Insecure Season 4 and Season 5, Ep. 1: Friends and Onward, A personal essay, Okay?!

Conversatin’ with T’Shauna

Where to begin…Insecure Season 4 aired during the pandemic…we’re still in. Stuck in the house and we’re in the house bored, we got our fave show back, but at a weird time in everyone’s lives. Even Issa felt icky about it, but alas they aired and they did phenomenally. Because despite everything going on and Black people were still being persecuted for being Black, we had a show showing us that we’re human and we make mistakes, but we live and we learn.

During these times, I was having it rough. I was in a place of rejection and dejection. Didn’t know what was real and what was not. I had this show coming on for 10 weeks comforting me. I had a podcast I listened to for 10 weeks comforting me (Film Crew Podcast). I was trying to maintain good spirits. One of the things I had to look forward to was the after-show. After the credits, after the #WineDown, and after the Twitter discourse –I had something else. My phone calls with T’Shauna Henry. We would talk for hours about a 30-minute show and other things, but the conversation came at a time where shadow work needed to be done.

Who are your real friends? Especially right out of college. Let’s talk about it. We watched Molly and Issa clash and switch up on each other like crazy in Season 4. The petty was on. Meanwhile, in our lives, we had faced the real thing. People who were not aligned with us. Thinking about our friendships in our lives. it was painful, but this season really had people out here cutting off irrelevant people who no longer serve us nor do we serve them.

T’Shauna would rant about things she noticed, I would peep the same shit, and we would go off. But, in that period of talking, we come to learn it’s better not to distance ourselves but actually just end the friendships. And you don’t owe anyone a thing, so whether they still think you’re friends they can think that. Doesn’t mean we can’t wish them well, just we don’t talk or associate ourselves with those people anymore.

Another thing, there were moments in my personal experience where I thought it best to just talk it out. That definitely mended some wounds, but I felt it best to let some people stay in the times I left them. I let little things bother me, and then would be passive-aggressive, which doesn’t fit well with my persona, so I had to rectify that. Like that moment where Molly and Issa were parking their cars, like even the tiniest bit of things could send me over the edge. I still have those moments, but now I’m choosing my battles.

A lot of times we actually aren’t even friends we are just two people or more, who have shared trauma and bonded over that. Thus, resulting in us getting comfortable. Unfortunately, in that comfort we try to ignore red flags and signs that tell us to jump ship. Because if it’s comforting, why leave? We have to get uncomfortable with being comfortable. Even with the Issa and Molly situation, I really learned something, just like when your romantic relationships grow, your platonic ones must too. You can’t be the same friends you were 5 years ago or even 10 years ago. Each level demands different and better versions of yourselves.

T’Shauna and I took that season and ran with it. Because not only did our friendship grow, we learned to listen to one another and discuss how friendships are to be. Though different for each, we established ground rules. We may sometimes bug one another, we know exactly how to grow with each other and can see this friendship lasting for ages.

Now, here comes the support part of friendship.

Supporting Your Friends Don’t Cost a Thing

It’ costs $0.00 with a tax of $0.00 to support your friends. Just being there emotionally and mentally is enough sometimes. People go through it. And don’t be around people who are comfortable with you being miserable. I have met many of those kinds of people. They want you to stay low so they can feel high.

When Molly and Issa were butting heads, it’s because none of them were talking about shit to listen, just get their shit off and dump it on someone else. They didn’t want to own it. More so Molly was dumping and Issa was fed up, because when you notice patterns in someone’s behavior you gonna get tired of it. Like aren’t you tired of it? And no impetus to change, just combativeness. That’s tiresome. People mule their friends along and let them carry their baggage, Issa didn’t want that anymore. Not while she’s dealing with her own shit.

I had friends who just dumped their problems and I sat here and listened to them. Affording them that, but it is tiresome because I had my own problems. And they didn’t care enough to know that. And no, we can’t read each other’s minds, but when you try to express it and still get the same thing, you realize enough is enough. Some things are not worth conversing about. You need to ultimately protect your energy.

Later, we’ll discuss mending and restoring relationships, but I digress.

Issa and the Glow Up

It’s not glamourous. It took time and dedication. It also took some small group of people believing in you while you believe in yourself. And those people may not even be your friends. It’s giving very much seasonal relations. Like Nathan and Condola believed in Issa and look at that, the few that did gave her the confidence to put on a block party for her people, for her community, and a friend’s pettiness ruined the end of the night.

It was hard to put all that together, enough to rip you apart mentally and emotionally, but she got it done. I have noticed in my small victories who is happy and who is not. I am really saddened by those who don’t even care, because if it’s not happening for them, then they can’t be happy -but that’s not my problem. I have Fannie Lou Hamer’s voice in my head over and over. “You can pray until you faint, but unless you get up and try to do something God is not going to put it in your lap.” I don’t see my friends as competition, I’m sorry, it’s not feasible to work like that. If they win, I win. If I win, they win. The moment I change those thoughts I am not getting what I want. Your thoughts are so powerful you can oopsie yourself out of blessing. Now, traveling minds can get paranoid, but reel yourself back in. It’s okay to worry, it will feel like you’re behind, but you’re being positioned.

Issa was being positioned. She needed that win because that will give her the push to assume the next level in her life. But where does it take you? It’s not going to get you far, there is still so much work to do. When you’re getting there but still feel inadequate what do you do?

Healing

When does it mean well, like restoring and mending your relationships? It will definitely take place within first. You have to find out what bothered you was something deep down, and if it’s you, it’s your issue. If it’s them, then it’s theirs. It’s going to take time to create a new balance. The old one was knocked off. If you truly want to keep your friends, you’re gonna have to WORK. They are too. Listening to them, being there, and if you’ve been doing that already with no reciprocation. Then you must leave the table when respect is no longer being served. The cups of both parties must simultaneously be filled when at the metaphorical table of your relationship.

Sometimes healing is cutting someone off. Sometimes the best thing you can do is leave, and maybe one day you’ll find yourself as brand new people who fit better now, then you did back then. Sometimes healing is wishing each other well and never speaking again. It’s always a wound before it heals. The scar is just a reminder of how far you’ve come.

Honestly, these are just my thoughts on my own experiences, handle it the best way you know how, but make sure you don’t put yourself down in the process. Stand firm. it’s going to hurt, but it’s the adult thing to do. Sometimes we’re going to have our feelings hurt, being in pain, and we’ll be left to pick up the pieces.

I think part of Molly’s healing was listening to Issa and taking a step back. She realizes that she needed to be there for a friend who is confused. A bit lost. Sometimes to move forward you have to reach back. Sankofa. The true theme of the first episode of season 5. In order to heal, you must address the wound, so you have to go back, in order to progress.

Let’s talk about Issa’s character and her dramatic question. I’m gonna get personal.

Growth

Specifically, let’s talk about that panelist scene, with Issa. When did you know you were on the right path? First, that crowd sucked. Give it up to Issa for keeping it real. The dark part is the words we’re left to think about. Even after I get what I want, my film career, my number of businesses, and the world. What will that mean, when I wake up and decide something else is my journey. The path is not straight, it’s not clean, and it’s sure as hell not narrow. It is more complex than an MC Escher painting.

What do we do? We don’t know if we’re on the right path. We just kind of move. All the signs seem right, but forward or backward it’s still moving. What do you say to yourself 5 years ago? 10 years ago? What is it when you face those parts of yourself?

I recently had a funeral, for myself. I eulogized my own funeral and said little words, but cried a whole lot. It was part of my shadow work, I let go of parts of me that no longer served me and was reborn after. I spoke to my 5-year-old self, 10, 15, 16, 17 -19, 21, 22-24 (now) and as I go into 25 I’m still unsure, but I’m better because I can carry new weight. Hopefully good weight. I’ve been in limbo. I’m trying my hardest to get by, but I don’t know where I’m going. Honestly. I’m so powerful I even doubt that at times, but I never show fear or lose face. I take it in stride. because it’s better to bend than to break. It’s better to ebb and flow than to lie still. Even in this stillness, I listen. I listen to God and keep holding on to that bit of faith. I’m being tested. I’m being positioned. I’m going places. After all, Covid can’t be an excuse anymore? I want to break free. I channel the stength my former selves had. They got through their issues, now I have to get through mine. I’m almost 25 and the world is waiting on me. I’m trying to meet her where she stands.

That’s what Issa in Season 4 and Season 5 is teaching me. I have high hopes for this season and it’s 9 more episodes. I just know I’m going to go through it. Maybe I’ll break through alongisde the fictional character of Issa? I resonate with the struggle. An accurate depiction of someone who is trying.

I’m going to keep writing. Act on the page, direct my thoughts, and keep coming up with ideas. I’m working on loving myself and getting into that writers room. I’ll sell myself and my scripts and we’ll get that First Look Deal, that Overall deal, and make people think and smile. I want to be a part of this profession, the only profession that shows people how to live. It’s the most beautiful thing.

Funny, a TV show can make you spill your thoughts and wonder about yourself. This is what good TV should do. It should make you work on becoming a better version of yourself. Until then folks, thanks for visiting my world.

#SeasonByeve we wish you a successful run. Thanks for the best 5 years.

“Who’s next to you? Who’s struggling? Who’s in the trenches with you? Who’s just as hungry as you are? And those are the people you should build with.”

Issa Rae

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