I have had my fair share of "best friends" growing up. I've always been the type of girl who has many friends at one time...and now that I am older, my friends are all from different parts of my life. But there are 3 "best friends" who were there when I needed them most and there are girls in my life now who are there when I need them the most!
It was about 2-3 months ago that I was at the Target on Elston behind a girl with an adorable little, blond-haired boy. I wasn't paying much attention as I unloaded my items from the cart but then realized the mom resembled someone I used to be very close with. After staring but trying really hard not to be obvious, I figured out that it was, in fact, my best friend, Jen, from college. I had met Jen my second year at ISU and our friendship blossomed into more than just ISU memories to hanging out over the summer and holidays and even got to know each others families. I don't remember the specifics of what went exactly wrong but know it happened when I was going through my "hard times" in 2002-2004. After a couple years of not talking, we ran into each other and decided to grab a drink together to "work things out" but we both quickly realized we each had too many issues to work past and decided to go our separate ways. I am very comfortable now knowing we gave it our best but have gone our separate ways but that day at Target broke my heart.
This past Friday night, Jason and I went to dinner with a couple from our small group to Wildfire and I was excited because I hadn't been there since Cari and I had been there a couple years back. That night I learned that her brother still works there (and was serving all the tables surrounding us!) and seeing him and being there brought back a ton of memories. Cari and I met through a mutual friend around the same time of the original falling out with Jen. After going to Florida with our mutual friend we became best of buds and did everything together. She was a huge part of my life while I was going through my "hard times", which sadly, combined with her losing her father, was in the end part of what ruined us. We both attended NIU at the same time and even had a class together since I was a psychology minor which was her major. She was as big of a Cubs fan as me so we went to a couple AZ Spring Trainings together and would watch most regular season games and all of the play-offs together. She practically lived with me on the weekends when I was in my studio in Boystown. We never had a falling out, it was just that me and her had different ideas of how to deal with life's harder issues and it became obvious that we couldn't remain friends. (her words...not mine) I have since reached out to her and and am comfortable in that she knows how much I love her but that's the extent of us ever talking again.
Lastly, there was my best friend from 3rd grade through high school, Melinda. All I will say about her was that we were each others halves growing up but our lives went different ways. We, however, have been in touch recently via email and have been updated and will continue to update each other through yearly Christmas cards which is the most I could ever hope for. (and her parent's dog is my parents dogs brother...how cute is that!?)
The purpose in me sharing all this is that I have been hurt badly by friendships. We all struggle with relationships with the opposite sex -- I know I have had my fair share of heart-ache through break-ups, but girlfriends aren't supposed to "break-up." I have had the unfortunate luck (or maybe I was just a bad friend?) with my bestest and closest girlfriends. It is because of that that I have always been very hesitant get close to girls. It's bad enough that girls can be so cliquey and gossipy! However, these past couple weeks have been pretty hard for me. Besides God, I have found myself looking to more than just Jason who I share everything with. I mean, lets admit it...there's some times you really just need a girls opinion or advice. It was today on my way home from meeting a friend for coffee that I realized I have grown very close to a few girls the past 3-4 years and it has been these girlfriends who have been there for me in ways I never could have expected. Whether it's been with a phone call, a card , a loving email, text or just a comment or reaction they may have to something going on in my life, they have been there for me! It made me take a step back and realize that though I was hurt pretty badly and was afraid of not ever letting myself get "close" to a girlfriend again, I have and am so very thankful for that. I feel like as we get older, we have different needs from our friends but I am very excited to know that I have a few girls I can really count on when I need them...and because I have more than just one "best friend" each friend can help me when I need it most in their own special way. I also realize that those 3 "best friends" were there for a season of my life to help me when I needed it most. Thanks girls for being there for me. I hope I am and will always there when you need me the most...and you know who you are!