07 Nov Hoping and Praying
“Wishing is kind of like casting the spell.”
Ashley C. Ford’s words hung there. She and Lena Dunham were exploring their friendship’s origins on the
sometimes problematic Girls’ creator’s podcast Women of the Hour. I sent the episode to Yasmein. It was so us. Even though she and I had a few classes together at Penn State, we weren’t necessarily friends.
I knew her. But I didn’t know her.
Ashley and Lena were recording the podcast in Dunham’s New York apartment. Two years to the date they had begun sharing their most intimate thoughts with each other via email. Everything the women had wished for in those emails came true.
“We got honest with each other right away, about our lives, our fears, our realities,” Lena said. “A lot of those things, when I wrote them to you, were not things that I said out loud to anyone,” Ashley said.
Yas and I have been flinging our deepest hopes and dreams into each other’s inboxes since 2010. She reached out about a blog post I’d written not long after I started my site. We finally met in-person (again) in 2013 for a vision board party I hosted.
It’s crazy to think about how much has come true since we, too, were just wishing in writing.
She’s since moved closer to New York City, starting a job she’s excited about, I’m a fashion writer living in the city, and my blog is growing into the space I hoped it would be all those years ago. Plus, I’m finally over the man I obsessed over in the majority of my emails to her.
I did a full moon ritual three Saturdays ago, writing down a list of things that I wanted to release, that I thought no longer served me and blocked my blessings. Afterward, I said a prayer and lit the list on fire in my kitchen sink, telling myself I was ready for the abundance that would take the place of the energy released.
The next day, I dropped the remaining bits of clutter off at Goodwill, did a little bit of food shopping, and made brunch for Yas. She wanted to take photos for her blog on Langston Hughes’s steps and since she was coming into the city, I might as well feed her.
We snacked on bagels and lox, turkey bacon, hard boiled eggs, and a fall-themed mimosa. I swapped OJ for apple cider with actual apples in the bottom of the glass, before heading to 127th and Fifth Avenue.
Shop the look: Malcolm X Starter snapback hat ($30), Yeezus Concert t-shirt ($68), J.Crew faux leather pleated skirt ($120), Vivienne Westwood calf-hair leopard booties (mine are a sample sale find but these are $246), Zara fur clutch ($22.90), Custom Bite Beauty lipstick
I’m not saying what I did the night before was related but we get to the stairs and notice some sort of hair clinic is advertised on the door. Two men passing by tell us they live in the neighbor and often wonder what the inside of the building looks like. They bet if we just knock, someone will be helpful, because we look like we are “dressed for an adventure.”
(Do you like my Malcolm X snapback hat? There is a funny story behind it.)
We don’t have to.
A group of people come down the stairs, one of them is Kevin Mancuso, the man who did my hair for the Tony’s. I say hi, reintroduce myself, and ask what the inside of the brownstone looks like. His colleague asked if we wanted to meet to the owner.
She marches us up the steps and inside Hughes’s home. The owner was gracious enough to show us around, pointing out his typewriter (!!!), piano, and leading us to the third floor where all of the magic happened. We saw his newspaper clippings on the wall, in what I assume was his office, on the third floor. Together afterward, we all sat on the steps outside, taking it all in.
Maybe a month earlier, Yas and I sat on those same steps, holding hands. We prayed for the courage and the discipline to bring the dreams we wrote to each other all those years ago, the wishes, to fruition.
Consider this a verbal #selfie. I want to look back on this moment and remember it. This is when we knew that we’d be okay after all of that hoping and wishing and praying🔈. That we can have the desires of our hearts. And that it’s all finally happening.