We are back! Finally, after about a month of trying to catch up with life I am back and ready to write and share some more stories. I have been thinking about what I wanted my first post back to be and I was reminiscing this past week about the friendships in my life that have changed my life and helped me become the person I am today. To me there is no other bond like the bond of friendship, it lasts years, goes through so many ups and downs and life altering moments that it’s on the same level as a romantic relationship but without the romance. Which I guess is why it’s called a friend-ship and not a relation-ship. Either way, friendships are as vital to our survival on this Earth as any other relationship. Our lives are marked and documented by the people in our lives we call friends. Every single important moment in my life I can remember the people who stood by me, the people that I chose to stand by me, my friends. My life wouldn’t be what it is today without my friends. So I would like to spend this post paying tribute to them and the significance they have had to me and my life thus far.
Now I will be the first to say that I am the world’s biggest loner, I don’t have many friends and I am not ashamed to say so. I am not a person who needs a massive group of friends, I prefer to surround myself with a select few that have really had an impact on me and my world. To me, friendships are one of the most important relationships we make in our lives, they are like extended family, the family we get to choose. Our friends are the ones who are always there when some other aspect of our lives aren’t going to plan, when we have issues with our family or our romantic relationships, our friends are the first people we turn to. For me, there have been four people who have completely altered my universe the moment they stepped into it, they are the friends I hold dearest to my heart and who have been there through so many ups and downs that there aren’t enough words in the world to describe their significance to me. Some of these friends are still a vital part of my life today and some have come and gone but the impression they left is still ever so significant.
The first friend I would like to share with you is my blog partner, my partner in crime, my right hand man, my soul sister from another mister and that is of course, Steph. Steph and I first met in high school, actually on the first day of high school I believe. I thought she was literally the coolest person ever and I desperately wanted to be her friend, there was something about her that I found inspiring and I looked up to her in a way. Steph is one of those friends you always dream of having, she is loyal to the bone and always has your back no matter what. She inspires those around her with her positivity and joy, it literally vibrates off her. If you ever need advice or a kind word, Steph is the one you turn to. She always knows exactly what to say, which is a rare quality to find in someone. She is also the most grounded person I have ever met, being around her helps me feel grounded when I feel like life has knocked me off my feet. Beyond all that, Steph is fiercely herself, something I always envied in her. From the day I met her she has always known who she is and what she wants and she goes for those things with such determination it’s incredibly inspiring to watch. Our friendship hasn’t always been unicorns and rainbows, we have had our moments of difficulty but we always manage to work through them because we know that our friendship is more important than any conflict or difference in opinion. We both have been there to witness each other’s moments of success, moments of growth and moments of struggle. There is nothing more powerful than having someone there that you can share all these moments with and know that through the good, the bad and the really ugly they will always be there to support and love you. It makes going through this life a lot easier and there is nobody in this world quite like Steph in that regard. She pushes you to dig deeper and to think beyond convention. She inspires you to fight for yourself, to find the things in this life that make you happy and to fight for your dreams no matter how big and impossible they may seem. She teaches you that forgiveness is the single most important quality to have in life. And one smile from her makes you believe that joy and magic still exist in this harsh world. She is one of those rare friends that comes along only once in your life and shows you what the meaning of true friendship is.
The second person I would like to share with you is SHB (I won’t write their real name just to protect their anonymity). I also met SHB in the beginning of high school and I’ve always believed that we were destined to be friends. I truly believe that some people are meant to come into your life, that some relationships are pre-destined and this was truly one of those things. We clicked from the moment we met and I have never met someone who truly understands me without me ever needing to explain myself. It is rare to find a friend who knows you better than you could ever know yourself, that is SHB. I also believe that some people come into your life to challenge you, to force you to do better and be better and SHB has been that for me. Not only does he understand me unlike any other person, but he pushes me to try harder, to be better and when I am around him he creates this bubble of safety where you feel completely comfortable being yourself. His friendship is unconditional, which is the purest form of friendship I have ever encountered. He is also a beautiful person on the inside, I have never met a human being more selfless, more kind, more understanding and supportive, and beyond patient and forgiving. He is truly one of a kind and a remarkably special person. And as I sit here writing this, I can honestly say I am a better person for knowing him and that he has been there through some of the toughest moments in my life simply as a means of support and there is no friendship in the world more powerful than that. He has taught me that true friendship goes beyond the hanging out, the conversations and the “good times”, it’s about being the person someone can lean on when life pushes you down and being the source of light and hope when life gets dark. It’s about being a source of unconditional support, understanding and love that can only be found in your closest of friends. SHB is that and so much more. I also have immense pride in the fact that we have defied the notion that a man and a woman can’t be friends, and more than that that we can’t have deep, meaningful friendships. It gives me pride to show the world that you can be friends with a man and have it be one of the single most important friendships in your life.
The third person I would like to share with you is KP, now KP and I had a unique beginning in that I actually do not remember at all the moment we met and officially became friends. It was literally like one day we weren’t and the next we were the closest of friends, like we had been in each other’s lives our entire lives. We met half way through high school and had known of each other through mutual friends before that moment but had never actually became friends (it’s a little bit backwards but just go with it). The first thing you need to know about KP is that she is fiercely independent and probably the most responsible/grown up out of all of us. She is the definition of #girlboss goals. KP is probably one of the strongest, most determined, ambitious, hilarious, sassy and sweetest souls I have ever met. She is that friend that serves it to you straight but with love and kindness. A rare combination but one that is incredibly powerful. She is definitely one of those friends that inspires to do better and reach farther and work harder. More than that though, she is one of the best listeners and advice givers ever, she has this ability to hear you, like really hear you and knows exactly what to say to make all of life’s woes seem simple and surmountable. From the day we met we just clicked, and like with SHB, it was like we were pre-destined to be friends and soul sisters. KP is my person (basically she’s the Cristina to my Meredith, the Yang to my Grey), the person I go to whenever I need someone to lean on and vent to. We could talk for hours about absolutely nothing and have it be the best conversation ever. And when we talk about things that really matter, her kindness and compassion and realness are unlike anything else. No matter how much time we spend apart, when we come back together it’s like no time has passed at all, the mark of a true and real friendship. KP has taught me that some friends are just meant to be in your life and when that happens, you don’t question it. She has shown me that there is nothing more powerful and important than having a friend who has your back, who you can turn to and have them give it to you straight without fear of hurting your feelings. KP is also one of the most inspiring people with her fearless determination to live life fully and her unfailing optimism, just being around her you can’t help but have that rub off on you. She has shown me what a true soul sister is, from day one we just understood each other like we had known each other our whole lives (literally sisters from different misters) and nothing is more compelling than having someone who just gets you.
The fourth and final person I would like to share with you is JB, this person is no longer a part of my life but the friendship we shared for the time we had was so significant and so special that it has left a lasting mark on my heart and soul and it would seem unfair to not give it the recognition it deserves. Our friendship near the end was complicated and messy, and sometimes really ugly, and given the opportunity I would have done things differently. But as life doesn’t give do-overs, I have to settle with the memories we shared before the chaos. My friendship with JB was a unique one and to a lot of people didn’t really make sense but it was so special and one I will treasure until my last day on this Earth. The connection I shared with JB was beyond the description of words, our friendship was my safe haven and he was my rock. Our friendship was so unique that we could barely go a day without speaking to each other, we would talk all day every day about everything and nothing all at the same time. He was someone who truly knew who I was and accepted every bit of me, it was an acceptance and an understanding that went beyond anything I have ever experienced or will ever experience. Every single memory I shared with him is a cherished memory and something I hope to never forget. Writing about our friendship is both heart wrenchingly difficult and really doesn’t seem to do it justice. Although the complications, the chaos, the messiness and the ugliness all lie with me, a day doesn’t go by that I don’t miss him and the connection we shared. The end of our friendship taught me that some good things must come to an end but it doesn’t take away from the importance and significance of that relationship. That although that person may no longer be a part of your life, you can still take the memories and the lessons you learnt with you. Our friendship taught me that life happens, that people and circumstances change and that’s okay, that some friendships only come into your life only for a brief period of time to teach you something about yourself and about life. Looking back now, our friendship was what it needed to be and even though I wish I could do some things over, I will take it for what it was. No animosity, no bitterness, no hard feelings. Just complete gratitude and appreciation for what it was and for who he was. And if he ever reads this, I hope he knows that.
You are probably wondering why I have introduced you to four people who you don’t know and probably don’t really care to know, but there was a point to all of that sappy rambling. All of us have these people in our lives, the people we call our friends, and the relationships we have built with them have had a lasting impact on who we are. If you need to know who I am, just look at my friends. These people are every bit a part of me in some small and significant way. I wouldn’t be who I am today without these incredible people who have chosen me as their friend. As I said in the beginning of this post, the relationships we build with our friends are in my opinion, one of the single most important relationships you will ever build. Our friends, over time become embedded into the fibres of who we are and who we become, they literally become family. They become the family that we choose, the family that we need, they fill the spaces that our biological families can’t fill. Our friends challenge us in ways that our family cannot, through them we learn things about ourselves, whether good or bad and from it we grow. I believe the strongest incentive for growth and evolution comes from our friends and the relationships we form with them. Growth comes from the lessons they teach about ourselves and they are the ones who help us to see ourselves as we truly are. They are the ones who show us what it means to love unconditionally, they don’t have to be a part of our lives, they choose to be and nothing is more unconditional than that. So I challenge you to read the stories of my friends, to find something in our stories that inspires you. Then go out there into the world and tell your friends how much they mean to you and tell them how important they are in your life. Put in the time and the effort to build those friendships, I promise you you won’t be sorry if you do. Because at the end of the day, your friends are the ones who will be there to pick you back up when life slaps you down, the ones who see your imperfections and choose you despite them, the ones who will make you smile and laugh when life seems unbearable and the ones who will show you that there is still light and hope in a world that sometimes feels too dark. They are the ones who will always show you who you truly are and believe in you even when you can’t. Nothing is more special that that.
To all my friends, I love you and I hope you know how much you have meant to me and my life.