Last night I had the opportunity to attend an early screening of the new movie Girls Trip, which was unexpectedly phenomenal (way to go Will Packer Productions). It was like, Sex and the City meets The Best Man meets The Hangover – seriously, a huge dose of motion picture chocolate covered goodness. It made me proud to be a woman, and a BLACK woman at that! After the film, the one and only Miss Diddy hosted a talk back with the producers and cast. During the session, she said something that really affected me: Don’t forget to check on your strong friend.
Many of us have that one friend we call when our lives are falling apart. He or she usually seems to have it all together ― a great job, a great living situation and a great group of friends. They are emotionally intelligent, fiscally responsible, exceptionally wise, and patient enough to listen to all of your problems. They are your rock, your accountability partner and your comforter. And if you don’t have a friend like this, chances are it’s because you are the strong friend.
In Girls Trip, Ryan (played by the beautiful Regina Hall) is the strong friend. She is a wildly successful young entrepreneur who has it all. I saw a lot of myself in Ryan. As a 28-year-old entertainment attorney, author, blogger and (most recently) producer, I’m often the one my friends call on in their times of need. I pray with my friends when they feel far from God, I wipe their tears when they have relationship problems, I encourage them when they feel less than enough, I write blogs and articles encouraging them not to give up on their dreams, I edit their text messages before they hit send, I review resumes, I proofread personal statements and cover letters, and I bring them job and networking opportunities. And for some, if I’m not available to deal with the issue of the day, I’m a “bad friend.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends! Like, I would give my life to protect them. But some days, I don’t want to be the strong friend. Sometimes I need someone to tell me, “You are strong. You are powerful. You are beautiful.” Sometimes I need someone to tell me, “God hears you.” Sometimes I need someone to wipe my tears when I’m having relationship problems. Sometimes, I don’t want to give life advice, I want to sulk. I want to be the crazy friend who needs someone to edit my text messages before I emotionally send them off. I want to complain about my career. I want permission to be weak.