Ask Nayirah Waheed and she’ll tell you, “A friend is someone who supports your breathe.”
Ask Ryan from Girls Trip and she’ll tell you that there are some people who you cannot hide the truth from because they see it anyway; the people who remind you of your worth when you forget it and allow you to be your best self through the laughs, challenges and tears. These are the people we call our tribe, our sisters, whether it’s biological, social or spiritual.
Do you have folks who check you when you’re selling yourself short, celebrate you when you reach your goals and support you when you don’t see any reason to continue pursuing your dreams? Those are the basics of your tribe checklist right there.
If you have a sister, you have lessons from day 1 on how this tribe thing works. My sister is the one who will forever remind me how I slapped her earrings out of her ear when I was two, but never hesitates to let me borrow the earrings out of her ear or the shirt off of her back. She’s the one who’ll advise you on grapefruits and “protecting your peace” all in one sitting. She not only supports my breathe, she is the prelude to my breathe and understanding of true sisterhood.
The true test of time is the connection that we keep with the friends that we made before college. That best friend from the first day of 3rd grade (Hey Tiff!) or your little sis from high school, Nana.
Your Nana is the one you ran track with, ran the school newspaper with, went to the youth church services with and got your first job with. She was the cause of belly-aching laughs, real talk, prayers, advice, tea, all that. Souls as pure and wise as hers are rare these days and are sometimes called back to paradise way too soon. Cherish your Nanas.
If you don’t walk away from college with anything else, you leave with your tribe (and hope fully a degree): The girls who you made your best and worst decisions with, who you pulled your all-nighters with plotting get-rich-quick schemes instead of studying, the ones who prepped you for your interviews and edited your papers.
To this day y’all know which one you can’t trust to make your drink if you’ve got work in the morning, or the one who reminds everyone to stay hydrated and says a prayer for the madness that’s about to ensue, and the one who can’t stay away from those $2 shots in that alley off of Bourbon Street. Yet still for some reason they are the future aunties of your babies, your spiritual solace and the earliest supporters of your wildest dreams. (Y’all know who y’all are)
The truth is everybody is a good time after a couple of drinks, but the real ones are there after a couple of failures, heartbreaks, mistakes and tough decisions, to support your breathe – your getting up again that 8th time to show folks the greatness that your sisters saw in you all along.
Make sure your tribe supports your breathing, your living, your thriving, your magic. The way this life is set up, you’ve got to keep the real ones by your side and check yourself to make sure you’re reciprocating the realness.
Being at the start of our adult lives, sometimes we forget that tomorrow isn’t promised and you don’t always get a heads up before a sister becomes an angel. Call up your God-given sisters, and the ones He’s sent your way on the journey; check in on them, do brunch, support their endeavors and pray for them. While everyone is going through something behind the scenes, you never know when the physical, emotional or mental burden may just be a bit too much for them to carry alone. That’s where we come in.
Sisterhood is not only good for the soul, it’s a rejuvenating necessity. No one is limited to one tribe, you might belong to a few. Regardless, everyone needs their own Nana in their corner: that person that sees where you are struggling and is not afraid to check you, send you encouragement, laugh at you and with you, and continues to pray for you whether you’re asking for it or not.
Shout out to all of our tribes, all of our Nanas, the real ones who see the real us regardless of the situation and never stop supporting our breathe, our goals and our magic.
Dedicated to: My Big Sis, My Tribe & My Little Sis, Nana, RIP.