Gezelle And Chelsea Discuss “Friendship” And What The Word Really Means
TO START US OFF, CAN EACH OF YOU TELL ME A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE OTHER?
Chelsea: Well Gezelle was born September 29th...
Gezelle: Oh my god, that’s because she forgot and thought I was born on the 27th or 28th.
Chelsea: Just letting you know I remember.
She’s one of the strongest people I know. She’s very giving, and I rarely come across people who just genuinely want to help others without expecting anything in return, but Gezelle is one of those people. She’s always ready to help and is constantly thinking about others. She’s very smart. People know that, but I think they need to hear it more! She graduated with what? A 4.0? I mean come on! From NYU Law! So that’s a big deal. She’s very promising, and she also just has an eye for detail that a lot of people usually have to work for. Honestly, I will wait until I’m going out with Gezelle because I always just want her to take my photos because she gets it. She just sees beauty in things that people wouldn’t usually notice, which is a really unique talent of hers.
Gezelle: We are the same, but not the same, if that makes sense. Chelsea is so positive, no matter what she’s going through. I really have never met someone who is such a light in my life. Basically, she came into my life and really just showed me a new way of living. I was so depressed during that time and she really helped me out of it and helped me see past my own perspective and view on life. No matter what, Chelsea just makes everything better. She’s smart, she’s talented (like super talented). I still don’t think she knows how talented she is. She’s also so reliable, no matter what, she’s always there. We don’t have to speak every second or all the time, but when we see each other, we always just connect instantly as if no time has passed. I mean we talk about everything, literally. She’s just that kind of person you want as your sister, as your everything.
HOW DID YOU TWO MEET?
Gezelle: I originally knew Chelsea through mutual friends, but we were never really close. We first bonded over Grey’s Anatomy when I was visiting Ghana. We went to the same school when we were little, around 6 or 7, but we never really interacted. We would always hear about each other, but we didn’t connect until way later. I would say actually becoming true friends, that officially happened in New York, but we met and had known about each other since like elementary school. But even when I was visiting Ghana, we always were in each other’s circle but never really bonded. And then I went away for maybe two or three years when I was depressed, but she was one of the only people that made an effort to email me and stay in contact. I didn’t even use the email she was contacting me on anymore, but she didn’t just reach out once or twice, she really kept in contact and emailed me on multiple occasions. So finally when I moved to New York and was ready to move on, I knew she was someone I had to reach out to. So I hit up one of our mutual friends and got her number. And after being able to see each other in person and live in the same city, we really connected, and I was like ‘Where has she been all my life?’
Chelsea: It’s so funny because I was so scared to move to New York. I lived in Minnesota before and was so nervous about the transition. But the day before, Gezelle texted me, and I was like ‘wait, who is this?’ and she’s like ‘Gezelle,’ and when she told me she was in New York, I was like ‘No way, I’m literally moving to New York tomorrow, like my bags are packed.’ And I was just so scared, but Gezelle helped me stay positive. It made me feel so much better knowing I already had someone there that I felt so close to.
WHAT DOES FRIENDSHIP MEAN TO YOU?
Chelsea: Friendship is someone you get to do life with. Since I’ve moved to New York, Gezelle has been there every step of the way, from the time I wasn’t working to the time I was working and over-working… through everything. She’s just really been there through it all. We experience every up and down together. She’s even in my church now, which has been amazing. For me, friendship is having someone who understands your past but doesn’t judge you for it. It’s someone who wants to see you grow. Gezelle is actually my muse for the current art collection I’m working on, and she’s always helping me, asking to see colors and making sure I’m staying on track. Because of her, I’ve been able to push myself because I don’t want her to text me and I have to tell her that I didn’t reach a certain goal or disappoint her. It’s really just someone who is always there and pushes you to be and do your best.
Gezelle: I think friendship is a sisterhood. I mean I do have half-siblings, but we’re not that close so Chelsea is like the sister that I never had. Honestly, I’m still figuring out what friendship means, but I know that Chelsea is the exact definition of a friend. She’s always there, always listens, and that is everything you want in a friend. She’s someone who inspires me, just by the way she goes about her life. For me, when she’s doing well and making art it inspires me to achieve the same for myself and push myself to grow alongside her. Friendship is a source of inspiration, a source of joy, happiness, someone to lean on, someone you can speak to. I remember when my aunt died last year, Chelsea was ready to come and accompany me through whatever. And I honestly didn’t need anyone to go with me. I wanted to do it alone, but it’s the fact that she offered and wanted to, and was ready. I told and talked to many other people going through it and they never offered or gave me the reassurance Chelsea could, and that is something that I truly appreciated, and just shows what friendship is and means.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU ABOUT EACH OTHER?
Chelsea: Everything! I mean we’ve basically said it all already, but she’s like my goals! I live through her! Anything she does, I’m like yes, that’s basically me doing it.
Gezelle: Same! I mean like I said we are the same but not the same. We like all the same things, but we also have our own voices. We introduce each other to so many new things and help each other evolve and grow in so many ways.
HAVE YOU TWO EVER WORKED TOGETHER? IF SO, ON WHAT PROJECTS?
Chelsea: We’re basically working on one right now, the artwork I’m doing.
Gezelle: Oh yes! Well basically it’s Chelsea’s project, I’m not really doing anything.
Chelsea: Yeah, but she’s the inspiration so this is basically our project. She always checks in on me and helps with the colors and vision.
Gezelle: That’s true, I always want to help in any way I can. She’ll text me with questions both small and big, and I give as much input as possible.
Chelsea: Gezelle just always holds me accountable in terms of pushing myself and my art. She’s always checking in to make sure it’s actually happening and not something I’m just talking about. There were a few times I almost gave up on my original vision. I wanted to do something pink, but at one point, I’d given up and had already mentally changed the color palette. But the next day she texted me and was like ‘How’s the pink going?’ and when I told her, she was like ‘It’s ok, we’ll figure it out or do it another time.’ After that I decided to give it one more go, and it worked. As of now, we’re in a really good place with the project. We just need to finish it!
Gezelle: It’s like 80% done.
Chelsea: Yes, my deadline is actually tonight so the project will be available really soon!
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME HARD SITUATIONS OR ARGUMENTS THAT YOU’VE HAD?
Gezelle: Crazy enough, we’ve actually never fought!
Chelsea: Yeah, we’ve never! Hopefully we never do.
Gezelle: We’ve never even really had an argument. Not because we agree on the same things…
Chelsea: I just don’t like fighting. If something is going to turn into a fight, I’m like ‘Okay, it’s fine.’
Gezelle: Yeah, we’ve never even gotten to that point, so that’s great. We never allow anything to get to the point of an argument.
Chelsea: We both just don’t like drama. If anything ever gets too dramatic, we’re both just like ‘This is too much.’
WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR FRIENDSHIP?
Gezelle: Being there. Learning how to be a good friend. My relationship with Chelsea has really helped me in my other friendships and interactions, with just learning how to be there for someone. Even just this year, I made it a goal to just check in with my friends a lot more. Because of Chelsea, I want to be a good person, not just for her, but to everyone around me and in my life. There’s a saying that goes “The fact that you’re only good to one person doesn’t mean you’re a good person,” you also have to be collectively a good person. So for me, our friendship has really set the standard for how I want to treat and be treated by others. My friends are everything to me, so I’m always trying to support them or push them if I know they’re not working or doing something to the best of their ability. Chelsea’s an achiever, and that just really helps me in my own life and in my other friendships.
Chelsea: For me, it’s many things. Tenacity, because Gezelle has been through a lot. She doesn’t tell people, but as one of the few people that know, she’s really been through a lot. And seeing her now, it’s taught me that nothing can really tie you down. When I first met Gezelle, she didn’t want to leave her dorm. She lived in Union Square and never left. But now seeing her blossom and grow, getting better and better every year, has taught me so much. It’s taught me to apply myself and to just be present. She’s also really kind. She commits herself and has really helped me with my passions and art. I never have to ask her for anything, and the few times I do, thinking they’re huge favors, she’s always ready to help, reassuring me that I don’t even have to ask. She really just sets the tone for what I want to be and how I want to act with other people. Because of her, I’m kinder, more open to giving, stronger, and more in touch with myself and my goals.
DESCRIBE EACH OTHER IN THREE ADJECTIVES.
Gezelle: Talented, hardworking, and ambitious. Also beautiful and black!
Chelsea: Beautiful, Smart, Kind. And again black!
DESCRIBE EACH OTHER’S STYLE.
Gezelle: She’s very Solange-ish. Like eclectic, I would say. It’s always a vibe.
Chelsea: When I met her, she dressed differently than she does now. It’s like her same style but just elevated. I’m always looking forward to what she’s going to wear next. She always surprises me and wears colors I never think will look good on me, but anything that looks good on her, looks good on me so it helps expand my wardrobe. Her style is very edgy, fresh, and unique.
CLOSET MUST HAVE?
Gezelle: Simple, a dress. I’ll usually buy a dress over top and bottoms, it’s like a two in one. It’s so much easier.
Chelsea: Maxi-dress. Always a must have for any season. So I would say a floral maxi dress is a must have, no matter your style. Or a jumpsuit! Again, it’s just one and done, you don’t need to spend time putting an outfit together, or as much time.
Chelsea: Noah Centineo! That’s bae.
Gezelle: I really go through celebrity crushes, it used to be Anderson Cooper, David Beckham, Rihanna, probably just still all those. Oh no! Actually definitely Imaan Hammam right now.
Chelsea: I go through those as well, sometimes Solange, sometimes Tracee Ellis Ross.
Gezelle: To be honest, I don’t know. I love how Bella Hadid dresses… also Rihanna.
FAVORITE LAST THING YOU’VE READ?
Gezelle: “The Art of Not Giving a Fuck.” My boyfriend got it for me, and I just go through ups and downs so it was a really nice read. Also “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur.
Chelsea: “The Artisan Soul.” I’m more of a visual learner, so I watch a lot of documentaries. But that was probably my favorite last thing I’ve read.
SOMETHING YOU CAN’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT?
Gezelle: My phone.
Chelsea: Yeah, my phone.
FAVORITE ARTIST OR GENRE?
Chelsea: Frank Ocean
Gezelle: Oh yeah, I can always listen to Frank Ocean!
Chelsea: He’s like my favorite person in the world, I love Frank Ocean, anything he does makes me happy.
By: Morgana Van Peebles