Adulting can be tough sometimes.

All my young life I always wanted to grow up and leave my tiny eastern Kentucky hometown to start an adventure somewhere big and that’s exactly what I did. One of my favorite parts of growing up and moving to Louisville has been learning what is healthy for me as I’m becoming my authentic self.

An important part of this has been finding and fostering authentic, symbiotic friendships. Friendships are just as important to me as any other relationship I’ve had in my adult life. I don’t typically feed into the “find your tribe” cliche and sometimes I see those inspirational quotes about “finding your tribe” and giggle to myself, but I do understand the fundamental meaning of it because, simply put, I’ve found my tribe. 

I attended school with the same people, with the exception of the occasional new kid, kindergarten through senior year of high school. “Finding your tribe” in elementary school for young Shelby meant hanging out with the kids who were smart and hoping not to get bullied for being bigger than everyone else. By middle school, I had a well-defined group of friends and we remained close through high school. I’m grateful for the friendships I fostered in my hometown, but I’m even more thankful for being able to grow as a person and finding what I need from friendships and also discovering what I can give in a friendship. 

Meeting new people and making friends as an adult can be a daunting task. Putting yourself out there in any capacity is scary. By nature, I’m an introvert, but those who are close to me see a different side of me because I’ve found that I’m able to open up and feel comforted by their presence. This is an important aspect of a relationship for me.

Often I’ve felt like I can’t be my true self around people; I’ve often hid behind being quiet or shy because of insecurities, but with learning to love myself, I’ve truly learned to love others. With this journey I’ve also learned that intuition is key when knowing who is your authentic friend and knowing that naturally people evolve and see themselves out of your life.

One sided friendships have been a relevant part of my adult life and learning when to let go is something that empathetic me is still learning. Not everyone is meant for you. That’s something I always told myself when I was single and dating and that is something I still tell myself about friendships. Let your light shine, be the person that you needed when you were younger, and let your tribe find you. 

P.S. I’m always looking for new Louisville friends.

Connect with Shelby on her socials @fleurdefat & on her blog!

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