Sunday, July 12, 2015

Girlfriends

“You’ll probably have all the guys talking to you,” she said.

I wasn’t sure if I should be flattered or recognize the red flag of insecurity that was subtly presented. We were headed to New Orleans for the Essence Music Festival, an amazing musical and social experience that presents a plethora of beautiful black men and women from all over the country. It was my second time attending and I was looking forward to a great time with my girls!

I tried not to think much of her comment and laughed it off. We were all good looking women and were sure to get attention from the fellas. Now was I looking forward to meeting men while in New Orleans, absolutely! Who wouldn't? I mean, I was looking forward to enjoying the time with my girls, and especially seeing Charlie Wilson, but if we met a few guys along the way, it would’ve just enhanced our Essence experience! And I knew they felt the same way. We planned our outfits, got our hair and nails done, and were set to dress and impress. That’s just what you do when you go to the Essence Fest.


But along with prepping our outward appearance, there were some inward struggles that were not yet prepped, and reared their heads throughout the trip. My group of friends range in all shapes and sizes of beauty and come from very different backgrounds. And although we have been friends for a little while, there are still things you learn about a person along the way, including their insecurities.

As we debriefed about our trip over sushi once we returned home, I shared with them my lack of enjoyment during our trip because of the insecurities and unfulfilled expectations that lingered in the air. I didn’t expect the feelings of guilt and frustration to arise during our trip, but they seemed to have packed a bag and came along for the ride.

There were instances in which a gentleman may approach me, but not address my friends while standing around, or offer to buy me a drink but not my friends. There were times in which one friend would feel left out, or another felt like the third wheel at times. It was an emotional roller coaster going forward and backward. Many times I felt as if I had to walk on eggshells or ignore every man on the street just to keep peace and sanity. Let’s just say it was an interesting but thought provoking trip.

When a group of women gather together, according to every reality t.v. show, there is sure to be drama. A fight will break out, and rest assure at least one fight will be over a man.  But as I fully processed our trip in my mind, I realized, as frustrating as it was from time to time, it drew me closer to
my friends. There were no cat fights or pulling of the hair, but there were real, honest, and at times, intimate conversations.

With every incident that happened, we talked. We debriefed. Each person was able to fully express how they felt and why they felt the way they felt. Stories were shared, past experiences were brought up and growth took place. Now don't get me wrong, even in expressing our feelings, all things were not fully resolved.  There were numerous times in which we had to agree to disagree, but it was settled enough to continue the trip without animosity.  

As women, we all have our own insecurities that have to be dealt with. Throughout my entire life I struggled with my height and feeling unattractive. I was the girl that no one danced with at the school dances. I didn't go on my first date until the latter part of my college experience, nor did I get my first kiss until sophomore year in college! Lets just say I was an absolute late bloomer! I wasn’t always the one that fit in with the crowd, and even now there are times I still don't feel like I am a part of the group. But I've come to accept and be comfortable with me.  I'm comfortable with my body and with the fact that there are times I will have to stand alone. This awareness has truly only come from a work that God has done and is STILL doing in me.  

Therefore I am learning to accept my friends for who they are, insecurities, flaws and all, because they accept me the same. We are called to challenge one another to always live up to our highest and best potential, but that sometimes just simply calls for continued prayer, love, and support. Let Jesus take the wheel! Good girlfriends are hard to come by. I can honestly say God has blessed me with some amazing friends and I appreciate that we are in this life journey together growing every step of the way.

Now as far as another trip, we are officially traveling buddies, but there WILL be more advanced preparation, conversation, prayer, fasting, meditation, and did I mention prayer before our next trip! LOL