Recently, I opened the Facebook app on my phone to judge my cyber friends when one of those “share your memories” posts popped up. You know, the ones usually reserved for embarrassing middle school status updates or pictures of you with that asshole who broke your heart? Well, this time, it was a gem. I smiled wide, even chuckled, as I fondly studied the picture provided from a few years back. There I was, with my best friend, beaming at each other and raising our diplomas in victory. We had just finished our high school graduation, and we were excited as shit for the rest of our lives.
It’s crazy to think of all that has happened between now and then. Road trips to Las Vegas, almost getting expelled from school, moving into my first big girl house, just to name a few. Most of those experiences and memories were made without Anne. And yet no matter what, she is still my best friend.
I had heard countless times about how college is where you meet your “forever friends.” That your high school friends will drift from your life because you discover that the heart of the friendship was seeing each other every day. Between the new classes, friends and sisters, who has the time to constantly catch up with the people from your past? Or who really needs to, seeing as you’re too involved in your own life as it is. In college, you make friends based off of like-mindedness and similar personality traits, not based off of where your parents chose to settle down and raise a family.
And that is all true. I have found friends while in college that I share a special bond with. I have found my future bridesmaids. Yet as of this moment, my future Maid of Honor would still be Anne. And now I can say with any degree of confidence, that in five years, she will still be my Maid of Honor.
When I first left for college, she arrived bright and early at my house with coffee and donuts. We hugged constantly, and I cried for the next five hours of my car ride. Was I really doing it? Was I really leaving the girl I practically lived with to be hundreds of miles away? It was scary, it was depressing, and I was robbed of my excitement. Sure, I told myself that we were different. She really was my soul sister, despite all of the stories I’ve heard of best friends turning into strangers haunting me. But even I doubted my confidence.
After all, I had shamelessly rolled my eyes at all of my friends who declared their relationships as high school sweethearts to be enough to overcome the turkey drop. Logically, it was impossible. And if everyone truly thought that they were different, the truth is no one is different. I voiced my concerns to my mother, and her response chilled me. She explained that no matter what happens, I need to cherish my relationship with Anne. That even if we do lose touch at times, or if we become less close, how we were in high school could never change.
To me, this solidified a break. Slowly, the texts became less frequent. We called each other only while really drunk and upset. We started making new friends, creating new memories, and having inside jokes that for the first time didn’t involve each other.
And it was beautiful.
Because at the end of the day, she was still my best friend. I knew if I needed her, she would be there no matter what. The comfort that came from a friendship that didn’t need constant validation was freeing. I didn’t need to call her every day to tell her I loved her. I knew that we could go for weeks without speaking, and never once question if the other was mad. My friends would ask how she was doing, and I would honestly respond that I didn’t know. But I did know she was doing fine because otherwise she would have called.
What I have now isn’t an extremely close relationship with a girl I practically live with. I don’t tell her every single one of my thoughts but you better believe she still knows all of my secrets. We can go months without talking but she can still read every thought I am having just by the expression on my face.
I don’t know if you will have that, but I hope you do. Or I hope you find a new friend so amazing that now you do understand the feeling of love and sisterhood. As for me, I love watching my friend grow. I love to see her with her boyfriend, roommates, and new best friends. I am not jealous or competitive. I am ecstatic that she has accomplished her dream experience, and I am ecstatic that I got to watch it from the sideline. I can say with every degree of confidence she will always be my best friend. Especially because I don’t need to fight to prove it.
The point is to let life just happen now that you’ve entered a new chapter of life. Don’t dismiss your old friends, but don’t put all your energy into preserving them. Your friendships will fade and change. That’s okay because you’re changing, too. Always be there for the people you love, and I promise the friendships that make it will become even more special to you. Even if they’re a little different than how they used to be..
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