A letter to my best friend(s) - You gave me the freedom to be me.

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I can go on and on about my friendships and if you follow me on social media then you know exactly how much I love my friends, all of them.

My friends are my family, they have seen me in both great bright lights and dark intense light. But they are my family and they all have always reminded me of who I am, how free I am, how amazing I am - and I love them for that and so much more. 

So, here is a letter to each of my friends, my sisters and brothers - my tribe that keeps me balanced, lifted and going. 

 

✤✤✤

 

 Best friends since '95

Best friends since '95

Dear Glory & Generlyn: I've known you both my whole life, its crazy to know that we met in second grade and our bond is ever so growing with each passing moment in our lives. I get the question very often " You're still friends?" and I laugh because  its almost weird for people to ask, because in my mind its common, its natural, it's my life. " Yes, we are friends! STILL." My response is always strong and clear because my "YES" is so much more than just answering someone, it's making a declaration of unity. --- But I want to thank you both for being here, for being you, for being so uniquely creative, and challenging and warm and faith-filled and honest. I can't recall a time in my life that I haven't shared with both you, you know every corner of my life and not once have I ever felt judged. This year has been special because I've gotten to spend more time with you both more than I have in a long time; your trip to NYC was one for the books! we had a blast!!! Shared amazing conversations and a shit ton of laughs! And that was continued when I made a last minute trip to Miami to see my goddaughter - Another reason to be grateful, because you both dropped what you were doing to come see me and have dinner as well, I was so full of joy and fought back tears because It feels amazing to know how deep our love for one another goes. SO thank you, ladies, for being in my life, I'm more than proud of you both, I'm excited about a wedding, a book release, and so much more. 

 

✤✤✤

 

 Joanna & Crystal 

Joanna & Crystal 

Dear Crys and Joanna: I'm not sure how to express my obsession with you both other than, I love my petty squad! I think meeting you both during college was one of those "Why not moments" for us. We clicked instantly and I don't think we missed a beat since. Ten years later and we still talk shit, encourage, laugh, love, and so much more! Our group chats are non stop and no matter whats going on in life, I can totally rely on you two to have something amazing to add to my life. Crys this year you gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and Joanna you bought your first home. I'm so proud of you both.

You both are discovering who you are every day and I take joy in watching you develop these talents and strength and love and endurance. I look forward to the new year with you both in my life. I'm excited about all the things we will share and explore. Sorry we didn't see each other this year but it's on my list of the palaces to travel for - To Orlando for you Crys and Tampa for you Jo. I love you both! 

 

✤✤✤

 

 LBDE NYC Summer Social '17 at Citizen Hotel 

LBDE NYC Summer Social '17 at Citizen Hotel 

Dear Rene: Met you three years ago and we hit it off instantly! I'm very humbled by our friendship on a daily basis. From learning from each other, breaking bread, and working together and being there for each other during some rough times, there's no friendship like ours and even though this last year has kept us both on our toes and our hustle at a thousand, I love you very much. 2018 will be a year of harvest. I declare a harvest far greater than you or myself can imagine because we both planted seeds made sacrifices and never caved into our fears or pains. And let me say, thank you for allowing me to be me and never once taking anything personally. When I'm going through it, I prefer to deal with it personally first before bringing it to other people and I appreciate your understanding that. I hope you know I'm here for you as well. In this year it is my prayer that God continues to bless you and your beautiful family. I pray that your vision comes to light for so many reasons but most importantly, I want you to have all of these things but I want them to be about fulfillment and not the financial gain.  I want you to hustle because you have a greater purpose than monetary gain - but change, influence, legacy. 

 

✤✤✤

 Noah and Baby Rhiley (My Rose) - Lavelonies Baby girl and my God Daughter 

Noah and Baby Rhiley (My Rose) - Lavelonies Baby girl and my God Daughter 

 

Dear Lavelonie: I consider our relationship something along the lines of nostalgia, a good R&B song, you are my heart beat as I've seen you grow into a beautiful mother and get stronger in who you are. We may not speak daily or as often as either of us would like, but our lives are in different places, different phases and even with that I know I can count on you to be my peace - my rock, my reminder that I am not what I've been through - and I honestly pray I am that to you. I want to say something to you though in this new year; I want you to be free. I want for you to experience life at its highest level and enjoy the joys of being a woman, being a mom, being a wife someday, being your best version, and for those things to be - you have got to put you first and remove yourself from all negative aspects and never return to them - the joy you bring others, the love you give, you deserve in return. So make 2018 about that, please, make it about you. 

 

✤✤✤

 

 Noah & JB '16

Noah & JB '16

Dear JB (GodBruda): Whenever I speak about you and or try to put into words my love for you, I get teary-eyed because our friendship, or brotherhood, our duo is of God, it is the universe answering us when we needed it most. You are heaven sent my friend, we have seen life as adults together and we carry the load together. You kept me sane during a really traumatic breakup, during a life-altering experience and everything else in between and I thank God for giving me someone who could understand and who could listen without judgment and without a need to solve the issue but bare the issue. 

Our friendship just isn't this thing I rave about or look at and think "That's my bish"  - our friendship is and has always shown up in our lives. 

I've watched you grow into this awesome human being, this spiritual prince, and I love it, and I'm grateful for it. You've championed heartbreak, sexuality, family, but mostly you, you've championed yourself and though you may read this and think you haven't - my brother, take a moment and look around ... in 2006 you had no idea what you were going to do with your life, you were going through it with your relationship and you struggled with identifying who you are ... Today you are HIM: Brilliant, loving, well traveled, beautiful, healthy, successful ... My friend, you are a vision and I love you. Keep going, you're literally walking in your truth, and that blesses folks. 

 

✤✤✤

 

 Chisela Tembo - Blogger :  Itssela

Chisela Tembo - Blogger : Itssela

Dear Chisela: My sister!!!! Meeting you the first year of college was super exciting. You walked into one of my rehearsals and slayed the runway for me and we have not stopped loving each other sense. My last few months in Miami were very tough - a breakup - moved back home, I felt unsure and somehow your resolve was me coming to spend the night and I never left until my flight to NYC. We talked about life, worked our asses off, and went out every night for God knows how many nights - literally every night and went to work the next morning. But our bond goes beyond that... we expressed our concerns about what the future was going to be, we depended on each other for some time because when we couldn't talk to anyone else, we had each other. 

So, I'm happy to see you living your best life out in LA now!!!!! It really excites me - you're thriving like I knew you would, and you look beautiful doing it. 

Thank you for always pushing me creatively, thank you for the calls just to pray, they are amazing! I love you !!!! See you in this new year, My dear sister!