You and me, Us never part
You and me, Us have one heart
Ain’t no ocean, ain’t no sea
Keep my sista way from me
Many of us know this song from the movie, The Color Purple. We sang or mumbled the words while airing the hand motions with a sibling, cousin or friend. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I figured out what they were saying and how important this song was to Celie and Nettie. Makidada. In Swahili, this means little sister. Growing up, I was the little sister. But, who says that your “little sister” has to be younger than you?
I hadn’t had a good week due to some family problems that recently had unfolded. I was about to be in a downward spiral. I mean, I was ready to sit on the couch all day, Netflix and Chill by my damn self, and binge out on episodes of Bob’s Burgers and Chopped…all while crying my eyes out. I just couldn’t seem to get out of my emotions this particular day. Listen. Everyone reacts to stress differently. For women, it may be that time of the month. It could be that we had a bad day at work or school. It may be that our child(ren) have worked our last nerve, or even a spouse or significant other made us upset. Shoot, it could be all of the above. Now, don’t get me wrong, we are all entitled to get in our feelings sometimes, we just can’t stay there.
As I’ve entered my 30’s, I’ve realized that life just isn’t fair. We graduate from college with expectations of landing a dream job making boo coo (do people still say that?) dollars, we see people around us get sick or pass away unexpectedly, we have ‘friends’ talk bad about us behind our back, folks get married and/or having children, or we see other people making major moves, and it’s actually working. Meanwhile, we’re trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B. During these times of internal or external conflict, it’s always helpful for me to reach out to my friends also known as my makidadas.
If you really know me, you know that I don’t just go around calling everyone a friend. There’s levels to the people I associate with. My girls: we speak to each other almost every day by talking on the phone, texting, video chatting, or by social media. We know things about each other that we probably shouldn’t know. We know that we will take those secrets to the grave. We confide and lean on each other during hard times. We know that if some something goes down, we’ll be there to help each other through. My friends are similar to my girls, but they don’t know some of those crazy situations that I’ll be buried with. R.I.P. An associate: this person, is someone I speak to when in mixed company. We get along well when we’re around each other, but I’m definitely not telling you my business. Sorry. We coo…but not that cool.
Over the years, I’ve learned (and am still learning) to set boundaries with people I open up to. Everyone will not be genuine. They will want to know your business, and run-tell-that. Or, they will want to use you as their personal therapist, but you ain’t getting paid! The conversations with these individuals are mostly one sided. I am NOT saying that you shouldn’t be there to listen to your friends because often times, we are our friend’s therapist. They talk. We listen. However, some so called friends will leave you feeling drained after EVERY conversation with them.
I’m sure you’ve heard folks say ‘people are in your life as a blessing or a lesson’. They are right. You will definitely have more lessons that blessings though. As you get older, your circle becomes smaller. Situations arise and you find that certain individuals are dead weight, so you cut the line on that anchor. This does not mean that these people are bad or immoral. This does not mean that you have to stop talking to them all together, it just means you have to redefine what you want out of the friendship. If you are okay with a one sided relationship, so be it.
We need faithful friends to get us through the hard times. We need friends that make us laugh so we can get out of the funk we’re in. We need friends that uplift us. We need friends that correct us when we’re wrong. We needs those ride or die friends. You know the ones you can call and say, “Ride with me real quick.” They grab their coat, and ask questions later.
In friendships, I learned that you cannot put a time frame on it. I’ve met individuals and felt as though I’d known them a lifetime. We feel comfortable around each other, which makes us open up more. Yet, I’ve known other people for years and they began to look more like strangers. Life experiences and growth change our perception. We grow apart. This is okay too. Some of our seasons last longer than others. Enjoy it while you can.
Remember when Celie and Nettie saw each other again
after all those years they’d been separated??? They reconnected as if they never parted. The gift and curse of getting older is that friends move away to plant their life elsewhere. Yea, this allows me to have a FREE vacation anytime (JuJu’s on the beat), but it doesn’t allow me to be in their presence. As I age, I acknowledge that even though I don’t get to see my girls as much as I want, when we do get together, it’s like we never split. Those are the true bonds that I need in my life.
Now remember earlier I told you I was in the midst of my downward spiral, but I remembered that I had been invited to a gathering that afternoon. I had 2 choices. Sit around and mope, or get out the house and socialize. I chose to get up and out. I Drake’d it out a little bit on the ride over since the hurt feelings were still there. However, when I got to the house, it was nothing but love *sees friend and sings you and me us never part, makidada in my head*.
One minute into being at the gathering, my overall mood shifted to a happy space. It wasn’t because I forced it. It was because I put myself around friends that treat me as family. Our god bodies give us healing power. Healing power that we can use for ourselves and for others. We are spiritual beings with keys that unlock good spaces (i.e. gifts, talents, communication, love, etc.) in souls. When we tap into our God given gifts, we begin to see why certain people were placed in our lives. It’s so important to have supportive people in your corner. Friends that genuinely care about you.
I was able to move out of a dark space that day. The food was good, the music was great, and the wine was even better. But the one thing that beat all of that, was the people and conversations that consumed the room. Our friends become an extension of ourselves. We need and want them in our lives. In the case of my friends, I hold them dear to my heart. I may be older than some of you and younger than some, but we will still be each other’s makidada.