Over the weekend, I traveled to Nashville to celebrate one of best friend's graduation from Meharry Medical College. I can't begin to describe how proud I am of what she's accomplished. We have been friends for ten years. When I met Lauren, we had both transferred to Middle Tennessee State University. We were both a part of a modeling troop on campus called Savoir-Faire. One day we were in practice, and I just could not stop staring at her. She looked (still looks) like a doll with her beautiful skin, red hair, and freckles. Little did I know she'd become one of my best friends.
There is a myth that women don't support other women which can be true for some, but not for all. I love that my friends are beautiful, talented, smart, and are the epitome of #blackgirlmagic. They say you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with so I know I am doing something right.
Over the last few months, I have grown to understand the truth in that quote. My circle has changed quite a bit since college. I think about the women in my life, and I realize that I am in great company. Their credentials are impressive. Being in these fabulous ladies company has made me a better woman and entrepreneur. They push me forward, tell me when I'm wrong and remind me that there is always room to grow.
LAC and I have been friends a long time, but like any friendship we have had a couple of moments. When I met LAC, I was not the easiest person to maintain a friendship with because I was hurting. I was combative, overly emotional, prideful, and held things in until I exploded. I saw these things in myself throughout my college career, but change isn't always easy. I have actively been making changes because I don't want push away the people that love me any longer.
A year ago, LAC and I had a disagreement. We went a solid six months without speaking. Did I miss her? Yes. Did I want us to work through our conflict? Yes. But, my pride kicked in, and I decided I was done. My old way of dealing with my friendships kicked in. One day LAC reached out to me, and at that moment I decided my pride wasn't worth losing one of my best friends. As we were talking, she said something to me that I will never forget, "there is no reason we shouldn't be friends forever." She was 100 percent right. Genuine friendships don't end because of a disagreement. Did I agree with her stance on our disagreement? No. Did she agree with mine? No. But, we talked it out and moved on.
LAC and I have seen each other through quite a few obstacles. The one thing I have learned from her along the way is to listen and not judge. She has been with me through some pretty tough times. Many of my tough times were a product of my bad decisions but not once did she say "I told you so." She listened, she encouraged me, and she gave me the space I needed to make my decisions and learn from my mistakes. I apply the same practice to all of my friendships. Unless you ask for my opinion, I try to be a sounding board and a safe place.
In college, I hung out with three girls that were beautiful, smart, and talented. LAC was one of the three. I remember my sister commenting that we were all pretty. I also remember hearing you don't see friendships like ours a lot because girls are "catty" and "envious." Now, this can be true when the women you spend your time with are insecure or want your life. I have been lucky to maintain friendships with ladies that are ambitious, beautiful, and are the epitome of #blackgirlmagic. Their lights shining bright doesn't make me jealous; it inspires me. I often think about where we'll be in 10 years I think to myself "We're going to be BOSSES." One of my favorite products is our "When You Win" card.
It's how friendships among women should be; no jealousy, no talking shit behind one another's back, and there should be a real feeling of joy when a friend accomplishes something amazing. I remember watching the Emmy's and witnessing Taraji P. Henson give Viola Davis a standing ovation for making Emmy history. It was such a magical moment. I got all of the feels that night.
I have not always been a perfect friend nor have I always known how to let people into my life. It is a wonderful feeling to have grown past all of that. I now understand that having a network of amazing women is such a gift. The moment you leave the drama, cattiness, and envy behind your real, lifetime friendships will appear and fill your life with joy.