Women Whose Lives I’m Finna Steal Off Instagram

I’m just gonna go ahead and acknowledge the creepy title here.
In my defense, I’m hoping this brazen way of announcing “I’m finna steal a life” removes some of the stigma that’s attached to one, showin’ admiration for strangers and two, giving other women compliments.

It was either that or, “The Bitches I Love Online by Destiny Stokes” and my moral meter may be off but I found thievery a much less threatening admission. Besides, I don’t technically know either of these women personally and therefore have no clue what their stance on being called a “bitch” is – (You know some bitches is funny bout that).

For the record, I’ve never stolen anything.
Nothing outside of a feather headband from Claires when I was like 17.
We were at the peak of the bohemian fashion craze and I was trying to impress my cooler, more clepto cousin. So stealer? No. Highly impressionable? Totally.

Which completely explains this blog post.
Because now, thanks to social media, I no longer dabble in the petty thievery that is accessory stores. Oh no, mon frere. Touche. (Tosses scarf over shoulder).

Now I just look online and be like, “I”ll take your life, your life, your life and your life“.

Here’s the line-up:

1. @indefinitehoneymoon
This is the only one on the list that I’ve actually met in person, in Thailand, no less.
It was my first fuh-real, fuh-real foreign trip and the connection was made possible by my expat little sister @froonthego who, on a whim, recommended we meet up. Within an hour we were planning when and where.

Wait. Rewind. Did I mention that I met this same cotton-head, biological sister online a decade earlier? (God I love the internet!) Anyway. Fast forward 10 years and she knows me well enough to know I don’t play that ‘meetup‘ shit. I am selective with my time and space, have a rare personality type that insists I overthink all public interactions, and generally am the ambivert that comes late and leaves early.

So glad I left that flaky act back here in the states because I never would’ve met Amirah.

This encounter really rounded my 10 day trip out. It was right out of schmaltzy Nora Ephron film. I was the dopey American girl bumbling around Bangkok commitin’ all-types-uh travel mistakes when out of nowhere, I bump into a sensible American who I strangely have a lot in common with. We plop on her couch, throw back a couple of beers and swap stories as we made our way to the beach.

If you’re one of her followers than you know her real life story is nothing compared to the straight-to-dvd trash I just described above. It’s more like a millennial fairytale; ripped from the pages of Eat, Pray, Love.

In real life, Amirah and her husband met at Howard, got married rather quickly and decided that they’d make the world their home. For the last 5 years they’ve lived in an insane amount of countries with no sign of slowing down. Her husband Jarell, whose name she recites with pure affection, is an artist and Amirah is a romance novelist. She does a wondrous job of narrating her life online and without e’an trying, her feed is a regular onslaught of life goals; relationship, hair, destination, boobs. You name it, @indefinitehoneymoon, definitely has it.

2. @kyndacee

Ok so.
Kyndacee is me if I didn’t watch Love and Hip Hop. The me if I knew what gluten was and still cared after that. Kyndacee is the me if I could successfully complete more than two bantu knots without giving up and buying a wig.

Like, if I had gnarly friends, wore pants and left the house on the weekend, then I’d be like, “Bitch I’m Kyndacee! You tryna take some pictures or what!?” (Throws up nondescript gang sign that I’ve JUST decided is a “V” for vsco).

I’ve been following her for a while now and have always been drawn to her wit and artistry but recently Kyndancee shared a common goal. Are you ready for this? No she doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night and eat olives outta the jar, stupid. (Rolls eyes). She…Wants to be a comedy writer!!!! (Silent scream).

Do you believe that? The only person I know in “real life”, besides myself, that aspires to such unconventional, ‘Oh thats cool. But like how…?!’ heights!

But whereas I’m a pro in the area of just riding around and singing obscure songs with my kids, hoping something other than the crap in the corner of my mouth, is funny to viewers — Kyndacee is like really funny.

Watch her stories and you won’t be disappointed. Her ability to swing from entertaining to enlightening and from aware to inquisitive is the balance we all seek. In fact, if we as the black community, ever need someone to perform at both Def Poetry Jam AND Def Comedy Jam, Kyndacee, would be up there like, “Bitch I’m Kyndacee!”

3. @smashfizzle
For the record, every time I’ve written a curse word within this piece, her face runs through my mind. I toy around with the backspace button wondering whether she’ll read this and find my foul-mouth literarily inappropriate and unnecessary?

See. Even the use of the word literarily is an indication that I’m trying too hard. Trying to be a polished, professional like @smashfizzle. (Clears throat and sits up straight).

Her IG name will make you think she’s an aspiring rapper who goes around smashing Alka-Seltzer tablets with a damp microphone. But in real life, Ashley Ford is a well accomplished essayist, editor and public speaker who everyday, unbeknownst to her, reminds my fickle writer-mind that this is a real-life profession and if practiced earnestly could not only generate income but happiness.

I first learned of Ashley on Lenny’s Letter. A feminist podcast hosted by Lena Dunham whom Ford famously met on Twitter and became “dear friends” with thereafter. Since then, I’ve heard her calming voice on countless podcasts, each time sharing wisdom that only someone who has been here before would know. As a result, I’ve collected a handful of quotes that propel my personal essay journey further.

One day Ashley gave a bad review of a book I confidently loved. I had no other choice but to believe I was on the wrong track. Liking a book that my mental mentor didn’t, meant that I’d have to take a long hard look at not just my life but my literature, that is if I ever wanted to reach the sophistication of Ashley Ford.

As I spend the third hour wrestling over the perfect words to describe the tranquil influence she has over me, I am reminded of one of her more recent pieces of advice. Hol’ up. Lemme go to my trusty Ashley Ford Quotes file that I keep in the notes section of my phone. Real life….Ok here’s one. (Clears throat and sits up straight again)  “Done is better than perfect.

* Ms. Ford has since highly recommended a book I can’t get enough of. It’s called Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introverts Roadmap to Getting Out There (When You’d Rather Stay at Home) which totally confirms — we’re on the same page.

And there. Thass’ it. My odd ode to ladies I don’t know but feel like I do.
Who are some “bitches” you love online? Do they highlight the things you value most or wish to reflect in your own life? Go to their page now and write in all caps, “I’M FINNA STEAL YOUR LIFE GIRL!“. They’ll love it. I promise. (Crosses fingers).


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