|Three of the women who continue to show me that this life thing is amazing when you have the right friends.|
Reflecting on 2016 and I am realising that friendship break ups are more painful than relationship break ups. There is something surreal and magical about having intimate friendships with women, especially Black women. Our friendships are where we take our whole selves - the pain, insecurities, fears and sheer happiness. Our friendships are where we go when we are tired of explaining our womanhood or blackness. They are where we go to say "My colleague touched my hair again" and not have to explain the anger and frustration or "This guy is horrible and the date isn't going well" and then she calls you to pretend there is an emergency you have to attend to.
Black girlfriends will give you their last R4000 so that you can sort out your life. They will drive to you in the middle of the night to save you from yourself. They will go with you to buy your first bed for that tiny bachelor flat you are renting for the very first time, then eat noodles and drink cheap wine with you to celebrate your achievement.
Black girlfriends will check you out and tell you that you have the hottest body in the world. They will watch you dress up and say "I hate you, your boobs are so perfect" and then you both laugh. They “YAAAAAS KHWEEEN” on that FIRE Instagram post you just broke your little internet world with.
Black women will go to war with you. They will take up your family burdens and help you through them. They will have your mother on speed dial and when they get into an accident, you will be the first person her mother calls. You will pause an episode of Scandal or Grey’s to voice note her because “OMG! SHONDA DID IT AGAIN!” You will then have wine and food talking about Olivia’s messy love life and then quietly introspecting on how your love life is just as messy – you wish.
The past two years I have lost intimate companionship that I found in amazing, complicated, strong, smart and fragile Black women. Ending these friendships left me miserable and lonely. I mourn the losses but I am still grateful for the experiences I shared with these women. I love Black women and I love getting to know them intimately.
I am eternally grateful to my sister friends who have stayed and continue to do life with me. My most intimate, painful and beautiful relationship experiences have been with my Black women friends (One day I will write about why and how that betrayal hurts even more). Your wisdom and beauty keeps me going. "Gardens only exist because flowers know how to bloom next to each other." - Q. Gibson. Black women, you are and always will be the flowers in my garden.
|The flowers in my garden|