You may not realize it in the moment, but high school is one of the most formative times of your life. Love or hate your high school experience, it was just that. That time- your experience and the people you met along the way- has helped shape you into who you are today.
I loved high school: the football games, school dances, but what I realize now is that what I really loved about high school is the friendships I made. In those four short years I found the people I see being my friends forever; I found my people.
The people I got ready for the homecoming dance with are the same people I imagine getting ready for my wedding with, which I realize is cheesy (and I am sure my friends would make fun of me for even saying that), but it is true. People say friends come and go, that the friendships we make in high school surely won’t last due to being young and naïve. While that may be the case for some, I have never doubted that my high school friends are my forever friends.
I always refer to my friends as “my people,” a term coined by Grey’s Anatomy. The iconic best friend duo of the show, Meredith and Christina, refer to each other as being “their person,” and I think your person or your people include whoever supports and loves you unconditionally, as Meredith and Christina do. That is who my friends are to me: they are the people that offer me a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold, but they are also the first ones to give me tough love when I need it. I know they are my people because even when I don’t like them, I always love them.
I used to think the only person I needed was myself. I thought that I could go through life on my own because it had been ingrained in my head that, at the end of the day, the only person you can count on is yourself. But I don’t like that narrative anymore; it simply is not true. Everyone needs a support system. Everyone needs their people, and that is not a bad thing. This admitting that you need someone other than yourself does not strip a person of their independence.
It can be hard to become really close to people and let them in, but the comfort and happiness that comes from a solid friendship is an unmatched feeling, and it is one that I believe everyone deserves. We were not created to walk this Earth alone. We are a social species, one that craves connection, and it is essential we give into the desire to love and be loved.
I would be lost without my friends. I don’t think they even know how much they have done for me. They have been there for me through everything: the good the bad and the ugly, and for that I will always be grateful.
Everybody deserves to be supported and loved unconditionally; everybody deserves to find their people.