0:00-My Sister's Keeper

I accepted the 0:00 Challenge from adashofmichaela.com with every intention to share my “good love” gone bad story. With some reflection, I realized that that story had its moment. I’ve worked hard to move forward with forgiveness, and rehashing it only gives it undeserved energy.

Ironically, it revealed that I’m still in a place of unforgiveness that has nothing to do with a man.

While most women of color are celebrating one another, planning their next girls’ trip, and adjusting each others’ crowns, I feel alone. It hasn’t always been this way, and I constantly find myself trying to piece together where it went wrong.

I’m the woman who views images of sisterhood mixed with a sense of pride underlined with cynicism and envy. Crazy, right? I can no longer relate to those shared moments of carefree happiness with girlfriends.

Some of my earliest memories of sisterhood were of my mom and her clique.

The girls’ nights, late laughter and gossip over the phone, and seeing them comfort one another in their darkest hours. As I entered my final years of high school, something shifted. My mom’s circle became much smaller, the frequent visits from my ‘aunties’ dwindled. To top it off, my mom began instilling in me that females can’t be trusted. To not keep a lot of girlfriends. I’m unsure if it was something that my mom was personally going through or if it was just that I became more conscious of the instability of friendships. It was high school...many of my friends from previous years dissipated as we entered adolescence.

When I began my studies at Florida A&M University, making friends and forming sisterhoods was something that I could not avoid. Dorms were not co-ed and we shared EVERYTHING. It felt amazing to once again share camaraderie with girls my age. We encouraged, supported and defended each other without a second thought. Not all of those friendships stayed together, but the majority of us stuck together even after graduating. We carried on our laughter, dating stories and gossip over a widespread of different area codes. It was only a couple of years ago that the last of these connections ceased to exist. It still hurts like hell.

In the past few years, my best friends barely call or answer when I call. Others only communicate through social media posts. The bonds are broken, yet I hold on to hope for many of them because that’s all I have left.

I’ve developed this awkward disposition when placed with a group of women. I’m unsure if they are truly looking to make friends or if they are only seeking to connect for an opportunity. I find it difficult to build friendships as an adult partially because of my mom’s voice in my head and due to the many attempts I’ve made that has only proved her right.

I take sisterhood seriously.

I don’t care your racial background or social upbringing. I expect that any friendship among my girls should have a greater standard of loyalty than anything that we could ever have with a boyfriend/spouse. To add to it, I’m a new mother now. Some of my existing friends who have had children before me are nowhere to be found when I have mommy questions. Even my newly made mom friends don’t include me and my son in much of anything.

My mission to you, as a woman, is to build instead of tear each other down. Be mindful of the words you use with one another and the words you speak to others about one another. Make time for the late night laughter, nights out, and brunches. Reach out even if you have nothing to talk about. You’ll find something...that’s the fun of being a woman.

For those of you who continue to share your wealth of sisterhood, continue to do it proudly. There are women like me who sees your images as hope and inspiration.

-Crystal Lariece of Cold Hard Fash