Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Supposed Exclusivity of the Term "Best Friend"

I guess I will never understand why people reserve the term best friend to mean only one person. To me, there are a select few people that combined know everything there is to know about me. Each person has a different connection with me but all of them are equally important to me. There are five people I use the term for and truly mean it. These are people who have had my back through thick and thin. People I have held while they cried and they have done the same for me. If any of these people ever exited my life, I would feel such sorrow because it would feel as though a piece of me has gone with them. I have some close friends that I have a very good connection with, though do not see as often or have as in depth relationships as I do with my dearest friends. I guess I mean this to be a tribute to these friends who I am deeply missing since my move and want them to know how I feel. Since telling people how much you care and love them doesn’t happen as much as it should, why not try and change that. The order does not dictate strength of relationship or anything else, only that this was the order I chose to put them in.

My first best friend is my cousin Justene. Since we are only four years apart and our mothers are sisters, we spent a lot of time growing up together. In many ways, we are sisters. We call each other sisters because the relationship, besides sharing a parent, is like a sisterly bond. We fight, we have fun, we come to each other for advice. The hardships we have dealt with separately have in many ways strengthened us, not only in personal strength but strength in our relationship with each other. She is wise beyond her years and had been through more in the past few years than most adults would deal with in a lifetime. And yet, she has come out of it with grace and maturity, and makes me proud to be her big sister.

My second best friend is my darling (ex) roommate and “bro” Michelle. Having met our freshman year, we were still not very close when we moved in together our sophomore year of college, but as time passed and we got to know each other, I found in her a kindred spirit. She can always make me laugh when I am feeling down. Her fire for life and adventure is inspiring, and is one of the things that helped give me courage for my move to Bama. She is one of the warmest souls you’d ever meet; she gives with her whole heart and is always there when I need to talk through something or vent or cry. I’m truly grateful that destiny threw her into my life, well not so much destiny as the Grand Valley blind housing office.

My third best friend is my cousin and (current) roommate Colette. Though not related by blood, we have known each other since we were toddlers. We didn’t get to spend enough time together growing up, but still we formed a very strong relationship. She has so much passion and goes after what she wants with such fervor, it’s awe-inspiring. She truly does kick ass and take names! She’s delightfully witty and funny and can cook like a beast (I don’t know how I’m not 300 pounds). Even though our families have been complicated and messed up, she is always there and helps me to appreciate myself and feel more confident in who I am with her presence. Forget diamonds, cousins are forever!

My fourth best friend is another (ex) roommate Rachel. We went to the same grade school and high school, though our friendship didn’t develop until freshman year art class (haha blowing yarn, sorry inside joke). We eventually became close and I found someone I could talk to about literally anything for hours…and hours and hours. She’s one of the most laid back people I’ve ever met. The ease in which she lives her life translates easily to the ease in her friendships. I can be exactly who I am and know that I won’t be judged. Our late night map nerdiness and even later slurpee runs are some of my favorite memories, and I’m going to miss her even more when she moves to Honduras. Though I know she will have the time of her life helping children.

My fifth, and last, best friend is my nerdy confidant Meredith. We didn’t meet until high school, but her quirky nature and witty sense of humor drew me to her. Through classes and plays, we got to know each other. She turned me into even more of a nerd than I could have anticipated, and I have loved every minute of it. We have shared so many amazing memories. Even just hanging out watching random, weird tv shows, painting our nails, and drinking. Or going to a local park and talking about our zombie plans. Her strength in life is inspiring, and I can always be brutally honest with her and she is with me. She’s such an amazing person to spend time with, but if she does get bit in the zombie apocalypse, I’m going to kill her. And she will completely understand.

These five people have been such an integral part in why I am who I am today. They have each given me strength when I needed it and have been a wonderful addition to my life. I wish desperately that I could see them all the time for the rest of my life. But I know that we are each growing, and going on our own paths in life. So at the very least I want them all to know how much I love them and treasure them. That they will always have a place in my heart as people who have supported me and given me some of the best memories of my life. Without them, I would be a different person today. Without them, I would have missed out on the most amazing years of my life. I will always hold dear the times I have spent with each and every one of you. And I just want you all to know that. As I’m sitting here at work, bored out of my mind :)