I don’t think you learn just one thing from your best friends, but a multitude of things.
It is impossible to put into words how important and instrumental these five women were in helping shape who I am today. There is something about the longevity of our friendship that is perplexing – because normally, putting five girls in a room together would almost always result in a sacrifice, sabotage, or slander – but we’ve made it past the point of petty arguments and low blows. We’ve survived, endured, and sustained.
I am lucky in the fact that I’ve had the same group of friends from third grade. We are all still close. Our friendship has encompassed the majority of my life, spanning twelve or more years, and continues to, for a lack of a better word, mature.
They were all there when I felt like complete shit. They all witnessed the most defining moments of my life. The all have helped me change, grow, and flourish.
Friends leave an imprint on your soul that no family member or significant other can replicate. You become part of each other whether you want to or not. I constantly find myself embodying little quirks that are only explained by going back to a mall, beach, high school party, concert, or a parking lot on my eighteenth birthday.
And then, there are just some things I do that cannot be explained by anyone or anything, and I don’t really know how to feel about it quite yet.
My friend Jocelyn is an acrobat and should be in the circus. I mean this in the best way possible. I swear to God this girl has more things on her plate than a professional eater. Yet, she always makes it look effortless. Her myriad of commitments span most of her weekdays, consume her weekends, and leave little time for sleep. Yet she is always the first one to pick up the phone and call me – just because she has time. She has taught me that there is a way to juggle all the things you need to have in life, and to do it with a good heart and good intentions.
Then there is Sam, who has, for the entire time I’ve known her, taught me to never compromise on anything. There is someone out there for you; it just may not be right now. They are called standards for a reason, and if we didn’t have them, the world would be a bunch of monkeys dressed in suits trying to steal your banana on the way to work. Go for the job you want, but start with the job you need. Always have a goal that you want to achieve because it’s the only way you’ll better yourself. Don’t change yourself for anyone or anything.
Katie is the most accomplished, and the one who has done everything first. She has consistently shown what it means to be an independent, self-sufficient, and completely reliable woman. Following your heart is a suggestion, using intuition is a requirement. It is possible to be truly happy, healthy, and successful in your mid-twenties. She is the perfect example of what it looks like to follow your heart, and still be able to live out your dreams.
Megan is living proof that beauty and brains can coexist – and not in the superficial, compliment seeking way. Staying grounded is the key to figuring out what you want in life, not just settling for what you can get. It’s a skill to fight through hardships, both familial and relational, and to do it with grace and sophistication. Some people grow up too fast, but in some instances, it’s a blessing that allows you to understand loyalty, devotion, and selflessness. Phrasing this in the best way that I can: I know that this girl would do some absolutely terrible things to keep her loved ones safe – and you cannot teach that.
Through all my terrible clothing choices, Julie has taught me how to find what works and make it your own. It may not be the most fabulous shirt on the planet, but if you pair it with the right accessory, anything can look stunning. Fashion intuition cannot be taught – and it’s something I do not take for granted in a friend. You need someone to tell you when your slouchy boots make you look like a homeless Pocahontas, as well as someone to verify that scarves are acceptable and encouraged year round, and boot season is something to be cherished, worshiped, and never overlooked.
Sure, there people that I’ve known longer than these girls, but none of them have taught me anything remotely as valuable as them. Five is always better than one. I think math taught me that. I’ve learned how to create my own style, live life to the fullest, never compromise, find balance within the chaos, and to fight for what you want. These are lessons that are so simple, yet so many people go about their lives without ever truly learning them.
I want to personally thank Megan, Jocelyn, Sam, Katie, and Julie for growing up with me, dealing with me, molding me, helping me, and above all, being friends with me. Without you, I would not be who I am today.
I love you betches.
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