“I brought the wrong bra!”
“Why is there a boy in here?”
“Has anyone seen my mascara?”
“We need to find safety pins. ASAP!”
“Someone tell that boy to leave the room!”
“Does anyone have scissors? Or a knife?!”
I did! In the middle of the mayhem that was my sister Becky’s bridal suite on Saturday, I produced a swiss army knife!
It was used approximately nine times throughout the course of Becky and Daniel’s wedding day. It cut off bra straps (Yay, I now have a strapless bra)! It cut a loose thread off Becky’s wedding dress. It cut the plastic off the plate of Italian cookies. And it disappeared several times throughout the day to be used for God knows what!
“Guerilla bridesmaids” Nina would classify us. My sister had assembled some rather un-girly chicks to constitute her bridal party. Women who would rather ride their bike cross country (true story) and chase adventures then get a manicure or read Glamour magazine. Women who sing “Like a Prayer” at the top of our lungs as we wait for the wedding coordinator to come usher us in for the ceremony… And sound pretty damn good I may add. We’ll call our band “Becky & the Bridesmaids” and tour New England and get kicked out of establishments for stealing a six-foot cardboard Statue of Liberty!
Women who chug prosecco that tastes suspiciously like tomato salsa, and continue singing “I hear you call my name, and it feels like home” moments before walking down the aisle. Women who carry swiss army knives. Women who carry themselves with confidence, while radiating compassion and creativity.
As it turns out, Becky’s bridal party would be just a microcosm of something much bigger. An entire tribe actually! Positive, strong, independent, intelligent individuals who are courageous enough to be vulnerable and self-expressive. To redefine success and challenge the mundane. Adventure-chasers and world-changers. And individuals who dance to “Shake it Off” at the New City Brewery until 1am, because we just didn’t want the celebration to end. And if the bride and groom were still going, so was the party!
Such is the atmosphere Becky and my new brother-in-law Daniel have created that they draw into their orbit these people. Apart they attract and cultivate friendships that are deep, yet ridiculously fun! But together? They attract a community of trail blazers and entrepreneurs, artists and musicians! And at the heart of this environment is the ability they have to draw out of one another the best version of themselves, as only two people who have a foundation of authentic friendship can.
And after this weekend, it has become beautifully obvious how essential it is to let the right people into your orbit. The bar has been raised. As a good friend of mine suggested, not everyone should or can be part of your tribe. “Curate who you are. Be who you want to be. That creates its own type of gravity and will bring the right things and people into orbit… Not everyone should be elevated to the position of ‘friend’… Keep the circle tight.”
Invest in those who are already a crucial part of your tribe. Those who challenge you to break out. And be selective about the tribe you cultivate going forward!
As we watched Daniel take Becky by surprise at the end of their ceremony, scoop her up, and carry her down the aisle to everyone’s delight, a shift happened in my heart. When you commit to finding your unique soulprint, and living a life you are in love with, no matter how steep and winding and long the path that sets you on, you draw in the right people, who in turn draw out beauty and strength in you far greater than you imagined you possess. One of them may even carry you down the aisle in a hydroponic park in Mass. someday!
But you can’t jump the gun. And unfortunately, I am a self-professed jumper, NOT a wader. Whether it’s relationships or races, I jump up, exclaiming
“Look, I am free to run! I should sign up for a marathon and jump into serious training and do a track workout and… I am injured. I can’t believe I am sidelined again!” Instead of being content with simply running, I become consumed by race medal fever. In life as well, my heart becomes consumed with swimming in the deep end.
My all or nothing mentality usually results in… nothing. Instead of enjoying a few meaningful miles a few times a week, I traditionally take it too far. And then I can’t run at ALL for a few weeks!
But as I spent the weekend celebrating my little sister’s wedding with her tribe, something shifted. I realized that pulling in the right people takes time. Sometimes 15 years, as is the case of Becky and Daniel! You can’t jump into the deep end, and get ahead of yourself. You can’t pull in the summer when it’s February. But if you let it pace you, the season will certainly change, and the bright July sunshine will break through. And waiting, and wading into these relationships and seasons? It could not be more worthwhile. You just have to be willing to trust the pace of your own soul’s orbit!