There is a quote that says, "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future." That quote truly embodies my thoughts and feelings on friendships. My friends are a very important part of my life. While I pride myself on being an unique individual, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge how my friends have played a vital role in who I am and who I aspire to be. One of my best friends is why I left an 11-year career in state government to enter into the clinical research industry. This decision proved to be one of the best decisions I have made to date. My friends motivate me, inspire me, pour into me, love on me, and I truly don't know what I would do without them. While they each entered my life at different times, they are all equally important to me. When and how I met them has absolutely no bearing on how impactful they have been in my life.
I'm pretty sure we've all heard the sentiment "no new friends" before. The motto was made popular back in 2013 after the release of the hit song "No New Friends" by DJ Khaled featuring Drake. While the song may have popularized the "no new friends" slogan, the concept of loyalty and "staying down with your day ones" is not new. While I think that loyalty is an admirable trait and I have surely done a two-step to the song, I don't agree with the "no new friends" concept. Here's why:
It encourages staying in toxic friendships.
Let's be honest, we've all had a toxic friendship, or perhaps we've even been the toxic friend. Whatever the case, can we agree that no one should have to deal with that? However, the "no new friends" narrative encourages just that. Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, we all need connection as human beings. If you aren't willing to meet new people and develop new friendships, you are more likely to stay in a place you don't belong out of sheer loneliness.
It encourages staying in friendships you’ve outgrown.
We are constantly evolving and changing and as a result we may outgrow friendships. It doesn't mean that anyone did anything wrong or that there was some sort of betrayal. It just means that you may have simply grown apart or that you don't have much in common anymore. Whatever the reason, it is OK to go your separate ways with someone you once called a friend and find your tribe.
You miss out on the chance to build friendship with some amazing people.
While I am blessed to still be friends with people I met over 20 years ago, I also have met some of my closest friends within the last five years or less. I honestly don't know what I would do without some of these friends and I am forever grateful for their presence in my life. These friends have prayed for me, seen me at my absolute worst, and dropped everything to be there in tough times. Had I followed the "no new friends'' mantra, I would have missed out on getting to know these gems.
It discourages having different groups of friends.
I have different groups of friends. I have friends that are from high school, from college, from work, married friends, single friends, church friends, Instagram friends, and the list goes on. While I'd like to think that if I got them all together in the same room, they would all get along, I still recognize that the likelihood that it will actually happen is slim because…life. If you subscribe to the "no new friends" way of life, you seriously rob yourself of having a diverse group of friends to do different things with.
While you may be closer to some friends than you are to others, or talk to some friends more often than you do others, it is OK to meet new people while still maintaining your friendships with your day ones. If you had to part ways with some of your day ones and have a completely new tribe now, that is OK too. Whatever it looks like, you have to do what is best for you. We only get one chance at this thing called life and you deserve to be surrounded with people that make you happy, new or old.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here to receive our latest articles and news straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Shutterstock
Erica Green is a Clinical Research Associate, blogger, and a sneakerhead. She has a love for all things women and she's pretty sure that women are God's greatest creation. Connect with her on Instagram @ erica_britt_ or www.lovethegspot.com
How Content Creators Hey Fran Hey And Shameless Maya Embraced The Pivot
This article is in partnership with Meta Elevate.
If you’ve been on the internet at all within the past decade, chances are the names Hey Fran Hey and Shameless Maya (aka Maya Washington) have come across your screen. These content creators have touched every platform on the web, spreading joy to help women everywhere live their best lives. From Fran’s healing natural remedies to Maya’s words of wisdom, both of these content creators have built a loyal following by sharing honest, useful, and vulnerable content. But in search of a life that lends to more creativity, freedom, and space, these digital mavens have moved from their bustling big cities (New York City and Los Angeles respectively) to more remote locations, taking their popular digital brands with them.
Content Creators Hey Fran Hey and Maya Washington Talk "Embracing The Pivot"www.youtube.com
In partnership with Meta Elevate — an online learning platform that provides Black, Hispanic, and Latinx-owned businesses access to 1:1 mentoring, digital skills training, and community — xoNecole teamed up with Franscheska Medina and Maya Washington on IG live recently for a candid conversation about how they’ve embraced the pivot by changing their surroundings to ultimately bring out the best in themselves and their work. Fran, a New York City native, moved from the Big Apple to Portland, Oregon a year ago. Feeling overstimulated by the hustle and bustle of city life, Fran headed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a more easeful life.
Her cross-country move is the backdrop for her new campaign with Meta Elevate— a perfectly-timed commercial that shows how you can level up from wherever you land with the support of free resources like Meta Elevate. Similarly, Maya packed up her life in Los Angeles and moved to Sweden, where she now resides with her husband and adorable daughter. Maya’s life is much more rural and farm-like than it had been in California, but she is thriving in this peaceful new setting while finding her groove as a new mom.
While Maya is steadily building and growing her digital brand as a self-proclaimed “mom coming out of early retirement,” Fran is redefining her own professional grind. “It’s been a year since I moved from New York City to Portland, Oregon,” says Fran. “I think the season I’m in is figuring out how to stay successful while also slowing down.” A slower-paced life has unlocked so many creative possibilities and opportunities for these ladies, and our conversation with them is a well-needed reminder that your success is not tied to your location…especially with the internet at your fingertips. Tapping into a community like Meta Elevate can help Black, Hispanic, and Latinx entrepreneurs and content creators stay connected to like minds and educated on new digital skills and tools that can help scale their businesses.
During a beautiful moment in the conversation, Fran gives Maya her flowers for being an innovator in the digital space. Back when “influencing” was in its infancy and creators were just trying to find their way, Fran says Maya was way ahead of her time. “I give Maya credit for being one of the pioneers in the digital space,” Fran said. “Maya is a one-person machine, and I always tell her she really changed the game on what ads, campaigns, and videos, in general, should look like.”
When asked what advice she’d give content creators, Maya says the key is having faith even when you don’t see the results just yet. “It’s so easy to look at what is, despite you pouring your heart into this thing that may not be giving you the returns that you thought,” she says. “Still operate from a place of love and authenticity. Have faith and do the work. A lot of people are positive thinkers, but that’s the thinking part. You also have to put your faith into work and do the work.”
Fran ultimately encourages content creators and budding entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Meta Elevate’s vast offerings to educate themselves on how to build and grow their businesses online. “It took me ten years to get to the point where I’m making ads at this level,” she says. “I didn’t have those resources in 2010. I love the partnership with Meta Elevate because they’re providing these resources for free. I just think of the people that wouldn’t be able to afford that education and information otherwise. So to amplify a company like this just feels right.”
Watch the full conversation with the link above, and join the Meta Elevate community to connect with fellow businesses and creatives that are #OnTheRiseTogether.
Featured image courtesy of Shameless Maya and Hey Fran Hey
Marsai Martin Gets Real About Her Decision To Undergo Surgery To Remove A 'Grapefruit-Sized' Ovarian Cyst
Actress Marsai Martin is showcasing the importance of advocating for one's health after recently opening up about her ovarian cyst surgery. For context, the 18-year-old revealed in a now-deleted Instagram story last December that she underwent a medical procedure to remove the large ovarian cyst that gave her "constant pain" for years, especially during her menstrual cycle.
According to Mayo Clinic, an ovarian cyst is described as a sac "usually filled with fluid" in an individual's ovary or near it. Although it is relatively common, with one in ten women diagnosed with a cyst, many experience little to no symptoms because it usually goes away. Those with pain and discomfort often have a large ovarian cyst, which was the case for Martin.
During a discussion with Women's Health magazine, Martin opened up about her menstrual cycle and when she started noticing the symptoms. The black-ish star told the publication she started her period at 11 but didn't experience any unusual pains until she was 14.
Coincidentally this event occurred a little after she was diagnosed by a medical professional with an ovarian cyst "the size of a small grapefruit."
Martin's Symptoms With A Large Ovarian Cyst:
In light of her diagnosis, Martin didn't think much of it because, at the time, her doctor told her that cysts usually disappear on their own. Over the years, as she got her menstrual cycle, Martin had extreme pain and severe nausea.
Even though she often combated the cramps with medication such as Aleve and naproxen, per doctor's orders, Martin shared that the pain would eventually progress so much that she couldn't keep "food or water" in her system.
Martin also revealed that these symptoms negatively impacted her daily routine, such as work and participating in social activities. The star further explained that she thought these signs were typical and didn't go to the hospital because of what her mother, Carol Martin, previously mentioned and warned her about while discussing the history of her own menstrual cycles.
Martin's Health Took a Toll At Age 17:
All this came to a head when Martin was 17 years old. The Little star decided to go to the hospital because the pain became unbearable.
"But one day, when I was 17, I just couldn't take it anymore. I had extreme cramps, and I was so nauseous, I wasn't able to eat or drink," she said. Martin added that the pain and nausea had limited her mobility.
"It felt like I couldn't move. The slightest sip of water would make me projectile vomit. I had lower back pain, dizziness, migraines, and tender breasts, and on top of that. The pain had been constant from the moment I woke up, and it was so unbearable that I finally went to the ER around 8 p.m.," the star stated.
During her hospitalization, Martin was informed that she was dehydrated and that the pain she was going through was because of the large cyst. Despite already being well aware of the ovarian cyst, which was "9.5 centimeters in diameter," due to her diagnosis years before, Martin shared she didn't know that it was the primary cause of her pain.
Following her stay, Martin's physician would refer her to a gynecologist, who gave her various options to resolve the issue. The list included taking birth control pills to shrink the cyst or having surgery to remove it completely. Martin disclosed after taking two weeks to weigh her options following her 18th birthday, she ultimately decided to undergo the procedure and scheduled it for December 2022.
Although Martin was initially afraid about the operation because she was uncertain how her body would react, all of that disappeared after the surgery. Martin would go on to express that it was one of her best decisions ever.
Following the procedure, even though Martin experienced some pain post-surgery, it ceased as the days passed, and she started moving around. Since the operation, Martin shared that her menstrual cycles have drastically improved.
Martin On Why She Shared Her Story:
Near the end of the interview, Martin explained that one of the main reasons she's been very vocal about her experience with her ovarian cyst by sharing it online is because she doesn't want others to remain silent about their health struggles and wants them to get a "second opinion."
"I hope my story will encourage other women to not accept a life of pain, to get a second opinion. Pain is not normal," she said. "I want other women to talk about their pain, and to keep speaking out until they're taken seriously. And to the women out there suffering silently right now: You owe it to yourself to speak up."
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Paramount+