The meaning of a friend changes from time to time. Depending on what you need. Depending on where you are in your life. And depending on the other support you have in your life. But best friends are different.
Best friends are there for you whenever. They keep in touch (even when you don’t want them to). They don’t let you off the hook for really important things (and it’s not being let off the hook if there’s a real reason you can’t do something). They become your family.
I am not one of those people that believes you can only have one best friend. I am one of those people who believes that best friends are valuable and you will know if they are your best friends. I am one of those people that has more than one best friend. But today. Today I’d like to concentrate on one of my best friends.
The real meaning of best friends forever is someone who has been on your side ever since you met them. Some of your best friends may be newer friends. I met my best friend when I was at college during my sophomore year. By the end of sophomore year we were great friends. And junior year, we were inseparable. Senior year, we got separated a bit because she graduated early and went home to student teach. But despite that, our friendship has survived and thrived.
Tomorrow, she leaves for Africa for 3 months. I am so immensely proud of her for chasing her dreams so actively. I am so proud of her for taking the risk that this trip involves. I am so proud of her for being courageous enough to do what she needs to in order to feel fulfilled.
A part of me really envies her. I think this is a part of every real friendship – especially a best friendship. Especially when you’re so similar. I want her to be happy and have a good life, but I also wish that I were the one traveling the world to discover my dream. (Thus the envy).
The other way that you know that you’re best friends forever (and she and I are definitely best friends forever) is that you know even when distances come between you, you will remain the best of friends. She is going to be thousands of miles away. In a remote village in Ghana. With no consistent phone connection. And definitely no consistent internet connection. She will be out of touch for a while.
But I know that when she returns at the end of November, we will pick right back up where we left off. We will begin enjoying each other’s company again. We will continue to be best friends. Forever.
I am a little sad that my best friend is going to be out of reach, and out of touch, for such a long period of time. Especially at such a crucial time in my life. But I am so happy for her that she is fulfilling a lifelong dream and doing something that she has always wanted to do. I hope that if the time comes in my life for this to happen that she will feel the same way. And I know she will.
Good luck, Steph. I love you and I am going to miss you so much more than you can realize. Take pictures. Write down your thoughts. Come back with a gazillion stories to share. Safe travels and great adventures!