I saw Natelegé tweet this and what echoed loudly was the safe space to BE. See one thing I seem to observe about women of color is this feeling that we always have to be on, strong, and ready for whatever it is that may come our way. But the reality is, black women are looking for spaces to BE. That’s exactly what Erica of Everything ENJ created at the What Binds Us Together Brunch in New York on August 15th.
I must admit, as the day approached I thought to myself, am I really about to make this hike for brunch? And then I thought to myself, yes! Thanks to the wonderful Twitterverse, I started following Erica some time ago and completely admire and respect her writing journey. So when she posted about her What Binds Us Together Brunch, I was ready and put my RSVP in right away. Somehow I knew I needed to be there.
Each time I sheepishly tap dance my way out of my comfort zone I am always pleased and that pushes me to do it more and more. So I made my way to NY, not really knowing what to expect but knowing that for some reason, there was a seat with my name on it. From the moment that I walked up the staircase to the second level of Pennsylvania 6 met by the contagious smile of Erica, I knew something magical was happening here, I knew it was worth the time and energy.
As the table filled up I was quickly met with Twitter frans including Yetti, Natelegé, and Roconia. Let’s talk about the benefits of being able to network through social media! These women were everything they tweet and more, which in our time is rare. The authenticity was overflowing through New York accents and genuine laughter. The conversation was easy and the fried, battered, or crusted French toast was worth the diet cheat.
It’s the importance of these spaces that made me want to keep going with the Dear Love Brunch. It was the realization that women needed a place where they could take off their masks and peel back the façade of who they have to be when facing the world. Here in this space were only allies and that felt really good. Without the pretense, without introducing who we were by what we did, we shared space, we shared energy and even a couple of tears.
So glad that I had the opportunity and the ends to make this trip and looking forward to connecting with these ladies again and again. Kudos to Erica for an amazing afternoon, what an incredible experience to add to the summer diaries.
I guess with an opportunity to answer the question "what binds us together?" I would say it's our vulnerability, it's our strength, it's our life experiences, our battles, our insecurities, it's everything and nothing at all and it's beautiful. It's so freaking beautiful. We are more alike than we ever were different, no matter what media or society tells us is our truth. In that moment, we defined our own.
At each battle with my comfort zone, I have found an opportunity grow. So I encourage you to tap dance all over that thang! Push yourself because what you find on the other side tends to be well worth it.