And, maybe for the first time ever, I’m ok with that.
I was thinking about this the other day, because of my husband’s relationship with his best friend. They both obviously have other friends, but for the past 14 years almost, these two have been bestest buddies. And at times I’ve been jealous because for most of that time, I haven’t had anything like that.
I don’t have just one “best friend.” Or, maybe it’s that I don’t feel like it’s fair to any of the other three women I feel extremely close to, if I refer to just one of them that way.
See, I could call my best friend from the second half of high school, Kristine, my best friend, and it be entirely true. She was my only girlfriend during those crazy, scary, painful, wonderful two years and witnessed the beginning of the relationship that is now, twenty years later, my marriage of 17.5 years. She knows what I went through emotionally with different relationships in a way nobody else does, and has a reference point for who it made me that nobody else does. She mailed letters to Scott for me, made phone calls on my behalf…and so much more. She should have been my maid of honor in my wedding- and will be, when we renew our vows. We were only very loosely in touch from 2001-2011, and really have only become truly close again in the past two years- but it’s been, for me, like wrapping up in a warm familiar sweater in the fall after a long hot summer, being in (usually) daily contact with the only person other than Scott I could confidently call my soul mate. She is literally the only friend I never have felt like I had to temper myself with even a little, as far as my big feelings. She loves me as I am, not in spite of, but because of who I am. I really love this woman.
But to designate her as my best friend feels like it might disrespect Tiffany, who went from being my youth group student and mentee to one of my most faithful friends and is someone I can be very real with and still be loved, warts and all. She stayed with me multiple times when Scott travelled, so I wouldn’t be alone. She helped me make the decorations for lexi’s nursery, she’s celebrated more of my adult birthdays with me than anyone else, we have more inside jokes than anyone outside my family…she is family. She is my sister and my Gangstera.
And there’s Cindy, who I met online in 07 and has been, at times, the only person I could talk to about SO many things. She knows where ALL the bodies are buried, she has seen my anxiety it’s most ridiculous, and never mocked, judged, or told me to bug off. She has shared the struggles I had with fertility, and is the only friend who privately shared news of her own pregnancy with me intentionally to lessen the sting because she knew it might sting, while I waited for my own baby. She has been such a faithful friend to me. I literally don’t know what I’d do without her.
And finally, but not least, there is Jett. We were Mutt and Jeff, sugar and spice, Siamese twins, for two years. I I met her online and informed her the same night that we would now be best friends. I introduced her to her husband. Then we fell out of contact for six years-but y’all, she did something nobody in my life has ever done. She came back to me because she missed me. She wanted me in her life. And even though I’ve been a shut in ocd riddled mess the past 3 years we’ve been back in touch, she’s been there for me, patiently waiting and cheering me on. I. Love. Her.
So, all these women are my best friend. And I know all of them have at least one other best friend. Until very recently, I think that would have really upset me. I want to be somebody’s person. But, maybe through some of the self worth healing I’ve been pursuing the past couple years, I’ve come to realize this: just because I’m not their #1 go to person doesn’t diminish my value- either as a person individually, or to them! I know beyond a doubt that all of them love me very much, and that, much like loving my Ladybug with my whole heart doesn’t mean I love my Duckling any less, my friends’ love for me is not limited by the fact that they love others too.
And, let’s be honest, it’s probably a good thing I have all four of them, because I’m a lot.