Dani was confused when I said I was moving to Utah to live with my best friend. She crinkled up her nose with a glazed-over look as she contemplated what I’d said. Isn’t her Mom my best friend? Of course, she is. But I’m going to move to Utah and live with my best friend, who is decidedly not her mother? Yes, absolutely.
I went on to tell her that there were more BFFs on that list than her Mom & Suzy Q. And as she shook her head, I began to count up my people – those I call my Besties. After running out of fingers I stopped counting, grateful for the support I have had from so many, during different times across the landscape of my life.
It was difficult for D to wrap her brain around the fact that I could consider more than one person my true best friend. She had one person on her list of those she considered her friends who she suggested she would call for “annnnything”, as it were. And I get that. She’s 14 years old. She’s outgrown some friends and has made some new ones. And typically? That’s a pattern we keep with us throughout our lives, picking up people we vibe with, and disconnecting from those we have moved on from.
But in my experience? Neither time nor disconnect necessarily takes away a “best friend” status. The things I’ve shared with my besties over the years – as with all life’s experiences – contributed to my thoughts, ideas, and beliefs, an integral part in shaping me as a person. Hell, my brother David, just a year older than I, was my very first best friend, and we have some fantastic memories that bring me such joy to pull up every so often – each of them contributing to me becoming me.
It’s similar to love. I don’t disrespect what I felt for Jason Garrison in the sixth grade, when I wrote his name over and over in my journal, intertwining my own with his – hearts everywhere – on the evening after I french kissed him behind the portables for the first time. And for several months thereafter, until he dumped me for someone else. Just because today I can look at that “love” as something completely different than what I have felt for others since then, doesn’t mean that it wasn’t something important. That love, that puppy love, it was the stem that would become a beautiful flower, the spark that would become fire. Who am I to discount that?
So, cheers! Cheers to every one of you who has been a dear friend to me in my life! To anyone who has been impactful in one way or the other! Whether it’s been three decades, three months, or anywhere in between! To all my BFFs, besties, and bitches! (And I guess to all of those I’ve loved before, as well!) Thank you, thank you!