In my most reflective, candid, and intimate moments, I have been asking myself more and more questions about who I am in relation to my friendships. What do my friendships mean to me? Am I as good of a friend as others are to me? Do I give enough in my friendships? Do I sometimes give and sacrifice too much? Why?

It has been an extremely emotional experience full of many moments of joy and thankfulness as well as tears, anger, and a struggle of acceptance of what life has at times served me. The truth is that God has been good to me, and continues to bless me in ways I never thought possible. Just looking at my friendships, I am BEYOND LUCKY because I have many incredible people around the world, from everywhere in the world, that I call friends and family. When I look around me, right here in Geneva, back home in Texas, as well as in the many places I travel, I am surrounded by some of the VERY BEST any one could ever ask for! These individuals I call friends are people who challenge me everyday to do better, be better, dream bigger and inspire beyond my own expectations! These are the people who cry with me, and those who celebrate my achievements, and I theirs! These are people who understand and accept my weaknesses, and those who also aim to cultivate my strengths! I could not be more thankful for them.

In my plethora of great friendships, I have also been confronted with individuals I have called friends and family who have caused me hurt because they have not given to me as I have to them, and those that have caused me to have moments of self doubt. These are people who have not always celebrated with me, and those that I am saddened and struggle to have to let go. I am not sharing this to have you feel sorry for me because there is nothing to be sorry about. I too am far from perfect, and I know that I have not been as good friend of a friend to others as they have been to me. I want to change that, and really want to give to the world with as wide of open arms as the world has given to me. I want to be a blessing to others, strangers alike, as those I call my friends are a blessing to me.

Thanks to the conversation I had with an old mentor and sister of mine today, I find myself thankful for these experiences that have caused me the most hurt because they teach me so much more about the kind of characteristics and values I want in the people around me. It truly is those positive characteristics and values that will push all of us together to be better members of society. I really believe that if I am a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend, and lover, I am sure to be a better mentor, a better professional, a better activist and even a better stranger to people who have never come in contact with me. I am sure that, that positive energy can and will create a some kind of a domino effect which can be a part of transforming this world.

I write this blog as part of the MUSIC SOULMATE series to one, share this warm and heartening song “Best In Me” by the Ghanaian Queentress Efya (I recently discovered her and she’s just INCREDIBLE) whose lyrics (even thought meant for a lover) are symbolic of what any and all friendships should encompass and two, to say that we all need people in our lives who are going to bring out the VERY BEST IN US. Dear reader, I hope that your life is filled with these kind of friendships that uplift you, those that teach you, and those that help you be the best of who you are.

I am soooo thankful for those of you (you know who you are) who bring out the very best in me, and I pray that I give to you everyday, or least most days, as much as you do to me! I learn SO MUCH about life from all of you! Thank you for accepting and loving my crazy and essence, and for believing in me and never causing me to doubt myself! I am also thankful for my heart who is the quintessential partner, friend, lover, and teacher. You, without a doubt, bring out the very best in me! And thank you Efya for this INCREDIBLE song which encompasses so much of what I just said here!