I went to a movie last night.
Sounds uneventful but for me it was something that I don’t get a chance to do often and it’s one of the many things that I promised myself I would start doing more often. I met up with a great friend that I made back in Birmingham during my days as the owner of a bookstore. I met this sista back in 2008, found out that she was in the DC area in 2012, and finally caught up with her a few weeks ago, so it was a special treat to hang out with someone that I hold as an actual friend, even with the time, distance, and even lack of contact that had been between us.
As I got ready for our meet up, I started reflecting on just how much I’d been coming up short in the area of making friends since moving away from Alabama. I have a really good friend from Alabama that moved up shortly before me and sort of served as a buffer during my transition from Alabama to DC. Through her I made another good friend but after establishing a relationship with the second friend, I stopped making an effort to meet new people. I would simply talk to the many great girlfriends from back home on an almost daily basis and keep it moving. If an opportunity to kick it with my two friends here in the area came up I’d take it but rarely did I initiate it. I stuck to the routine of two hour phone conversations with my girls out of town.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve had moments that made it clear that I needed to do better. One of those moments happened a few months after I separated from my now ex-husband. A close friend of mine came to visit me for about a week during the summer and the plan was for us to have fun and kick it since I was single. Up until that point I had not shed one tear about the end of my marriage and I felt that it must have been ok for me to not be moved to tears because in all honesty, I’d initiated the separation and I was enjoying the relief. At least that’s what I thought until my ride or die showed up. After a few days of hanging out around DC, going out to eat, and sleeping late sans the responsibility of kids, she and I went for a walk just to get out of the house. As we walked, I started to update her on the details of my relationship status and how it got to the point of separation. I got through maybe five sentences and the next thing I knew I was blubbering and crying my eyes out. I was finally admitting my feelings of disappointment, resentment, and pain of the relationship not working out. Not the bad feelings toward my ex, but the bad feelings toward myself. After I broke down and my friend comforted me, we walked back to my place and from there I spent the next three days properly mourning the loss of my marriage by retreating to my bed and allowing myself to be tortured by sappy love songs.
I was relieved and I could finally let it go.
After that experience I gained an insane amount of clarity on the meaning of the friendships in my life. Specifically the ones with other women. I had to ask myself, “Why did the appearance of my friend force me into a flood of tears about my relationship situation? What about her made me confess my disappointment?”
Well, the answer is the title of this post: I Am Who I Have Been Searching For.
I realized that my close female friends and even some family members, have been so connected to my life that they serve as mirrors for me. Whether intentional or not, they act as instant bullshit detectors for those that try to enter my life and even for me when I’m having a moment of delusion. Believe me when I say that I have a LARGE number of great girlfriends in my immediate view. Some a little older, some the same age, some a little younger, but all ready to swoop in with an encouraging word, a well meaning bitch slap to my ego, or support in general. When I was pregnant with my last baby and having a hard time emotionally, some of my friends came together and organized a baby shower for me and during that shower they performed a “love circle” where all the women in the room said something loving about me. There were 10+ women. These women were the ultimate reflection of me and my spirit and they held almost all of the answers to any questions about life I could ever have. I had used my marriage and jobs as a way to find myself when all I’d ever had to do was tap into the endless supply of feminine knowledge that’d been around me all along. By virtue of these women being my reflection, I had found myself and accepted that I needed to look within for answers. Period. Point blank.
I function and maintain myself in this life by honoring my most powerful teachers: MY FEMALE FRIENDS AND FAMILY. This isn’t to say that I don’t have wonderful male friends that I can go to. In fact, I have many in my life and I’m grateful for that. But it is apart of my servitude on this planet to herald my female counterparts. It’s the basis of why I try to share a kind word even with a woman I don’t know. I know that when I hear words of affirmation from my sisters, it’s the biggest boost. So why not pay it forward? Instead of following the status quo of competing with the next woman, why not create an ally by acknowledging the power that vibrates from within her? Paying homage to something I like about another sista all but infuses her good quality into my DNA.
I’ll wrap this up by being very transparent about one thing: my platform will be used to empower everyone but most often women. I don’t identify as a feminist but as a womanist. I have no desire to tear my sistas down but to enjoy the opportunity to uplift.
This is in recognition of all of the powerful women in my life and those I’ve yet to meet. They love me and I love them. Because of that fact, I vibrate higher and I’m able to lift up the vibrations of others.
I am me because of them…