I was in awe of her, really. She is two and half years older than me, and when I entered the high school scene of competitive Speech and Drama she was already a well experienced competitor. I wanted to be just like her.
Through a series of wonderful and not so wonderful times, we became best friends. The kind that sit at each other’s houses and make up songs about cheese. (Which neither of us are actually huge fans of, so it’s kind of odd.) The difference in our ages just never seemed to matter, really. I can’t explain why or how. But it just didn’t matter. That’s first lesson that she taught me.
One of the things that led to our friendship was a very painful experience for me, which was the loss of a very dear friend. I suppose that high school just got in the way and we went on separate paths. But my new friend taught me yet another lesson about friendship, which is that it doesn’t matter where life takes you. The best friends are the ones the can be separated and still be just as close when they see each other again.
Over the five years that we’ve been best friends, she has taught me lesson after lesson. They range from small to large, and they each have meant the world to me. But the biggest thing that she ever taught me was this: do not back down. Do not settle. Be happy.
When she went away to college without me, I was afraid, I won’t lie. You see, all of my best friends that year were seniors, and I was getting so woefully left behind. I was happy for them, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t want to stay behind. I didn’t want them to forget me. I know none of them have forgotten me, but some I am not as close to anymore. I suppose that’s just the fact you have to live with. But she and I are still best friends, living together now, just as crazy as we ever have been. All of our conversations hold one or two “Remember when…” moments. And no matter where life takes either of us, I know from the lessons she has taught me that it doesn’t matter. We may be apart, but we’ll never fall apart.
Do not back down. Do not settle. Be happy.