Riding solo dolo is the best way to go at times. It’s easy to get lost in whatever we have going on in life. The start of a brand new career, working out rough patches in a relationship or dealing with some stuff that we don’t feel like anybody else should know. The pressure of having other people riding with us on these bumpy, uncomfortable roads of life can become agonizing, and it seems like we would be better off blasting Beyoncé’s “Me, Myself and I,” and facing all of life’s adversaries by our lonesome. At least until the wheels fall off.

The good news is that sometimes it’s actually good for us to separate ourselves for a short while. There are moments when the only way you can evaluate yourself and learn what you’re supposed to learn in life is by going through it alone. It’s important to embrace these seasons of loneliness for what they are. For me, loneliness has proved to be a friend when I didn’t want anybody else to know the drama popping off in my life. I used my moments of solitude to find out what I wanted, how I really felt about myself, and what my next step would be to move forward. In the past loneliness has catapulted me into manifesting my biggest ideas, taking the scariest risks and being my own best friend.

The bad news is that this type of isolation can put us in even lonelier situations, where we start to get comfortable with burying our deepest, most harmful thoughts. We run the risk of being stuck in a place where we don’t appreciate the people around us. We even tend to think we can do it all on our own. We get to a point where we decide it’s better to carry the burden on our shoulders than to share the load with someone else. Sometimes, this mindset welcomes a special type of resentment for people who try to come in and help us. We decide that nobody understands our struggle, which renders them incapable of supporting us while we go through it.

This is when we know it’s time to call on the squad! The squad is the friends and family who have been there for you when you didn’t know how you were gonna make it. The people who show up at every graduation. Family funerals. Birthday dinners. The ones who let you crash at their place when you don’t have a dime to give. These are the A1s since day one. The friends who are always ready to throw hands, or at least hold yours when you’re going through hell.

Sometimes, this mindset welcomes a special type of resentment for people who try to come in and help us. We decide that nobody understands our struggle, which renders them incapable of supporting us while we go through it.

If you’ve never realized how fortunate you are to have such an amazing group of people rooting for you, I wrote this article to remind you. Don’t forsake the squad. Value the people who have your back. Take the personal time you need to collect yourself, but don’t forget to embrace the people who have shown you love from day one. While some of life’s battles are best fought alone, we all need somebody to turn up within the ring. Just in case you still are not hearing me, here are some things you’ll find yourself missing out on if you neglect the people who have always been down for you:

  1. Emotional Stability and Support

Going through hardship is a natural part of life, but you still need your “ride-or-dies” to come to your rescue every now and then. You need people to tell you how dope you are when you don’t feel like looking in the mirror. When you don’t have the strength to reaffirm your purpose, your squad is there to push you through.

  1.  Accountability

When you’re on B.S., who better to call you out than the squad? None of us can go through life successfully thinking we got it all together. This will only lead to what some of our mommas have told us: “A hard head makes a soft a–…” you know the rest! I wouldn’t be real if I didn’t address the fact that we all need correcting. And we’d be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn’t allow the squad to help us progress into the fully self-actualized beings we were intended to be.

  1. Fun

Yes, this one is that simple. I’m talking about having somebody to laugh within the grocery store on the phone! I’m talking about boarding a flight with your bestie on your way to Vegas! I’m talking about having somebody to take shots with after a hella stressful day of work. Life can be so serious and goal-oriented that we forget to enjoy it. And it’s simply impossible to fully take advantage of life without having a soul to connect within the process.

If after reading this, you’re still convinced on riding this season of your life out solo, remember this: You are more than enough. You have what it takes to make it through. And if it becomes too much for you to bear on your own, your squad is there to pick up some of the load. Your friends are the love and support you need. Embrace them. Appreciate them. Love them. Because just as much as you need them, they need you.