I knew of you before I met you. You and I both know the story but I’m going to share the story because this is as much of a personal letter to you as it is a public declaration to why you matter to me.
You first mattered because you mattered to Wayne. Wayne being your husband. I met him early last year at a meetup dinner in the Bronx that Tamara hosted. I loved his energy and was drawn to him, so we talked for a good portion of the night. I really don’t remember all the things we talked about which covered a LOT. The only thing I remember specifically is how he talked about you. He simply holds you in high regard. You are human and a woman but you are his sun. He exhalts you. He worships you. He LOVES YOU! And it was so clear. I just wanted him to keep talking about you.
He told me that at that present time you didn’t socialize much in our larger network group but that once I met you, I’d fall into the Nyree orbit. (My words. Not his.) The Nyree orbit is that Wayne is outgoing and friendly and awesome and he meets so many amazing people and they become friends with him. I. E., me. Then they meet his wife and people end up loving his wife more than him. You steal his friends because you are the SUN. He’s cool too. But you’re NYREE! Now after all this time….over a year later, I still have an amazing friendship with Wayne. So much so that I need to divide your letters. But ummm, he was right. I’m in the Nyree orbit. You’re all the things. I gathered that from a short dinner with him and was sold. I eagerly awaited meeting you.
The next morning someone posted images from the dinner. I think this was Wayne’s first meetup actually. So someone posts images and Wayne is Wayne. He’s handsome. The world will shine brighter if/when you two have children. Because GODDAMN! Your beauty and his handsomeness. Is that a word? Anyways, someone posted an image of us all and women who had never met him before online were like, “Who’s the Salt and Pepper?” (He’s one of those rocking a beard and bald head.) “Who’s he?” “He’s handsome!” “What’s his name.” I mean, for the most part that’s human nature. But I don’t know. Something about the energy of some of the comments were not working for me. And in my head, you and I were best friends already and I had never met you. So I kindly retorted, “That is Wayne. He AND HIS WIFE are both in Nomadness Travel Tribe.”
Now what I didn’t know was that a friend of yours was watching that thread and told you about a girl named Sheena who shut shit down.
I’ve been perceived in the past as a Black Jezebel. One women once felt I cockblocked her. I’ve been called many names from women who fear my Siren life. But what they don’t know is 1. not true, 2. I don’t give a damn about their perceptions, 3. I’m fiercely loyal and protective of honoring people….even ones I haven’t met. “That is Wayne. He AND HIS WIFE are both in Nomadness Travel Tribe.”
Months later we would meet, though I don’t remember what meetup or where. All I know is all of sudden, you were MY FRIEND too. Oh, was it lunch? I think so. Wayne, you and I had lunch at The Mason Jar and the rest was history. I was in that Nyree orbit.
What I love about you is that you are what I envision when I think about WOMAN. You are power and grace and fierceness and creativity and humor and compassion and vulnerability and truth. You are a Shark. You are a Leader. You are a Siren. A Wolf. An Artist. A Curator. A Thought Leader. You’re all the things. Truly.
You are one of the most profound, prolific, awe inspiring people I have ever met.
And you’re chill with a small dose of petty plus you are blindingly gorgeous. Your spirit, your face, your hair and the sound of your voice. ALL GORGEOUS. All yum. ALL THE THINGS!
As time evolved, so did our friendship. From Tough Mudder to Photo Walk meetups to Panel events and our weekend getaway sleepovers….its been a true pleasure to have the honor of your company. I learn every time I’m with you. I’m inspired. I’m tickled. I’m provoked. Have I said you’re all the things? You show me the balance of Power and Grace. I love your elegance, Nyree. Its inspiring. But its also real and comes with grit. Add on top of that our conversations about family, about business, about vulnerability, about creativity, about our pasts….and….I just feel like I get to live my life dwelling in the presence of gods and goddesses. I truly am spoiled when it comes to the people I know and get to call a friend. And every time I’m with you new ideas come up. I’m not listing any of them because I don’t want anyone knowing what we’re brewing or brainstorming before its time…but I love that I can let my imagination run wild with you and then we can systematically talk about the practical steps to actualizing it. Nyree, I love you. Also, you read books. Lots of them. Lord. Did I say I love you?!?!?!
I was thinking about this the other day. You know how some people’s ideal of who they want to be is Oprah? They want to channel her spirit and her drive into whatever industry they are in or whatever life they live. They use her life as a roadmap to how they could make their dreams come true. I never think of Oprah like that. I admire her but honestly, she’s of no use to me in that way. She’s not my hero. I thought, “As I keep aspiring to be the best of me, who inspires me? Who are the heroes of my life?” You were one of the first to come to mind. Its the real people in my life that I connect with on a daily basis, where I see the details and I see their glory. That is what pushes me. You push me. I wan to sit at your feet and learn. But also, I know you. You wouldn’t let me. We both would sit at the table, look each other square in the eye and learn from one another. But also, I’d sit at your feet and just be there and be perfectly content hearing you speak on all the things. Such as these things from one of our recent panels…..
“Women have been taught that they have to be perfect. Be a great homemaker. Master femininity. [Throw down] in the kitchen. Be a freak in the bed. You are super woman. Men have been taught that you have no room to fail. Make money. Be a man. Take care of business. Don’t be perceived as weak. Cut the grass. Don’t show emotions. Don’t cry. All these things are marketed towards you and they are a social construct. You view life through this lens. You are attracting people who are attracted to the facade. If you put out [this] image, you are going to attract the person attracted to that image.” Then later, “I hadn’t asked the very vulnerable question of who the fuck am I? What am I?” – Nyree via Battle of the Sexes, hosted by Wayne Gowdie and Sheena LaShay
And this one too!
“Its not about being his mother. It’s about holding space and being empathetic to him. It’s general care. It’s me being his partner. Women talk about what they will and won’t do and we forget, this is a human. There is a space that you need to hold for the care of someone else when you are venturing into a relationship. They don’t have the space. It’s about changing the way we perceive men and their hearts. Hold the space emotionally and be empathetic to another human being that you want to love.” – Nyree via The Battle of the Sexes, hosted by Wayne Gowdie and Sheena LaShay
I love your perspective. I love your mind. I love you and I am grateful that by being your friend, I am able to grow into more of myself…into all the parts of me. Thank you for letting me in. For including me. For being a friend! Also, even though your dad’s a fireman and you know how much I love fireman….I promise to ALWAYS KEEP MY PROMISE. **snicker**
#32LoveLetters is a 32 day blog post challenge leading up to my 32nd birthday, I am writing letters to the people in my life who contributed to me becoming fully myself as a Wild Magical Woman. If someone were to write a biography about me…which they will, it’s imperative that chapters are focused on these 32 people. They have had a profound, lasting and influential effect on my life. I can not tell my own story without telling you of theirs.