written by Xiao Mei // Captured by Wyze
Over the past couple weeks, you’ve likely seen my childhood recaps of my sister across all social media feeds of mine. Her and I lived together for 18 years and now have resided separately for seven years and counting, which has been a true turning point for our friendship. She and I grew up in a suburban neighborhood, but by choice we now both live in different cities. I could rave about her career accomplishments of how she commits her journalism skills for ABC News in Washington, D.C., but that’s not the tea I want to spill today. I’d rather focus on our culture and the dynamics she and I share together as sisters, friends, and business partners.
URBAN LIVING. VS. COUNTRY LIVING
The way Erica and I grew up was nothing like how we live lavishly today. Our childhood and teenage years mostly evolved in Pickerington, Ohio. In the mornings, we’d pass by horses and cows on farms as we rode the bus to school. The grass was green and the neighborhoods were predominately White, but hearing gunshots at night was never a problem we had to worry about anymore.
Transitioning from Columbus Public Schools to Pickerington District was a real cultural shock. I was the only colored student in my 2nd grade class. So it was difficult to relate to my peers until the schools became more diverse. But, as a light-skinned girl it was even more difficult to relate to newcomers, because I wasn’t dark enough to fit in. By that time my valley girl voice had established, so I stumbled connecting with each popular race. So there’s me fitting in with the Hispanics, while Erica hung around mostly African Americans because her Asian features weren’t often recognized.
LIFE LIVED SEPARATELY
Beginning college, Erica moved to Ohio University and that wasn’t easy for me. I felt like I lost my best friend. Her first week living on college campus, I snuggled into her old room and cried for 30 minutes laying in her bed at my parents house. If you can relate to watching your best friend leave, you’d agree it’s hard to process. On the bright side, it was time I had to choose what I wanted to do. And though she left, it was an arousing moment for me to stop living as her shadow and find my own voice. [Hence I’m the youngest sibling]
Once I gained enough balls to move out of my parents house, I decided to live in the city - somewhere in the hood surrounded by friendly people. Practically the best of both worlds, I was accustomed to each environment.
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
On the flip side, after Erica graduated she choose to live in the Washington Metropolitan area, known as the DMW. It connects Washington, Maryland and Virginia. Once I got word she wasn’t coming back home to Ohio, I immediately was done for. Like okay sis, goodbye. Leave, don’t come back, that’s cool. I was low-key hurt, but how could I not be excited for someone I love to live her dream!
Roughly 1-2 years living in the city, I noticed both of our mindsets improved. We thought differently, spoke inspirational words into our life and our hustle grew harder. I don't believe the city environment has everything to do with it, but it certainly has allowed us to evolve.
“Living in a city has changed me…for the better. My goals are different. My aspirations in life have morphed. I dream bigger & I think bigger. I’m surrounded by like-minded people who just want to see me succeed & vise versa. It’s like we’re all climbing the ladder to the top together. I absolutely love it. I’m just tryna see all of our Kings & Queens prosper.”
- Words by Erica (aka "E")
ESTABLISHING OUR NEW LIFE
Living alone is the best. It’s free will. It’s your way or no one’s way, you come as you please and set the tone for your living condition. Do I get lonely? Very rarely will I get sad because I live alone. Surprisingly I pay rent for a unit I rarely sleep at. Because living in the city caused me to be on the go 24/7, either out with friends, working or meeting up for events.
For Erica, I’m sure she’d say the same. Though we’re a far, we strive our best to stay connected through text, call, FaceTime, flying out to visit each other and occasionally sending each other sexy pictures. Our friendship is very abnormal, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
DEVELOPING OUR HUSTLE
Striving to see our family happy is our fore front of why we hustle hard. Digging into our muse aka work is what makes us happy even on our down days. Our hustle isn't what everyone may believe should be pursued, but this is the reality we created. My sister took the traditional route going to college, receiving a Bachelor's with a nice paying job.
Me? Not so much. I graduated from a community college, I'm not working for the job I absolutely love, but I found happiness writing my blog.
Once we found our muse, there was no stopping us on what we put our mind to.
In this life we need more sisters who aren’t blood related. Is this possible or even realistic? I would like to think so. A trend I see are a lot of women supporting the women empowerment movement and feminist lifestyle. This makes me happy! But...it’d be great to take a step further and be like a sister to those who really could use our support.
Whether you grew up together, live distantly or love each other like my sister and I send random nudes... Continue to call up on your strong sister and friends who could really use a genuine friend right now. If we had heart for other women like they were our blood-related sister, I really believe our world could be a better place.
N.U.D.E. // Naked Uncut Daily Empowerment. // “To provide a safe house for the many women.” #Nudist // Unclothe your mind reading naked thoughts