"You will fall in love with your friends. Deep, passionate love. You will create a second family with them, a kind of tribe that makes you feel less vulnerable. Sometimes our families can’t love us all the time....They do as much as they can but the rest is up to our friends. They can love you all the time, without judgement. At least the good ones can." - RYAN O'CONNELL
When I was 9 years old I met a tiny, fair skinned girl with big, chunky brown bangs. We played in my tree house, spied on my neighbors and picked names for the monkey she was one day going to own together. We were fast friends.
When I was 17 years old this tiny, fair skinned girl (with the slightly less chunky brown bangs) and I sat on the floor of her room outlining cheerleading formations for the next game. We chatted daily as MissT148 and Sunnydaze0814 and we shared mocktini's on Sunday nights while watching Sex and the City in my living room.
When I was 19 years old and attending a different school from my dear friend our daily chats became a deeply appreciated and uplifting source of happiness and security. It was during these 4 years spent apart at our respective Universities that our already 10 years of friendship went from being easy and light to...well, necessary. It's one of my favorite things about our friendship--having the history in meeting as kids, but not discovering our soul mate status until the cusp of adulthood.
From 23 until pretty much the present moment my friend has stood by my side as I've clumsily navigated uncharted matters of the heart. She has patiently listened for countless hours; she has been a source of belly aching laughs and judgment free advice so good you'd think she was either a) living inside my head or b) secretly holding multiple degrees in psychology. She has never stopped loving me, supporting me, encouraging me. No matter what. I recognize that "I don't know what I'd do without you" is a tad generic and over used. But A, I say this from the most humble and authentic part of my soul: I don't think I would have made it thru without you.
Since moving to California I have encountered a number of bright, wonderful women who have confessed in one way or another that they've never had a real "best friend". This concept is so foreign to me and breaks my heart each time I hear it. Having the best friend that I do in you has so profoundly impacted my life and my spirit that I cannot imagine another person existing without that same connection. Life would just be...less. In so very many areas, it would be less.
People will learn about love from many different sources. They will learn from parents and siblings, friends and strangers, first crushes and last broken hearts.
I know what real love is because of you, A. I know about the kind of love that is not an obligation but a true commitment and choice made joyfully, patiently and generously every day. This is something that I deeply want for you to know--for as long as you'll let me, I whole heartedly choose to love you back.
You are one of the good ones, birthday girl, and I am so proud to be your best friend--it is a genuine honor. You are kind and good to the core; you are thoughtful and playful and pure sunshine. You are my sister and my tribe. Thank you for being exactly who you are and for loving me exactly as I am. Cheers to you and 28 years of spreading so much light--Happy Birthday, bestie!