Single Summer ‘18. It started as a joke among girlfriends and became a group chat. It was June and all of our relationships had abruptly ended in the months leading up to summer (surprise, surprise).
At first, we were all just excited to enjoy our summer with our newfound freedom. No wait, at first we were all sad and confused let’s be honest. Then it switched to us trying to get comfortable with being alone vs. lonely (cue Jamila Woods "Holy"). Then we realized, if we can't be comfortable being alone just yet, let's be together. We decided that we would be each other's "person".
I'm not gonna lie, there were undertones of "Niggas aint shit" and "On to the next" in the beginning. There was a lot of supporting each other through sadness and helping each other get our minds right. There were also lots of random dates just for the sake of moving on. Ugh.
But eventually, the group chat evolved in a beautiful way. After a while, it wasn't so much about "them" and it became more about us. Just simply remembering our individuality and the fact that our lives aren't based on being connected to anyone else.
SS18 became a place for us learn how to be really honest about what we feel and what we need. Sometimes just admitting that to others is therapeutic enough. It was a place for us to challenge each other and admit when we disagree. We started to hold each other accountable for things in all areas of our lives.
"Single Summer 18" became a place for us to motivate each other to work toward our goals. We've started working out and going to church more often. We have advised each other through career changes and salary negotiations. Three of us got new jobs. We celebrated a PhD. We've learned the value of therapy and several of us have started going consistently. There is even a new organization that was born out of the connection and support of SS18 - shout out Wine Down Glo Up (A movement for women to fuel their Glo Up through connections).
All in all, Single Summer 18 was a place of healing and emotional grounding. A reminder to embrace our own journeys and value the people who stick with us along the way. And it was just plain FUN!
This is not to say that we'll be single forever. We still talk about our dates and desires. In fact, some of us aren't quite as single anymore (cuffing season is a real thing). But the point is that our happiness is not dependent on that.
Now that SS18 is over and we have evolved beyond our original mindset, our group chat is called "Girlfriends’ Guide..."
Cheers to remembering that each of us is a whole person, and still admitting that we need each other. Cheers to an amazing summer and a lifetime of togetherness as girlfriends.
*Disclaimer: Not everyone pictured is single (😂)