Check my credentials…
A lot of people don’t understand who I am. When friends and colleagues ask what’s going on in my life, my immediate response is: “nothing much”. I don’t do this out of shame, but when I am eager to share my dreams and passions it’s often met with a blank stare or an awkward change in subject. Its this that’s caused countless of friendships to end in some twisted type of “you think you are too good/all that/better than everyone else”. I would never admit that as jealousy then, but let’s keep it real, in my mind I knew what was up.
Then I met you. Someone that totally changed the way I saw myself and the world around me. You were quiet, yet very powerful in the things you said to me. “I believe in you. You’re dope. You were placed on this earth to spark minds and ignite ideas”. I was so caught off guard I would laugh it off. I can admit that I thought you had ulterior motives. As years went by your words were not only consistent, but more uplifting than before. You made me challenge myself. Explore uncharted territories. You were my best friend. Our souls connected beyond the people in our shared social circles. It wasn’t enough for us to just go out to the parties, get high, get drunk, have sex, have kids and spend up all that college refund check. Nope. Not us.
Our time was spent on plotting out dreams, talking about traveling the world, learning new cultures, starting non-profits, encouraging the youth, giving back to the neighborhoods that we came from and doing all this in a Benz (I mean we had to do it in style). Hours on the phone felt like seconds. We honored each other. We respected each other. We both had similar backgrounds. No silver spoons. We both worked our asses off for everything we had. You knew the meaning of sacrifice and we both shared a goal of giving the world to our parents when we were financially capable. You got me. You kept me in check when I was wrong and applauded me when I was right.
We never dated. But I wondered if we should, and wondered if you felt the same way. But there was that respect that never let us cross boundaries. And we both were cool with that. However, one day I had to question, “Why Don’t You Love Me?’
When two people mesh together so effortlessly, why shouldn’t they be together? I have everything (and more) that you ever desired in a mate. I brought more to the table than any woman you ever dated. Hell, I bought the damn table. But when I asked you this randomly one day, you played me. Now you were awkwardly changing the subject. This was a first for us.
You didn’t believe in long distance relationships, you’d say. You didn’t want to mess up a beautiful friendship. I’d sit in silence on the phone feeling more confused and honestly foolish for even mustering up the courage to tell you how I felt when I NEVER had a problem telling you anything prior to this conversation.
Here’s the ironic part, you met a girl and did all the things you couldn’t fathom with me with her. You say she’s your best friend, it just so happens that this relationship is a long distance one, and it seems like you are very much in love.
Despite my shock, I’m very happy for you. So happy that I’ve distanced myself from you so you can fully explore the happiness you deserve. I love you. And not for romantic reasons. I love you because you made me realize that no one can love me as much as I love myself. And I will forever love you because you confirmed for me that my dreams aren’t too big, but some people’s minds are just too small. You should know that although this slowed me down. It didn’t defeat me. I got too much hustle in me to ever let a man do that.
Creative Direction: LaMisha Readus
Hair and Makeup: Arereal Strickland
Photography: Danny Black Photography
Stylist: Adrienne Gadling