What I learned about honesty and family from my childhood best friend
I've always heard that if you've been friends with someone for more than seven years, it's safe to say you've found a friend for life. I met my longtime best friend back in middle school, and we've been in each other's lives ever since.
From high school to college to every adventure in between, my BFF and I have shared plenty of laughs, a few tears, and no shortage of good memories. There's really nothing I'd trade or change about our time together.
Growing up is hard to do, but having a BFF by your side makes those seemingly complicated teenage years just a bit easier to navigate.
As is the case with any long-term relationship, maintaining a close friendship for more than a decade takes time, love, and dedication. Over the years, I've learned many lessons from the experiences that ultimately bonded my BFF and I. These aren't things you simply pick up in a classroom or read in a book.
Whenever I've needed support or a shoulder to cry on, my BFF was always there somehow, someway — whether it was a call or text, or a quick drive to come see me. She reminds me that not every problem is as big as it may seem, and that I've got someone rooting for me in my corner. A best friend always has a way of easily curing the blues.
Learning how to step outside of your comfort zone is incredibly nerve-wracking and utterly stressful. But my BFF and I encouraged each other to do just that. Whether it was taking on a strenuous hike or finding the confidence to wear a new dress and heels, our best adventures were always the ones that pushed us to new heights and horizons. And that's because stepping outside of your comfort zone can pay off — what was once daunting may end up becoming something you love.
There's a lot of truth to the saying that ~the best things in life are free.~ Through my BFF, I've learned about the subtle power of the outdoors, and how far a little bit of peace, quiet, and tranquility can go. Before my BFF, I wasn't much of a hiker — but she showed me the immense benefits of spending time surrounded by nature. She taught me to appreciate new things. Nothing really beats the reward of a panoramic view after reaching the top of that mountain trail.
Whether I was going through a break up or a fight with a loved one, I could always count on my BFF to be 100% honest with me. There has never been any sugarcoating or secrets — a true friend always tells you what you need to hear, rather than what you want to hear. An outside perspective and fresh pair of eyes can really change your understanding of a situation — you'd be surprised how much.
I've learned that friends are the family you choose. They may not be blood relatives or share your last name, but that doesn't really matter. A person who was once only a stranger in my middle school classroom has become my rock, my sister. Knowing each other for so many years means we've seen each other at our best and our worst.
But like family, we have remained inseparable no matter the circumstances. We'll continue to nurture our friendship, which will evolve even more as we age, and I look forward to the lessons we'll continue to learn.
To my best friend — living life without you wouldn't be nearly as much fun. Thanks for being just like family.