Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my friendships from the past and present. I have struggled with maintaining friendships like most of us, and I have always wondered why… Of course we all have those friends that are in it until death do us part, but others have not sustained but they have taught me something about myself.
I see some women who have had the same “best friend” since they were young. It makes me wonder why some of my friendships failed or were placed on pause for so many years? Is it me? In some cases, the friendships I have still exists and is now better than ever, but in other situations, we are just not as close anymore or we speak rarely. Valuing all friendships, even those that did not last is essential to learning to be a better friend.
My long-lost friend
One of my first real friends and I no longer have a close relationship… we were close before we even remember as children, and then we reconnected when I was in high school and were closer than I could have ever imagined. It was like something from a movie… overtime, due to my inadequacies, I hurt her by not being there for her, and didn’t know how to make up for being naive and immature in certain areas. She let me know that we could still be cool, but she felt that due to my lack of compassion and judgment, I was the type of friend to hang out with socially; just to party with. Instead of fighting to rebuild, I shut down and wanted no parts of a friendship with limitations. It took me a long time to forgive myself, and I still have moments where I hate myself for being so absent minded when it came to the love I should have shown her when we were close, but I know that I am a stronger person and an even better friend to those in my life now.
My first best friend
As you get older, you change, which changes the relationships you have with others. My first best friend and I met when we were born. Our parents were like sisters, and we spent weekends, vacations, and holidays at each others houses. If you asked me how we drifted a part, I couldn’t tell you. I do know that it was around the time I started dating and being a teenager. I was horrible at balancing my friendships and my boyfriend. We would see each other every-now-and-then but it was not like when we were kids running around chasing boys all over the North-side of Pittsburgh, PA. The day she called me and asked if I would be the godmother to her twin sons, was the day we reconnected and our relationship is better than ever. She is such a strong woman and I love that God brought her back into my life. I definitely consider her to be one of my best friends!
My cousin & my bestest friend
My cousin, is not related to me by blood, but we have been close since Preschool,so to me, she is blood. She has been there through it all, and even when we both went to college and she found a new group of friends and I did the same, we always supported one another and loved from a distance. She is my cousin, but she is definitely my friend my closest and best-est (as my mother would say) friends. Even in those moments where we would disagree and not speak for a period of time, we always came back to one another. I could not imagine my life without her and as the godmother of my daughter, she has taught me what a godmother should be.
My Friend who was my Mentor
It is always amazing to connect with people that you have always wanted to be close to. When I met this girl, we were in middle school and I just loved her attitude, her style, and her confidence. When I went to college, she was one of the first people I reconnected with and I wanted so badly to get to know her. I was not her official protege, but she took me under her wing as if I was; she even let me sleep at her apartment because I hated my roommate and living in the dorms. She taught me so much about the essence of my blackness, what it means to be modest, and how to naturally take care of my body. We had the potential to be life-long friends, but as I stated prior, I struggled with balancing friendships and my boyfriends… I know I hurt her and she definitely hurt me, but for some reason, we could not get past it…. even our mutual friends tried to have a sit-down to get us to forgive and forget, and even though we mutually apologized, it was never the same. I know that I made many mistakes while I was in college with my friendships, I burned many bridges and hurt many, so this loss is on me.
My college sweetheart friend
I was a part of so many cliches in college. I went through groups of friends left-and-right, and mainly because they were either sleeping with your dude, wanted too, or were jealous. These groups were a waste of time overall, but there was one group of girls that I considered ride-or-die. We spent most of our time drinking, but it was a togetherness with a group of girls, I have never had. We all were close with each other in different dynamics. Of course, the friendships within the group started to break down and fall a part which ultimately caused the group to separate, but there was one friend in this group who I connected with most. She has been consistent in her personality, tells it like it is, and puts me in check when I need to be. I love her because she is not afraid to hurt my feelings. She has been with me at my lowest moments, when I was sitting on her bedroom floor crying because I was losing myself over a guy…she stood by me. The handmade cards, the money sent by mail, the long phone calls talking about guys and relationships, the long summer trips in Sasha (her old car) with no AC… I cannot begin to describe the dynamic of our relationship and even though we are in different places in life, she is my best friend, and she knows its until the end!
I have messed up a great deal in some of my friendships, but I have also learned from my errors. Every friendship is a relationship, and in each relationship, you learn a little bit more about others and yourself. Here is what I have learned about my many friendships:
- They are required to get through this life.
- They make you better, stronger, and wiser.
- It is important to have a close circle of a few friends.
- Even when you hurt a friend, if it is meant to be, your relationship will sustain.
- Be honest about your feelings and emotions with your friends, do not hold things in for a long period of time.
- Balance spending time with friends and your intimate relationships.
- Forgive yourself when you hurt a friend
- If your friendship ends, self-evaluate, you are not perfect!
- Do not be spiteful if a friend hurts you
- Make time for your friends
- If a friend is hurting for any reason, GO TO THEM! BE THERE!
- To forgive myself and my friends; we all make mistakes.
I have very few friends and to me, they are all my best friend. I am so thankful to those friendships that taught me a lesson and made me stronger, and I am so grateful to those who have stuck by me, even when I am unbearable to be around.
Happy National Best Friends Day!