An Open Letter to my Best Friend

I met my best friend Juliana early in high school. We were in the same classes and shared the same group of friends. We went on school field trips, shopping sprees and summer ice cream dates. The decisive moment where we made this friendship into a “best friendship” is blurry. However, I grew up hearing and watching people creating elaborate texts (visual or word-based) for their significant other. There was rarely an instance where best friends showed this much love for each other. I normalized the idea that your boyfriend should be the center of your affection pool. I avoided everyone’s phone calls, except from my significant other of the time, would take years to hug a good friend and weeks to hug my boyfriend, etc. I made myself more accessible, vulnerable and loving to boys – who eventually closed a door on me – but, never to the one person who truly deserved it. Today I want to acknowledge her, not only out of moderate guilt, but as an effort to inspire each and every one one of us to cherish our true soulmates in life: our best friend.

“Dear J,

Thank you for listening to my tired stories about this one ex-boyfriend no one ever approved of. Thank you for adjusting your attitude towards him to my emotional responses. Where everyone saw a girl who should just “move on” already, you saw someone who was not done talking about the man she loved – and so you listened. Thank you for being vulnerable and open with me and teaching me, through your detailed rants, how to listen to someone else (because I really never knew how to). Thank you for going through the weirdest and funniest stages of life with me: for recollecting misadventures I am trying to forget and for laughing with me at the ones we will never lose memory of. Thank you for treating me out when I could not afford it and not treating me as a charity case, by making me feel like you genuinely just wanted to hang out with me. Thank you for accepting my going out stage and thank you even more, for respecting my sanctified stage. I know those were two extremes that happened in a short amount of time and I hope that you can always come to me for your life problems even if they are eventually going to differ from mine. Thank you for sending me memes about things you are annoyed with. I enjoy fueling your sarcasm with more comments. You do not get enough credit for bearing with all the annoyances, but I am glad you stuck around. Thank you for never judging the guys I had crushes on, especially when I rarely knew how to return the favor! Thank you for all the random food dates. Thank you for that season where you would cancel plans that I was low-key too lazy to cancel myself. Our low-maintenance friendship habits is what kept us together. Thank you for never throwing an actual fit at the fact that you are always the one traveling to my neighbourhood under the pretension that you live “too far” from the city. Thank you for allowing me to vent about little things and big things without wanting to “fix” me. Over the years, you have allowed me to just be. You are ten times better than any person I know. Even myself. It may have not seemed that way when we started, but you are my favorite person. Thank you for being the only person who I can talk about high school drama without feeling “too old” for it. Our lives are not nearly as dramatic as Blair and Serena, but I know that just like them, the fire of our bond will burn forever. So I want to say a million more thank you’s for all the more amazing things you are about to do for me.

A”

If you have read this and shed a little tear, good. Now go on and write something beautiful and meaningful to the J to your A.