There are strangers. There are peers. There are friends. And then there are best friends. When I was in first grade, I longed for a best friend. Someone to whom I could divulge my deepest fears, desires, feelings, and thoughts. That person didn’t seem to be coming along any time soon. So I created my own best friend. This was how I met my very first best friend. My stuffed Bunny. In 4th Grade, I met my first real-life best friend. She was the new kid and still figuring things out. For some reason she chose to befriend the mute girl. We became inseparable and we are still good friends to this day. Even if we live far apart and don’t communicate as often as I would wish. In 5th Grade I met another one of my best friends.
In 6th Grade, I met my next best friend. Someone who I am still incredibly close with to this day. We even roomed together my freshman year of college and we lived to tell the tale. That takes a high caliber of friendship. In 7th Grade I met one of my other best friends, though we grew apart after High School. The summer after 8th Grade I met my twin, who people still mix me up with. To this day. My freshman year of college I met one of my best friends, followed by three more best friends my Sophomore year. By “best friend” I mean someone with whom I am my true authentic self, someone who I have loads of inside jokes with, someone who I have become “those two guys” with, and someone who I have stayed in touch with through all the different trials and tribulations of life. I have plenty of other close friends who have not been mentioned (who I love, as well!!!) and plenty of circumstantial best friends. Such as best friends for a specific class, show, or club. Just thinking about all of these people right now is making me really want to contact everyone to see how they’re all doing…
Anyway, those are not all of my best friends either. I also have “BEST FRIENDS!!!”. These are usually quiet guys who I have rarely, if ever, spoken to. Who I think I would get along with very well, if only I would dare to approach them. Who I like to fantasize my hypothetical friendship with, but I struggle to actually talk to them due to either anxiety or circumstances. These were mostly quiet guys I was in shows with, in class with, or with whom I work. They have no idea I long to be their friend. I’m “BEST FRIENDS!!!” with them, they just don’t know it yet. They’ll learn. “BEST FRIENDSHIP!!!” is an eternal bond. 😀 (Really, this is just a silly little thing me and one of my real best friends came up with a few years back. She declared this one quiet guy in our cast was her “BEST FRIEND” so I declared this other quiet guy in our cast was my “BEST FRIEND”. It took off from there).
Anyway, back to the people I’m actually friends with…my friends mean the world to me. All of my friends, but particularly my best friends. They haven’t just accepted me as a friend, they’ve accepted me for all that I am. For both the good parts and the bad. They’re the ones who I can talk about absolutely anything with and they’ll give me the truth and won’t tell anyone what I’ve said. Best friends are a rare breed of friend, but they’re all the more special for it. I cherish these people so so so so so much. I just want to contact them all right now and tell them how much they mean to me. They’re the ones I can call up at any time to ask to hang out. They’re the ones who will tell me when I’m making a mistake. They’re the ones who stand by my side on this crazy journey that is life.
So, five-year-old-me, your wish came true. You did find yourself a best friend. In fact, you found yourself many best friends. Each of them amazing, special, flawless individuals. Even at 22, you’re still friends with them all. I know you feel like it’ll never happen. Like you’re too quiet, too weird, too socially awkward. But give it time. You’ll find people who will accept and love you just the way you are. They’re all a little quiet, weird, and awkward too. You’re not alone. You don’t have to create someone to be your friend. Although Bunny was a great friend, too. Just wait a little bit and you’ll meet some of the most extraordinary people. You’ll find that you’re not so bad, either.