Episode 6

See transcript below:

This project is a collection of thoughts transcribed and dictated by ivana renee and informed by the honest experiences of various homegirls in the city. In this project, “I” is for all of us.

Time management is living in Harlem while two out of three of our best homegirls live in Brooklyn — one in Bed-Stuy, the other in Williamsburg, coordinating a 12PM brunch pregame at Woodland off Atlantic Ave, and making it to a Hudson Terrace day party in Midtown without taking any ubers.

Keep in mind that the party is only free before 4PM, we’re not real friends with this promo group, and the bouncer won’t think we’re cute.

Finesse is making our weekend pop on a $27 budget, including but not limited to eating, making moves, smoking and/or drinking, and getting an Instagram banger off.

Homegirls make shit happen — all kinds of shit gets done, from dropping EPs (peep the homegirl Courtnie’s project “I Feel Like Color”) to travelling from 135th to TriBeCa when the 2 and 3 Trains aren’t running.

Homegirls are on a schedule; even when we’re unemployed, we still got shit to do.

We do a lot. Some will say we do too much. Haters will say we’re pressed.

Maybe, we’re all of that. But at the core, we’re driven by the desire to control our own lives.

I mean, would you rather do too much or not enough?

We want to live on our own terms.

Who wants to live a life where we have to ask a middle-aged white man if we can leave a cubicle to go to our home?

A lot of us are on Team “Follow Your Dreams” or at least that’s what the Internet will have you thinking. We consume lazy social media narratives that streamline success and positivity. Narratives that often diminish the logistics of the come up.

How does one follow her dreams when she doesn’t know what they are? Does quitting our jobs make the most sense when our rent is $1450/month, we have $232 in our savings accounts, and our mamas don’t have the capital to finance our lifestyles? Is all success entrepreneurial or can we be boss bitches on somebody else’s payroll?

In short, I don’t know, but what I do know is that it’s homecoming season and the homegirls will contemplate our places in the world after these shots.

Excuse us while we wild out.

For the most part, if attending homecoming festivities, homegirls will travel to one of two destinations — Spelhouse or Howard homecoming.
Black PWI grads understand that their homecomings aren’t competitive, but FAMU and NC A&T alumni will take personal offense to being left out of the conversation.

Even if we didn’t go to Howard, Spelman, or Morehouse, there’s really no way to escape their influence. Some of us will even forgo our own college homecomings to stunt at Yard Fest or Market Fridays.

Your WCW is from Boston, went to UCLA, and lives in New York. She’s using PTO and Chase Sapphire Rewards points to bop to Spelhouse homecoming. She’s 25.

Essentially, our New York is an HBCU. We’re 20-something, college educated black people in one of the world’s greatest metropolitan cities, and excluding co-workers and Sam WhiteOut, we don’t personally interact with white people.

By Friday afternoons, we are feigning to escape our business casual personas, and we insulate our social lives with people and experiences that make us feel the most comfortable (read: other shiny blacks).

Our 9 to 5s are 9 to 6:30s, if we’re lucky.

The 5PM outro must be reserved for other cities because no one in New York gets off at 5PM.

Note: We also have to leave the crib an hour before we want to be anywhere to account for the commute, including walking to and from the train. Even if the train isn’t delayed, getting on a subway car during rush hour is as difficult as finding EcoStyler gel in Meatpacking District.

By 4:30PM, we’re done with being oppressed, but we don’t want to look too hype to leave our jobs, so we look busy for at least another hour and a half before emancipating ourselves.

Meanwhile, we’ve been counting down to the weekend since Sunday afternoon.

Employers try to make it as if it’s a badge of honor to give them our whole lives.

Never not working head ass.

But we’re always contemplating an exit strategy — whether the exit is a temporary weekend turn up, finding a new job, or diving deeply into a passion project.

Homecoming weekend is an exit.

First, we must decide between staying with our homegirl’s homegirl in her two bedroom apartment that she shares with a roommate or in a one bedroom Airbnb with seven other shorties — one of which who falls asleep when she gets drunk, one with a bad attitude, one who will get kicked out the club before the weekend is over, and one who pulls the same kind of niggas as us.


Within hours of our arrival, the bathroom sink is stained with liquid foundation and eyelash glue.

We’re trying on our homegirl’s highlighter and debating between wearing a bodycon jumpsuit or a bralette top to the tailgate.

Heels would be too much. Sneakers might not be enough. Maybe booties?

The New York experience leads us to feeling relatively plugged in every major city.

My homeboy that I used to intern with said that I’m good to pregame and pull up at the club with him, but he doesn’t know that I have six plus-ones.

But also, let’s be honest. All these shorties aren’t my friends for real. Most of the house guests are turn up homegirls who happened to have $120 to throw towards this Airbnb and communal liquor.

These are my best homegirls…in the club…this weekend.

Homecoming weekend is an opportunity to flex — on the gram, on a nigga, on all niggas.

If we’re HBCU grads hitting up our own homecoming, we use this weekend to get lit with our college homies and remind the streets that we’re living well.

If we’re not, it’s still an opportunity to be seen.

She didn’t even go here.

We’re putting our Planet Fitness memberships to use and pulling up at CB Fitbootcamps in Central Park for the weeks leading up to it.

At the beginning of October, we described the month as “Sober October”, claiming that we’re not going to drink until we touch down.

We only have a short period of time to become snackable, but we’re two days into this new lifestyle choice and some brand is having a launch event with an open bar.

Alcohol isn’t as unhealthy when it’s free.

We attempt to prepare our mind, body, and spirit for long days of binge drinking and the possibility of pre-marital sex. We’re putting bundles on our credit cards and shopping at Instagram boutiques.

We’re waxing, threading, and/or laying all the hairs on our body.

We dropped $40 on a gel manicure, and we have to paint our own toes.

Nothing is more humbling than painting your own nails.

We’re planning cozy fly travel fits for Club Hartsfield-Jackson or that Thursday night Megabus ride while drafting Instagram captions in our notes.

If we don’t get the attention that we’re looking for, we’re going to be blown.

We’re excited. We’re anxious. We’re on the way.

What’s the move?

This is a collection of stories from homegirls who are honest with themselves, each other, and the world. In this project, “I” is for all of us.

ivana renee