I don’t have the same hair cut or color that I did in 5th grade. I don’t have the same taste in clothes or boys (luckily, I liked Jyncos and the ones that kicked me in the shins) It’s been 20 years since then. A lot has changed. But after all this time I do have one thing that never has, my best friend. Shelly.
Once we established our best friendship we vowed that this one would last the ages. We were in it for the long haul. We made best friend cross stitch, best friend dresses, best friend videos and best friend photo albums. Even today when we call each other our salutation is always “best friend!”
She isn’t just a friend anymore, she is family.
I knew I wanted her to be my friend forever but at 10 years old I couldn’t have begun to grasp how much it would mean to me. How comforting it is to have someone who knows you so completely continue to love you for two decades when they had no obligation to do so. How fun it is to have memories with someone that go all the way back to your first kiss, your spice girls obsession or where we were when we heard the O.J. Verdict (we heard it on the radio while playing dress ups).
I know her and love her in a way that no one else ever has or ever will.
Her presence in my life has made it better, fuller, safer.
When I think of what I want for my boys as they grow one thing that always sticks out is that in a world that tells us to throw things away easily the moment they don’t quite suit you anymore, I hope to teach them not to dispose of the people they love. I hope I can teach them to fight for their friends.
Friendship isn’t reserved only for happy uplifting exchanges. If we can’t love someone though their darkness how can we expect to be loved through ours?
We are told often to look for situations where you find out “who your REAL friends are” and I believe many of them are flawed. There’s a different kind of friendship for every single kind of person and they can all have value. People have strengths and weaknesses. Some of my friends will show up every time I need a shoulder to cry on but never buy and wrap a birthday present like another friend will. Some friends may struggle with gossip (even sometimes, I imagine, about me) I don’t think that makes them a not worth while person in and of itself, I just choose to be more careful what I say to them. If you create healthy boundaries and love them for who they are, what better way could we grow as a person than by learning to love and understand people even when it doesn’t come easily.
I have a husband, three kids, a blog, a business and a big old family. Just like most people I know, I’m busy, I don’t have a ton of time to hang out with a bunch of different people, only a small handful. I think it’s wise to be careful in selecting those you spend a great deal of time with.
Yet, I have so many good friends. I get to talk to friends through this blog – I know and love so many readers, or through social media it only takes a second to say hi, catch up with or read their latest thoughts. Some I only get to interact with or see once every few years. yet, I learn SO much from all of them. I value them. I smile so big when I think of them.
I love them.
If they were in trouble, I would want to be there for them. If they were being misunderstood, I would be right there defending them. If they were in pain, I would hurt with them. When they have success, I get excited and proud of them.
No disrespect to the bachelor contestants EVERY SINGLE YEAR but I have to politely disagree.
I did come here to make friends.
I think my heart becomes bigger and more open every time I fill it with pieces from such a wide range of beautiful humans. I have so much to learn from each one.
There is no glory in ending a friendship. Though it feels vindicating at first, grudges become a burden to bare. Using our withdrawal of love as a weapon only diminishes it’s true value. The real glory is proving that our love for each another is stronger than our weaknesses ever could be.
Certainly there are people in our lives who are so destructive that being close to them is unhealthy and with heavy hearts we have to distance ourselves but that doesn’t always mean we can’t still love them and still hope the best for them and in many cases, still consider them a friend.