Best Friends Forever.
I remember praying for the kind of friendships that you see on tv. The kind where they never fight and even when they do, it only lasts as long as an episode or the climax of a movie. I always wished that I had lived somewhere my whole life and grew up with the same girlfriends and went off to college together and were at each other’s weddings and raised our kids together. I also wanted adventure and love the idea of going somewhere that no one knows me, so obviously that was problematic. But I wanted friends. BEST friends.
I met my “childhood” friends when I was a sophomore in high school. And even though we’ve stayed mildly connected, I knew that I needed much more than that. It always felt like friendships came easily to the people around me. I was envious of the people who seemed to create circles of friends that never included me. Granted, I was always (again) “mildly” connected, but never close enough to consider anyone my best. It ate me alive. I strived for those kinds of connections, throwing myself headlong into deep places with shallow intentions. They crumbled as quickly as they began. You can’t manufacture friendship. It has to be organic, free-flowing.
But let’s back up a bit. I had SERIOUS mommy issues. If you haven’t read "In The Middle" and "Beauty Unraveled" Part 1 & Part 2, go read them and come back. There was no way I was going to survive the kind of friendships I craved, operating with the belief that everyone was out to get me. Looking back, I had so many women in my adult life who would have given me the connection that I needed, but I sabotaged them all. I turned my smallest concerns into assigned motive… I believed that their intention was to hurt me, belittle me, use me. I could never believe the best about them and it was the worst quality in me.
After several years of therapy in my mid-twenties, I was able to understand my pain and own it, instead of hoping others would heal me. It was like my eyes had finally opened to the possibility of real relationships. It freed me to cheer for others when they were winning, have genuine empathy, and build from a firm foundation. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still the chick who’ll tell you her whole life story the first time she meets you, but there’s no expectation there. I’m not hoping that we’ll be best friends. If we vibe, if you can tolerate ALLLLL of this personality, if there is a healthy foundation, then there’s definitely an opportunity to grow into that. But I’m okay with just me.
That perspective has allowed me to let go of toxic friendships, but also opened opportunities to have real conversations without the fear of losing someone. Co-dependence is a slow death. If you don’t have the freedom to express your feelings, to be heard and respected, to be given the benefit of the doubt and forgiven when your intentions are less than your best, run girlfriend. RUN. Fear of losing someone should never be your motive for relationship. Fear should never be your motive, period.
I can’t even express to you how grateful I am for the people who ride for me. Especially because I go so hard for them. And while I don’t condone giving just to get, I do promote reciprocity. If I have ever called you friend, I meant it. I’ve never been one to casually say “Hey, friend!” or “Love you!” If I call you friend, I’m down to be in the trenches with you. If there’s a fight, I’m snatchin’ off earrings and pumps for you. If there are tears, I’m grabbin’ a bottle of wine, a box of tissues, and a key I’m not gonna need anymore. I will pray with you and for you, I will call you out when you ain’t right, I’m listening when you tell me I’m wrong, I’m up late nights, I’m bringing/cooking you food, I’m watchin’ your kids, I’m all in when you need me. Forget best friends, you’re my sister. We’re sisters forever.