I am familiar in a pack. I am comfortable in a pack. I need my pack.
And my pack has sort of been the same for years now. Ok, decades! I met my best friends when I was in college and never let them leave me. In the past few years I've grown and added people to the pack and I am very proud of myself for this. You see, I am shy. No one believes me when I tell them this but it's true. I get very nervous meeting new people and I get VERY nervous in new situations. On the first day of work at the preschool I thought I was going to vomit the whole drive there. Thank GOD Susan made me laugh and calmed me down. Even if she did make me think I was the worst preschool assistant ever and was going to be fired! Good times.
Anyhoo, the day I drove to meet Marc for our first date I called my mom and told her how nervous I was. I thought he was really cute and I wanted it to go well. But he was someone new and opening up and trusting someone was tough for me.
I took the leap of faith and it worked. Whew!
Then I did something I thought I would NEVER do....I moved away from Charlottesville. My hometown, my familiar space, the place I wanted to live forever. But don't you worry, we picked Roanoke because I had visited there before and Marc's family lived there. So it wasn't totally a new place. That would just be ridiculous.
But this made me have to step out of my comfort zone and meet new people. Argh. Not fun for me, Mrs. Pack Animal that likes to keep the pride the same. So over time I met new people. And some of those people have entered the pack, the herd, the litter, the flock. Call it what you will but I have my people.
These are the people I care about, check in on, do things for and with, the ones I call on for help. The ones I know will be there for Team P no matter what. It's family, it's friend, it's my pack. I know the word "tribe" has been used a lot and that's cool. But a pack seems more instinctual, more primal, more protective. Picture a cackle of hyenas and that's how I feel about my C.O.T. (Circle Of Trust).
If Google can be trusted then this is awesome:
Socially, the spotted hyena lives in a matriarchal society quite rare in the world of mammals. Females are larger, more muscular and definitely more aggressive. The highest ranking male in the clan is generally subordinate to the lowest ranking female. These spotted hyena clans are rude, boisterous, highly social groups that spend a lot of time pushing and shoving but will ultimately spend the afternoon siesta snuggled in a huge shaggy pile.
Basically the women I know are badasses that will give you hugs at the end of the day. They take no shit. I love a powerful woman. And I have noticed that most of the husbands are quiet and "let" their women be crazy, protective, and fierce. They hang out in the back while the women cackle and just nod their heads. Seriously, I am friends with some loud ladies now that I think about it. And the men just go along with our antics. It's pretty awesome.
So to my pack, I thank you. I thank you for being in my pack and letting me be in yours. I know I am a better, stronger, more confident person because of you. And it's pretty awesome that my children have a group of fantastic people looking out for them!