Who is in your true circle of connection? What makes your tribe, posse, choir, team, the group that they are?

Entry into my family is easy: Believe that you receive value from having me in your life and that you enjoy spending time with me. Naturally, the feeling must be mutual. I have a wonderful family of friends and colleagues, including my amazing husband and a few lovely biological relations.

Kinship for me is demonstrated by those who want to set up a dinner date or they happily agree to meet for a walk. When life is busy they send a quick text, telling me they just thought of me. Some folk really feature during particular windows of time, while others are consistently threaded throughout my life in small ways here and there.

Some of these family members are quite different than me, yet many of our values overlap: integrity, honesty, optimism, and possibility to name a few. There is something that draws us together and we feel at home in each other’s company.

Each of us are nerdy and awkward in our own ways. Some friends are meant to make me laugh, and I seem to be the comedic relief for others. When something isn’t going well, we make room for each other’s frustration and pain. Clarity in conversation is key.

This family is fluid. Sometimes a connection becomes one way. Life intervenes, or our values shift. And the expectations around traditional family let us down. It can be upsetting at first, but why spend time with people who do not love who you are? Letting them go makes room for individuals who find joy in being with you.

I keep my eyes open for possible connection. Part of this means practicing being seen. I am an introvert and I love my own company. But connection is important so I make an effort. I gain so much by spending time with my family. I am grateful for them and I tell them so.

Who is your family and why?