big ups, pats on the back and encouragement these days. Spice girls disbanded as did Destiny’s Child, we are left with Victoria Becks and Beychella. Through the outpouring of love and empowerment, the current state of affairs is making us reflect as women as girls, as mommas, and banding us even tighter together.

So, how do you do it?

8 friend tips for creating a strong girl tribe 

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LISTEN when you need to vent and are not soliciting advice

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ENCOURAGE one another when you want to embark on a wild idea

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PARTICIPATE and be part of the circle of life continuum which includes not only celebrating the arrivals and beginnings but also embracing each other during departures and endings

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CONNECT, visit, travel, facetime, repeat.

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Practice COMPASSION, not getting upset on misunderstandings and picking up the phone to chat even for a five minute heart to heart 

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CHERISH the memories, reflect on the lessons learned and keep learning and growing together

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PLAY, dance, dress up like a Vogue fashion runway model, tell silly jokes, send weird memes and laugh until you drop

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WINE. No explanation needed. 

Does it seem like too much work? Well, in a way it should. Friendships, like any relationship, require time, tenderness, love and care. Of course, all 8 of us are not constantly in contact. We have fleeting drink meet ups, quick text exchanges on negotiating toddler bedtime, girlboss FaceTime sessions as well as chats on strategy for asking for a raise or in-depth deliberations and over analysis on an array of topics. Our unique dynamics with each other bind us together and have helped us evolve and grow. And when the going gets tough, you know that you have seven people that have your back and will send you an infinity stream of love and strength to get you through it.

 

Do you have a girl tribe? What’s your vibe? How do you support one another and push each other to bring out the best in one another?