My last post was about needing time to be alone. This one is the opposite it’s about friendship. I’m so complex.
I’ve given the label of “best friend” to several people in my life because at one point or other those people were my confidants. Sometimes I had multiple “best friends” at a time. That is, until one of them changed my view on the title. He told me that a person could only really have one best friend because that person is the best. The top among the rest, and the one you count on no matter what. The one that’s got you and you will undeniably be there for, too. So, it made me think and relabel those others as close friends. I only gave one person the title of “best friend” and he kept it for a long time. Then we parted ways, and I had no best friend.
I went a few years without considering any sole person as my best friend. There wasn’t only one person I relied on anymore, I’d grown to have a web of very close friends. There was not one person that outshine the rest because they all had different attributes that were invaluable to me. Then, I gave my current best friend the title because she did stand out from everyone else. She’s great, and she’s been with me through a lot, and I know she’ll be there for me for a long time coming. I confide in her, I enjoy her company, and she really is the best friend someone could have. She makes the effort and tries even when she doesn’t have the energy, and I appreciate that.
Except… she’s not really my best friend.
My best friend is still the one I gave the title to ten years ago, the one I deemed worth enough to designate as such. The same one that left me behind in a pursuit to live his own life, and I used to be so angry at that, but now I’m not. I understand that people change and in order to grow we have to go separate ways sometimes. He and I ended on really bad terms, but it doesn’t change that I will always consider him my best friend. Why? Why would I still consider someone who is no longer in my life my best friend?
Because of the impact he made in my life when he was. He was in my life during my most formative years of adolescence. He was there when I first had my debilitating episodes with depression and anxiety, and he was there to help me through them. He was the first person to put me first. He was the first person that I ever felt comfortable enough with to confide in and be vulnerable with. And that’s not something that’s replaceable. He will always be my best friend because I believe he was what’s best for me. The good times and the bad, the laughter and the pain, all of it. He helped me grow and learn about myself and others. He made me more compassionate and understanding of others because of how poorly I treated him. And as wonderful and amazing as my current “best friend” is, she can’t do all those things because they’ve been done.
I used to hate that I couldn’t replace him. That after all the conflict and craziness, I still miss him and think of him as the best friend I ever had. But, I’ve come to accept it. People aren’t expendable to me, and he’s unique. There will be others that remind me of him, but there’s only one of him in this world. And I know that if he ever came back into my life, I’d feel the same way about him as I did before. That he is someone I feel a deep comfort with and someone who I can be vulnerable toward. And that’s okay with me now. I don’t need a replacement. I just need to allow others the opportunity to be different types of friends, and maybe I’ll find one that usurps his throne.
I know that I will have many people enter and leave my life. Some will be acquaintances, some will be friends, some will be close friends, and they’ll all make an impact on my life. But like I said, the best friend is the one that is above the rest. And until I find someone that can outshine my former best friend, he’ll always be the best.