Welcome to #SelfcareSundays: a space at gal-dem promoting love, positivity and good vibes. Yero talks about the importance of self-care and looking after yourself through maintaining relationships with people who make you happy, no matter the distance.
Two of my best friends, Blake and Kimberly, live approximately 3,500 miles away in Manhattan, New York. I was blessed with a long summer and autumn in the big apple with them last year and haven’t been able to see them (in person) since. Back here in London, I’ve held on to the memories of course, such as watching our pal debut (and win) at his first boxing match. Missing D’Angelo perform at AFROPUNK festival to go on laborious apartment hunts with slum landlords. Also, eating jollof at my favourite Nigerian restaurant on my 22nd birthday and hearing about the death of Mike Brown and the unrest in Ferguson. Free MoMA trips.
To say I was devastated to leave New York and my friends behind would be an understatement. I knew that the differences in time zones and life in general would make it hard to have the level of interaction we had when we were only a few subway stops from each other, but I vowed to make an effort in maintaining our glorious friendship. And they have done the same.
Logistics and unforeseen circumstances led me to cancel my trip back to the states last month. Kim was in a new work position so couldn’t take time off work to fly out to LA and had to devote all of her spare time to finding a new place, and we all know how stressful house hunting can be. However, I still managed to find her an apartment on the Upper Eastside from my family home in Bristol. It is my duty as her friend to look out for her and, as ever, the Internet prevails.
I would send Kim and Blake texts of encouragement at around midday (GMT) because I knew they would be receiving them as they were getting ready for the day. Just little things to let them know I’m thinking of them. The joy of giving – you feel good in yourself when you’re looking out for people.
Courtesy of Apple, I have valued the importance of retaining my friendship with Kim and Blake. Kim will FaceTime audio me when I least expect it. Just as I’m getting ready for bed, she’ll be walking home from work telling me about something funny an extremely wealthy, eccentric client said and I’ll hear the beeping of taxis and bustling street noise in the background. Blake and I will FaceTime each other and I’ll show him my broken foot or watch him eat ice cream and we’ll talk about conquering the world. And for a minute I’m back in New York City, only a few subway stops away.