Today I got to guest write the entire newsletter for my favorite newsletter in the world (!!!!!!!), Leave it to Leonor by @leonorjr. i talked about lost friendships, playing myself, daily affirmations, break ups, courage, funny things on the internet, etc. FYI, vulnerability came easy. 🥀 ~
subscribe to Leave it to Leonor at tinyletter.com/leonorjr if you dare, call your friends, stay true to you, be yourself on purpose, do what makes you happy, laugh at yourself, and be certain that you will die.
This week I’ve been thinking about lost friendships. I run a mostly digital lifestyle brand called Loyal Nana which is focused on feeding the conscious mind of the modern woman through popular culture, storytelling and events. Every month I pick a topic we can all somehow relate to, like money, sex or self-awareness. This month our topic is friendship and loyalty so I couldn’t help but allow my thoughts to spill in to Leave it to Leonor this week.
I’ve lost two friendships so far in my life and they were both around the same time. One was with a woman and all I remember at that time is wanting to be heard. At the end of our gatherings, I felt full — not in a wholesome, satisfying way — but in an I-ate-too-much-food way, a stuffy way. I felt like I could never get anything out about what I was feeling, needing, wanting or passionate about because it was about her and her mental health.
When she shopped for herself, she shopped for me. She lived with her mom and never had any friends over but I was allowed to sleep over, bathe, cook and open the fridge if I wanted. She would come to pick me up from work just to take the train uptown with me; she would help run some of my errands when I was stuck at work for eight hours; she sang well and even baked a really good pumpkin pie.
One day, she was coming to pick me up from work at 5 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., she calls me ecstatic about some really good sex that she just had and I don’t know if it was the jealousy (of the good sex), the fact that we had planned to meet at a certain time but didn’t, or that when she finally called, and before apologizing for the no-call-no-show, she immediately started to talk about her very fresh orgasm. Whatever it was, I hung up on her mid-sentence and never picked up her calls again. We tried to reconcile, but somehow it went past that point. Did I lose that friendship or did it lose me? Did this friendship end before the separation started?
The second friendship I lost was with a man who was unbelievably smart (like baby genius kind of smart), sexually confused and a little bit of a rebel. It is still unclear what happened with this friendship but from what I remember seeing and feeling, this guy truly saw me, my light, my potential, my positive effect on others, and my magic much sooner than I did. During our friendship, he would try to show me those qualities but when I would embody those same qualities, it was overwhelming for him. I think he was either suggesting I dim my light or was in doubt about the goodness of it because of his own fears. If this is confusing to you right now, imagine me in 2012, before I “got woke” with a male best friend who was also trying to find himself? PAINFUL! Did I lose that friendship or did it serve its purpose and then dissolve? Is it on a detour?
What comes to mind when I think about lost friendships is “what was my role in all of this?” A friendship between two people can’t be broken by just one. There are things I did, ways I moved, things I said that then caused our old friend’s reactions. Maybe we failed to communicate clearly, maybe we spoiled them with our shoulder and in wanting to take it away we blamed them for needing it more. Maybe we picked up where their love with someone else left off. Maybe they didn’t align with what we have in mind for ourselves. Maybe this was the lesson and the purpose of the friendship was fulfilled? Or did the friendship die with that part of us that we no longer recognize? Because if so, we should rejoice because this once painful situation has only brought about blessings for us. Losing a friendship isn’t bad or good, it is just another way to tell time.
This week in reading. . .
Speaking of losing friendships, there was a woman who walked into my life, mentioned her admiration and curiosity about how I work, numerous times, ended up working with my startup brand very briefly, and months later shared that she was overwhelmingly inspired to the point of feelings of self worthlessness (?????). She then walked right out of my life. During the time we knew each other, a Christmas happened and she gifted me this book by Iyanla Vanzant titled Until Today! Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind. I keep this book in the bathroom and therefore get to read it every morning and IDK who needs to hear these quotes this week but:
Sunday, May 12
I am now receptive to the idea that… if I don’t ask for what I need, the need will keep getting bigger.
Monday, May 13
Until today you may have considered yourself wrong about something that has nothing to do with you. Today let’s devote ourselves to moving ourselves out of the position that we must be wrong because of the way others may treat us.
Tuesday, May 14
I am now receptive to the idea that when I am afraid to hear the truth, I make up the truth the way I think it should be.
Wednesday, May 15
May I be blocking myself from receiving more than I am holding on to?
Somebody left you, and now there is a hole in the middle of your soul. The question is how are you going to fill that hole? Are you going to fill it with at least one ounce of confidence that you can handle this, whatever it takes? Or are you going to fill the hole with the self-defeating belief that you can’t or will not make it through or over this hole?
Friday, May 17
Until today, you may have been afraid to be your authentic self, to admit what you did not know or could not do. Just for today, allow yourself to be vulnerable with just one person, yourself.
Saturday, May 18
I always have a choice about how I respond to experiences in my life. Today, I am devoted to trusting myself to break the chains and shackles that have made me a victim!
This week in listening. . .
A very new and intense friendship has formed in my life and this new friend recently put me onto Helado Negro, a bilingual/Spanglish singing one-man band led by Roberto Carlos Lange from Brooklyn and born in Florida to Ecuadorian parents.
Helado Negro’s latest album, This Is How You Smile, was released by RVNG Intl, which is an independent record label based in Brooklyn. YASSSSS to local hometown collaborations! Helado Negro was awarded the United States Artists Fellowship in Music award as well as a 2019 Grants to Artists award in Music from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. I LOVE WHEN REAL ARTISTS MAKE ART OUT OF MUSIC!
Please, please listen to his NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert, check out the full This is How You Smile album, and when you are ready to keep exploring his music (which you will) “Come Be Me” is my absolute favorite song. Oh, oh and if that's not enough, he will be in NYC on June 18!
This week in TV. . .
I don’t watch TV but does Brené Brown’s The Call to Courage on Netflix count? Because if so, that’s all you have to watch right now. I personally never connected courage and vulnerability because we have been led to believe that being vulnerable is being weak and that's not courageous. It has changed the last three days of my life.
This week in a gif. . .
I’ve been playing myself lately...
This week in movies. . .
ESPN released their first Dominican inspired film, The Dominican Dream, on Felipe Lopez’s life as a young basketball star who immigrated from the Dominican Republic, didn’t know a lick of English, ended up on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the No. 1 athlete in the country and then set aside as an American Failure. Yes. That dramatic -- but the film, which also premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, was not only about Felipe’s life but also about immigration, mental health, toxic family traditions, sports medicine, and race in America. Goosebump-inducing!
I know Leonor mentioned Someone Great two weeks ago but as a newly single woman myself, this movie was a treat to watch mainly because Gina Rodriguez’s character was such a mess over the breakup, but I wasn’t during mine?????? It was empowering in that way, to say the least LOL. Can you all pray that I am not speaking too soon?
This week in a quote. . .
Your timing is perfect. Breathing deeply and trusting your timing is a radical act in a culture with a frantic agenda. – Luna Dietrich
Shouldn’t all babies be photographed in a Jacuzzi? As long as they are safe, duh.
This Instagram account makes me laugh to the point where it makes it hard to catch my breath.
This week on the internet. . .
OK, have y’all seen the newest Genderswap Snapchat filters? THEY ARE SCARY for so many reasons like fraud, identity theft, catfishing, online dating...but lovely because we can play with gender swapping with the tip of our fingers which I am sure has smaller effects on bigger issues like homophobia.
This tweet got me good.
Visit LoyalNana.com for more on friendship and loyalty this month, subscribe to the newsletter for news and events, and follow @Loyalnana.co on Instagram for daily jokes, love notes, important life reminders, and too-real memes.
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This week in an Editor's Note. . .
Something I hear from older folks a lot and have heard my whole life is “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Seems cliche but when I hear this I picture myself in the hospital bed I'll be on when that time comes and how I will be feeling about any kind of small issue that I made a big one in my years. Possibly even the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years I spent proliferating negative thoughts, anxiety, and nervousness on certain issues, projects or people. We are all going to the same place y’all. Be yourself on purpose. And call your friends!