Throughout our lives we’re met with situations where we’re forced to make new friends. Starting a new school, joining a new class, going away to college, etc. We’re scared; we’ve had someone by our side and they’ve become our comfort blanket. We’ve made memories and experienced firsts and bonded over secrets that no one else knows. Then all of a sudden we have to leave that person and try and find someone who makes us feel the same way. We don’t replace the person but we have no choice but to make new friends. We don’t click with everyone we meet but when we find the perfect match, it’s gold.
My cousin and I were born a few months apart and grew up together, so technically she was my first best friend. I remember making my best friend from Kindergarten and then a group of girls from elementary school. I experienced my first taste of drama at a slumber party in second grade and vividly remember there being tears, picking sides, and cattiness. All over who got to be the princess or something like that. I think some people even called their moms and left the sleepover, and that wouldn’t be the last time drama ended a night early.
I made another best friend that lived down the street when we moved to our new house. She and I were inseparable and despite her being a year older than me, we hung out every single day after school. We’re still in contact and laugh at the fact that her dad paid her to come down and talk to me when I moved there. But I remember there being fights with some other girls in the neighborhood about who was best friends and who wasn’t. It was the first time that I had ever heard that you could only have one best friend, which is totally not me. I’m that person that says “oh this is my jam!” for every song that comes on the radio. I’m kind of the same way with friends.
I had best friends throughout high school and college and most of which I still talk to today. But as you get older, you realize that it’s okay if some friendships don’t work out. Some may end better than others and some may leave you feeling bitter or sad, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. That people are in your life at the exact moment they’re supposed to be. Maybe they’re helping you get through something or they’re teaching you a lesson you need to be taught. People change and grow apart; the dynamic of the friendship may change or maybe it ends completely, but that’s just life. You start to realize it’s quality over quantity and you accept that. In fact, that becomes perfectly fine with you.
If we were talking about people from my past, you would probably hear ” she was one of my best friends” a lot. Because whether or not we’re still close or even friends at all, they were at one point. I had childhood best friends, high school best friends, and college best friends. Today, I’m probably still friends with a handful of them. We don’t talk as often as we did at one point and it might even be months before we get to catch up or see each other. But it’s when you can sit down with these people and it feels like nothing has changed, you know they’re your people. They’re your best friends.
Saying goodbye is never easy. I’ll always remember saying goodbye to my best friend before heading off to college. And then my college roommates after graduating. I’ve had to say goodbye to a lot of great people as a military wife and it never gets easier… just more tolerable. Because you know it’s not goodbye, it’s a see you later. How? Because they’re your best friends and they’ve turned into family. The truth about best friends? There’s no criteria of what it takes to qualify a friend as a best friend. It doesn’t matter the amount of time you’ve known them, under what circumstances you met them, or when you had to go your separate ways. They were your best friend for a reason and exactly when you needed them to be.
I’m not fond of change. Sometimes change is good but sometimes it flat out sucks. And having to leave people you care about sucks too. The secret? Don’t set any expectations. Put an effort in. Keep an open mind. Things are going to change in terms of how often you see each other, how often you talk, and what you talk about. You’re going to have different life experiences, new friends are going to be made, and sometimes you may grow apart. But when it all comes down to it, growing apart doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Because if it’s meant to be, you can always grow back together.
“Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold.”
“A circle is round,
it has no end.
That’s how long,
I will be your friend.”
And that my friends is the truth about best friends.