If you were to browse through my camera roll, you'd definitely come across several pictures as such. For the past two months, I've found myself sporadically rummaging for my phone anytime that I noticed a golden or amber-hued tree. The climax of Fall (post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas is always the most aesthetically capturing to me. It makes my morning drive to work or my Saturday afternoon errands so much more enjoyable. Seeing the same trees that are normally green and thriving appear vibrant, yet diminishing reminds me of my favorite season.

Autumn, or more traditionally, Fall is the season of Ugg boots, hayrides, crunching leaves, and pumpkin-spice pandemonium. Although I appreciate all of those entities, the most valuable little gem that I take from Fall is what it naturally promotes before our eyes - change.

Change is the perpetual transition between beginning and end. The ever-constant essence of life itself. At times, change can be uncomfortable, weird and even scary to some but it is something that cannot be avoided. In fact, it's destined and necessary for our personal growth.

Change is inevitable. Why hold on to what you have to let go of?

One of the most unforeseen changes that have taken place for me this year has been within my circle of friends. I never had a lot of friends, so I've consciously held on tight to my handful of close companions since junior high. Long-term friendships are great, as history and nostalgic reminiscence create a very strong bond and foundation. Being able to go through the phases of awkward adolescence, acne-faced high school years and the effervescent twenties with your best girlfriend(s) by your side is a beautiful thing. It brings a sense of appreciation and reliance on each other that can keep the flame of friendship burning for many years. You know, the Gina and Pam, Issa an Molly, Khadijah-Sinclair-Maxine-Regine kind of sisterhood.

As much as I absolutely adore those depictions of best-friendships on TV, unfortunately, that is not real life. All friendships aren't able to withstand the tests of time.

I've recently come to realize that the reason is change. As much as we try to stay warm and snuggly in our comfort zones, we will become different people as the years fly by. When life happens and we respond to it, our outlook, beliefs, and way of being will begin to shift and change will take place.

Within the past ten years, I have tremendously changed. I kissed a few frogs, lost loved ones and took many leaps of faith. Layoffs occurred, the glow up was real and I learned plenty of lessons. These experiences shaped me into the woman I am today by fostering self-awareness, strength, responsibility and most importantly, love for my imperfect self. It's definitely been a journey but the frequent pit stops and breakdowns on the road to TruetoLu caused me to stumble upon one of the most beautiful discoveries thus far - my voice.

I used to be an extremely passive person who was afraid to speak my mind. When certain situations occurred, I would often opt to blame myself for the actions of others and swallow my true feelings. I would manipulate myself into thinking that I was wrong for having such feelings and chose to say nothing, although my intuition was telling me otherwise. At that time in my life, silencing my truth and crying myself to sleep was a better option than confrontation - all because I didn't want to be alienated for my way of being.

I, Laura Renee was a punk. Until I grew tired of being untrue to myself.

Everyone loves the honest person, until the honest person strikes a chord with a truth they weren't ready to receive.

Once that epiphany came to me, suddenly a switch went off in my head and I began to fearlessly speak my mind. Out of nowhere, the same passive girl who would say little to nothing suddenly had a lot to say. I had finally found my voice and pressed myself to be unapologetically heard.

If I didn't understand, I asked for clarification.
In situations where I once told beautiful lies, I uttered the truth.
If my feelings were hurt, I voiced them.

And boy did that begin to ruffle some feathers! No doubt about it, I was becoming a different person, I was growing and I was changing.

Now, at the same time, as we change and evolve into who we are coming to be, so are those that we hold close to us. This process of simultaneously flourishing into different individuals can be a great thing, or it may start to cause friction and relational issues within your companionship - which I can personally attest to. I know that I'm not the only one who has come to that crossroad with friends, lovers and even family. Oftentimes, when the winds of change and differences come to surface, some of us may not have the tenacity nor the patience to bear the turbulence. But why is that?

Is it pride?
Fear of confrontation?
Fear of vulnerability? 
...or maybe an unwillingness to be held accountable?

Chile, those questions still go unanswered - but I think I know the solution, It's that "c" word that's avoided like the black plague...Communication (hops onto soapbox).

Communication is key is not just some cliché motto you find on posters, it's a true statement. Refraining from communicating and leaving things to be unsaid is extremely problematic. It does nothing but cause ripples of frustration, misunderstanding, and resentment on both ends of the spectrum. If those unhealthy feelings are left to fester without a resolve, that will ultimately become the demise of great friendships (hops off).

The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding.

This year alone, I have tried hard to avoid having to end 10+ year friendships. When issues came to surface, I willfully made great strides to mend broken fences by extending hands and initiating opportunities to work through differences in the spirit of true friendship. I promoted healing and accountability by patiently waiting for others to speak their truth and say what they truly feel. And guess what? The dialogue fell barren.

Time continued to pass and I had to make a choice - and the choice was me. Self-love stepped in and grew weary of waiting for others to be ready to put their pride to the side, speak their truth an be open to receive mine. After months of trying to water dead plants, I woke up. I realized that I was being taken for granted and carrying the weight of these shaky friendships on my back.

So, I took a deep breath, dismissed all of the unanswered questions in my head and respectfully walked away from those situations where my love an friendship was not being valued.

If it comes, let it come. If it stays, let it stay. If it goes, let it go.

Which brings me here. Closing chapters and leaving fragments of broken friendships just as they are. I have learned that I won't necessarily get the closure that I'm looking for, and that's okay. I have to make peace with that and be grateful for the farewells that bright me to this space. I'm moving forward with the wisdom that failed friendships have granted me. I'm moving forward with my riders who refuse to give up on true friendship. I'm moving forward knowing that I was a real friend to the end (maybe even too real) - and I'm moving forward trusting the magic of new beginnings.

To those that I once called friend:

I hope you know that I am not your enemy, I wish you the best
I hope you know that friendship is work, and effort is a two-way street.
I hope you know that I tried, that is my peace.
I hope you know that you are forgiven.
I hope you know that I appreciate the good times - and the lessons I've learned from the bad.
...and I hope you know that at the end of the day, I had to be true to myself, even if the cost was our friendship.

So as those wilted leaves are falling off of the trees and the brisk winter is on the horizon, I'm allowing my surroundings to inspire me within. I'm responding to the universe by gratefully embracing the changes that are taking place around me and, most of all, learning to just let go!

Thanks for reading ✌❤,


  1. So very very powerful! I throughly enjoyed the read and appreciate your honesty. I too came to the realization that some friendships change drastically and at times the friendship withstands or goes away. Either way it’s a great lesson in life, one not to be taken for granted.

    1. Hey Taz! Thank you so much for reading :) It has been a tough pill to swallow but that's life. Writing this post has given me the peace that I needed to let go.