On Being a Best Friend.

In junior high, I had no friends.

I would see friendships in movies and on television and read about them in books – about the brave, sacrificial things friends do for other friends, about the all-consuming, deep-rooted love of friendship. I wanted that, and I didn’t have it. I walked through the halls alone, being teased and taunted for my shyness, for my weight and my clothes and for how painfully awkward I was. And somewhere along the line, I vowed that if I were to ever have friendships like the ones I read about, I’d never waste them, and I’d do my best to demonstrate only the best intentions, to act as much as humanly possible, as the best ‘best friend’ I could be. Because, I thought, everyone deserves a ‘best friend’.

The odds were stacked against me in this quest; I’m an incredibly jealous, often selfish, self-centred person. I have a lot of issues with confidence, putting myself out there, and expressing my feelings. I spent years of my life closed-off and alone, and I have several reasons in my own history books as to why I mistrust people, because I had friends who hurt me. And in spite of all that, I strived for the kind of friendships I longed for – and after a long time, I thought I had it: I am incredibly gifted with keeping in touch with friends, I give great presents, I rarely turn down opportunities to be with my friends or be there for them; I’ve travelled to other countries with my friends, and helped keep my friendships together even when I could see cracks forming in the seams. I value my friends not only because they value me in return, but because I consider anyone worth knowing, to be a valuable contributor to my life, and the lives of anyone else around them. I’ve tried and tried and tried to be the kind of friend that my friends looked up to, and looked to and the kind of friend that I would want: someone fair, fun to be around, supportive, and who has strong allegience to her girlfriends over anyone or anything else. I think for the most part, I’ve succeeded. I’m not a perfect friend and I’ve made mistakes, but I have tried to rectify those mistakes. I’ve tried not to make waves. I’ve tried not to get angry. I’ve tried not to overwhelm or burden my friends with my personal problems unless I can’t hold them in anymore.

Sometimes I wonder in my life and in my friendships, if I’ll ever meet anyone who loves me and shows it, as much as I love them, and show it. I look at some of the people in my life now and ask myself what happened and why they don’t hold me in the high regard in which I hold them. I wonder why they’ve felt the need to hurt me andw why, when I always have good intentions, I feel they sometimes don’t.

I wonder why I’m writing this whiny, selfish rant in the first place, since nobody even cares or knows what I’m talking about, so in order for this to pertain to anyone, regardless of whether they know me or not, I am offering this piece of advice: think of who your best friends are – the people who most contribute to your life, who make you the happiest, who make you feel the most loved and alive… with who you share the best memories and the most wonderful times, and who has been there for you no matter what. Think of those people, and  the way they make you feel. And then ask yourself if you’re treating them in the best way you know how.

 

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