a quest called tribe… (pt. two)

Coming to Boise, Collin and I only knew a handful of people who lived in the area. Luckily, we had our kids (and our co-parenting family) as our tribe to lean on for support during this transition.

After some time at my job, I got to know my coworkers pretty well and spent time with them outside of the office. We lunched, shared TMI, went to birthday parties, celebrated divorces, yoga’d, and happy hour’d. This was my “MHD” tribe.

On January 5, 2020, my friend, Christine (from my Brooklyn tribe), turned 36. She had always been the oldest since her birthday was so early on in the year. I sent her a text wishing her a happy day, and we shared a friendly exchange.

She mentioned her idea to put together a WhatsApp group chat with a bunch of girls from back in the day. I was delighted to be counted as one of the members, since I moved away right after junior high.

I had never met half of the girls in the chat, but all of a sudden we were a group that was created based on things in common ✔️ and third-party introductions ✔️. And I was here for it.

It was a trip getting to know some of these girls again, but this time as women, and some I was getting to know for the first time. It was an effortless, comfortable back and forth, but really it just felt good to be a part of something.

We brought up shared experiences and mutual acquaintances and laughed over how small the world truly is. We talked about meeting up in Napa for a “Girls’ Weekend.” We exchanged cute pictures of our children, human and furry alike.

Rather abruptly, COVID-19 interrupted our carefree conversations. We began sharing news stories and reporting back to each other about the rates in our towns and whose office is closing and our predictions on how long it would take to get back to normal.

Then shelter in place happened. And work from home (for the foreseeable future) ensued.

Once again, I was grateful that my immediate family members and I had each other for support (and pretty much everything else). Since we were isolating, we looked to one another for entertainment and social interaction.

The only safe way to interact with our friends, family, and coworkers was virtually. So, we depended on technology to keep us connected to the outside world.

Who knew that just around the corner, I’d meet new people and develop friendships during a massive quarantine as a result of a global pandemic!? Sure, I’ve used social media to keep in touch with old friends, but surely not to create and solidify new relationships.

But the Universe has its way.

Months before COVID-19 showed up in Boise, I had been invited to join a Facebook group for moms living in the Treasure Valley. I accepted the invite, but wasn’t a very active member. When the pandemic hit and I spent more time online, I began paying attention to the moms group posts.

Some of them were venting about how they didn’t like Idaho, and others about their struggles with kids during isolation. I became more interested and invested in these conversations; I added my two cents here or there and even made a couple posts myself!

The private group is a safe space for all of us to share our similar views and interests, without the worry of being judged by others in the community. It was comforting to know that these women existed, and, bonus, lived pretty close to me (✔️).

I became Facebook friends with some of the moms that I seemed to have things in common with (✔️) and, just like that, I made new friends. Like, what?! It is nuts how one day you don’t know someone at all and then the next day you are basically BFFs, exchanging philosophical thoughts and music recommendations.

Then one day, my friend Ashley told me about a cool store from LA that recently moved in at the LAB in Costa Mesa, House of Intuition (HOI). She thought I’d be into it, so I checked out their website and soon began following, not only their main Instagram account, but also their profile specifically for selling their crystals.

I stumbled into one of their Live Sale events one Sunday afternoon. I had never participated in one of these before, but I loved the vibe of the hosts and people attending. I ended up learning so much about the natural healing properties of various stones and even picked up a couple pieces: Flower Agate palm stone for self-growth and Black Amethyst sphere for empath protection, restful sleep, and migraine help.

I was only attending my second HOI Live Sale when the hosts, Makenna and Carol (💕🙏💕 LOVE these ladies! So knowledgeable!), wondered aloud if we all had a chat thread on the side because we were always so conversational and supportive of each other’s crystal baby adoptions during the Lives.

Next thing I knew, I was being invited to join a side group chat via Insta DMs. One minute I was buying a couple crystals and the next minute I was deeply entrenched in a badass group of crystal connoisseurs. Like, what?

Even though we all work in different fields and are in varying stages of life, we all just jibe so well. Our conversation topics have ranged from stones to pineapples and pre-meeting pep talks to relationship advice. We each have a unique perspective to offer, coming from different walks of life, and it’s been proven time and time again that we were all meant to come together. #theUniverse

Since we’re spread out across the country and COVID-19 putting a damper on travel plans, we can’t really hang out in the traditional sense. So, what do we do? We spend time together chatting away in other Instagram Live events. Problem solved!

The group of us heading over to the But First, Crystals (BFC) Live event on Friday evenings is essentially our TGIF Happy Hour, let’s be real! Plus, Anne from BFC is THE sweetest. 💕🙏💕

I mean, we’re getting matching bracelets, doing a blue moon gift exchange, already have our own Spotify playlist, we go shopping for each other, and t-shirts are in the works.

One from the group went to her local gem shop in FL and handpicked these beautiful pieces for me. <3

It escalated quickly, and I’m not mad about it.

We’re always lifting each other up and offering to help one another however we can. Just knowing these bright lights brings me joy, and I’m so grateful to have this magical tribe in my life right now.

Regardless of how a tribe comes together, its mere existence can be invaluable.

Since quarantine, we (read: the world at large) are all struggling in one way or another. Most of us are yearning for some sort of social connection. While I desperately want to go out for drinks with my MHD ladies or have family visit from out of town, the only safe kind of interaction right now is from a distance.

And while technology can be a double-edged sword, it’s been a lifesaver these past several months. I am thankful for the new connections I’ve made via Facebook and Instagram. And my mental health is better for it.

<3 Laura

Author: thatlaurainsley

current mood: Gratitude. | mama bear | intuitive writing | empath | crystal healing | living intentionally | rainbows | #bemorewithless | @laurainsleywriter | she.her | end scene.

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