B is for Best-Friends
Ah, best friends. We all know the comfort of having one or two of them. They can be the most awesome thing in the world. They can also be the most painful thing in the world.
I’ve had a few women (and I do mean a few) in my life I have called “best-friend”. Some of these women have been around since I was a kid. One in particular has been my best friend since I was seven years old… yeah 40 years now – that’s an accomplishment by today’s standards. Other girlfriends I’ve known since high school, and though we don’t see or talk to each other nearly often enough – the friendship is still there and still strong as it’s always been.
There are friends I made as an adult, and I have to say, these friendships are far more fleeting than those I made in my younger years. I have had a couple of friends over the last 20 years that are still around, but for the most part – they’re all gone either because I realized there were not true friends and told them to hit the road, or because they decided that they no longer wished to continue the relationship.
I’ll talk about a couple of my “best friends” here. I will not name names of course, because I don’t have their permission to mention their names on my blog.
For the last ten years there has been a friend who was there for me no matter what. I could call her any time for advice, or just a shoulder on which to cry – she was my best friend. But, in the grand scheme of things I kind of feel now like I was on her agenda. As long as I was living life the way she thought I should, she was my friend. Now granted, when I decided to break ties with the SO and move on – I didn’t consult her at all. And I know she felt slighted by that… honestly I feel bad about it, but I know that if I had, things would not have gone well. She would have tried to “reason” with me… encouraged me to change my mind… just as she encouraged me to get out of the previous marriage that needed work, but could have been salvaged had we put the effort it. I didn’t want to be reasoned with, or encouraged to do anything. I wanted to get out… I was miserable and sick. I couldn’t keep holding on to the same old BS forever… so I left… and I didn’t come back. I’ve made choices since then that she’s not approved of. And in the course of this – she has stopped speaking to me. After ten years. *sigh* It is what it is as I always say… and true, real, loving friends forgive… they accept; they encourage you to be happy.
Fast forward to the past year… and you find the other friend I want to talk about here. She and I haven’t known each other that long… less than a year. But from the moment we met there was a “kinship”. She nicknamed me immediately because Elizabeth is just “too long to say” and I became “Bettie”. No one has ever called me by a nickname… Ever. She is the only person I’ve ever allowed to shorten my name in that way – and I did so without a second thought – because of who she was. Also – Bettie Page??? Hello… yeah. She has supported my choices, encouraged me to be happy, cried with me, laughed with me and shared my fears, hopes, dreams and ideas. She accepts me for who I am without any agenda, or expectation. She is a true friend, and I hope that she is there with me forever.
Friendships like the one I’ve had for 40 years with another woman don’t happen often. She’s one of those friends who, no matter how long its been since we last spoke, we can pick up right where we left off the last time and it’s like no time at all has passed. We’ve had our ups and downs (especially as preteens and teens) but we’ve always, always been there for each other. She’s the one who held me when my daddy died… she was there for me through all the worst of times… and she’s usually the first person I call in the best of times. She is a true friend.
There have been many women who have passed through my life who have taught me lessons… lessons that were harder to learn that I care to admit… lessons that were necessary and shaped me into the woman I am today… strong, fearless, and living life wholeheartedly – regardless of the approval rating I get.
Don’t let your friends opinions stop you from doing what is right for you – regardless of who they are or how long you’ve known them. If they’re really truly your friend, they’ll understand and support you no matter what. Best friends can be awesome; they can also be heartbreaking.
How about you? Have you had friends that just seemed to be your backbone? Friends that have surprised you by being totally against the choices you make for yourself? Share with me – I’d love to know!