I Love The Way You're Growing: The Beauty of Sisterhood


We sat in the booth of a Mexican restaurant eating chips and salsa, and slow-sipping margaritas. It was a trying week for us both, and we were long overdue for a night out. While our crazy days have subsided since our undergraduate party lifestyles that ended six and eight years prior, respectively, we still made it a point to head out for drinks and chat—some months more frequently than others.

A lot of major transitions were planned to kick off in our lives this year, so we vowed to be more present than we have in the past. Recognizing that we both sway toward isolation during our times of need, we decided to make the conscious effort to practice togetherness. It was working for us so far.

6:30pm turned to 7:30pm quick, as we rehashed the details of the past few weeks. I hadn't seen her in three weeks; that was enough time for life to set in and spiral out of control. Luckily for us, we came back with positive reports.

We've both come a long way from eight and a half years ago when we first met. When my Sankofa tattoo connected us enough to sleep in the same bed after a long night of studying our North-Atlantic regional chapters. My ace, my number one, has always been my closest line sister, despite us being farthest from each other on the line (me being the tail/at the end of the line, her being at the front). We were so much alike, yet so different. Our similarities brought us together, and our differences kept us alert.

Our growth since the days of chatting about light skin men versus dark skin men, echoed in my head as we continued our rich conversation.
As we spoke about sensitive topicsChristianity, the need for intersectionality when discussing women's rights, the role our sorority has (or has not) played in recent years' civil rights movements, and the necessary role of honesty in our pursuit of self—I couldn't help but to recognize the unignorable shift in our conversation since our first introduction all those years ago. We weren't young women ranting about campus activities or annoying Alphas ('cause honey, we sure have ranted about annoying Alphas). We were talking about things that mattered. Things that affect our lives as women, as African Americans, and as sisters.

The beauty of our conversation didn't just lie in our transparency with each other (and ultimately ourselves), it was the role our sisterhood played in our willful expression and authenticity of self. It was the way in which our relationship catapulted from occasional check-in to being a partner on each others journey toward reconciliation, peace, and happiness. The present help we've become in each others lives, while still working to conquer our own separate struggles. It was our willingness to be vested and experience that growth, together.

There's a misrepresentation of female friendships. One that says the extent of our companionship lies solely in club-hopping and gossip. One that suggests female friendships are catty and drama-filled. One that promotes distrust and weariness—not knowing how much of ourselves to let out, and how much to keep behind a wall. One that hints at conversations not staying between the two people that had them, but escaping to a world outside of the two, by way of one of the two. But that's no friendship of mine.

Conversations like the one we had on this night, and the countless others I have with my very few dear friends, is what sisterhood is about. Unity. Connection. Genuine love. Endurance. Journeying. Whether together or apart it's the undying desire to see each other succeed at equal parts life and self. It's more than just good jokes, strong drinks, and laughs. It's the role we play in each others respective journeys of becoming. It's the support we provide, and the prayers we deliver to God on each others behalf.

"I turn 30 this year," she reminded me. I instantly shrieked with excitement. I was excited for her birthday, despite the festivities being unplanned, but I was more excited for the lessons she learned up to this point, and the many she will learn before September. I was excited for the honesty she was divulging in this conversation, and ultimately during her alone time with self; and the ways she committed to conquering the very things she struggled with since before we met.

I loved seeing her growth. I loved hearing her talk about the things she learned over the years. I loved it because the woman I once knew her as, she was no longer. She noted the same about me. There was something about acknowledging the growth in us both, that night, that made me appreciate the power of womanhood and friendship. Something that made me truly value our collectiveness.

We've been through two degrees each with each other; been through jobs we hated and jobs we loved; been through bad breakups and lover's quarrels; and now, as we entered yet another phase of life, I was excited that our connection was surpassing our accolades and hardships, into something more meaningful. Something that couldn't be measured by how many times we called each other flipping out about something, but how bright our lights would shine during our next visit. What our illumination look like next time, as we continued to journey toward a deeper level of self-awareness and self-acceptance.

In that moment, that night. I learned that more beautiful than a social friendship, is two sisters experiencing growth together. Watching the shifts of life take the other under, yet seeing them stay afloat long enough to share it. Maintaining enough of ourselves
as we shatter glass for truth and put back together the pieces of our brokennessto see the changes being made in each others lives. To see the sparkle in each others eye as we talk about our revelation and how much more of ourselves we've learned to love; appreciate; admire.

With every breakthrough comes a period of transition. Every month a new transformation. Both of us willing to admit it to each other. Willing to accept the challenge of becoming more of ourselves, and living enough to share it with each other. Being a new light enough for the other to see. Being present enough in each others lives to feel it. Being selfless, loving, and genuine enough to excite in it. That is friendship. That is sisterhood. And, from a girl with very few friends, and very few conversations promoting true transparency, this is beautiful. 

10:30 came around just as quick as 7:30 did three hours prior. We decided to finally head out and part ways. But before grabbing a hug and leaving, we both made an unspoken agreement to meet again as better women than we were when we entered that night. To reconvene with more greatness to share, more growth to acknowledge, and more nonjudgmental, authentic love to give. Because I absolutely love the way we're growing; and that is the true beauty of sisterhood.

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