It all started on a foggy day in February. I say foggy not in reference to the weather, but more as an emotional fog. I was in phase 1 of a traumatic breakup (which includes Netflix, magnum bottles of Sutter Home wine, frosted animal crackers, and a scandalous instant rebound relationship with the velvet chaise in Jaime’s living room.) Week one of self inflicted house arrest was drawing to a close and Jaime knew it was going to take a hail mary to get me out of my slump, off her couch, and into the real world. Out of the heavens came a hail mary bigger, bolder, and bossier than we could have ever imagined.
Let me say, first and foremost, that the past 5 months have been a shedding period for me. A break up can really test a lady, show her what she’s made of. I am not too proud to admit for the first month or so I was a burrito filled with Evan Williams green label and a heated mattress pad shell, but I feel like i’ve really grown into the woman I was too afraid to be a year ago. I think you can trace most drastic changes to a She’s appearance or demeanor back to a soured relationship.
And for that, I thank you, shitty, unsupportive, overbearing, cheating ex-boyfriends of the world. If not for you I would not have taken the leap into mono patterned outfits, see thru polka dot leotards, and 16 less inches of hair. You see, once you round that corner of pitiful self deprecation and entire Meg Ryan filmography you begin to enter into traumatic breakup phase 2.
For some women this includes some sort of 30 day ab challenge, for others its a remodeled living room, but for me, it came in the form of a totally remodeled totally not giving a fuck attitude. You think I look better in v-necks? I’ll wear a turtle neck. You prefer my hair long? My hair appointment is at 4. You don’t like the way my butt looks in high waisted sear sucker trousers? I’LL TAKE THREE PAIR! And what better a support system for this transition than this lovely community of ‘She’s’ SWIA has had the privilege of creating. These women have shown me that not only can we (as Jenna’s tattoo states) be the captain of our own ship, but we can look, and more importantly FEEL, fly as hell doing it. While I am thankful beyond words to the She’s, I think there is really one woman to thank for all of this. And that woman, ladies and gents, is Beyonce Knowles Carter.
This all brings me to the main reason for this post. Remember that hail mary I was talking about? Well that just so happened to be 4th row seated tickets to see Mrs.Carter herself. Live and in color in Nashville, TN. We waited 4 long months since we bought the tickets till the night of the show, but one could argue our entire lives had been leading up to this moment. All those late nights driving through Flinstone, GA with tears in our eyes and the volume on high, and hot summer days drinking by the pool huddled around an overheated iPhone trying to memorize the dance moves from “Countdown”, and who could forget the hundreds of youtube views of the announcement of Bey and Jay’s baby Blue? It was all preparation for this one night, this one magical evening where we would be in the same room with the woman that has always been by our side telling us it’s okay to be strong, independent women with goofy attitudes and even goofier style.
The night finally came. The clothes were on our bodies. My foot was on the gas pedal, and mile by mile we got closer and closer to our destiny(s child). Barely a word was said in the car. Drinks were ordered upon arrival, salads were eaten, a t-shirt was purchased. As we took our seats I couldn’t help but take a moment and look back at how far Jaime and I have come, not only as friends, but as women. I know you might think it silly to hold in such high regard a pop star that we have no real physical connection to, but for Jaime and I it’s so much more. Beyonce isn’t just an artist, she’s the 3 months we lived together in a camper in Heidi Vasterlings driveway. She’s the late night skype conversations while I was living in Prague. She’s Chattanooga Fashion Week at Pubic House with all our beloveds. She’s the late nights after family dinner dancing around the living room with Casey Yoshida. As we stood there with tears rolling down our faces watching the most powerful woman in entertainment perform her heart and soul for 20,000 people I couldn’t help but feel like the universe had brought us to that moment as a celebration of all the love and loss and growth that has occurred over the past two years. And for that, words cannot express my eternal gratefulness.
“And I don’t know when I’m gon’ die but I hope that I’m gon’ die by you”
Na Zdravi to all my She’s out there with a fist held high and a heart filled full