From crushing on boys to recognizing fake friends, there’s only so much a girl can go through alone. Especially in this day and age with the weight of society, having someone there can make all the difference. The personalities could possibly clash and whatnot, but as long as you two are happy to be in each other’s life, it should not matter how different you two are. Being your normal self is always the priority when it’s your life, but in the wise words of Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy, you need your person!
This time of year is very special to me because it will be the ninth friendship anniversary with one of my closest friends, Olivia. I hadn’t expected my life to change on that rusty playground back in grade five to be honest. It was a spontaneous event, a friendship you don’t think much of because it just happens, but later on you become grateful for. During these past nine years, I have been fortunate to learn what a long-term 9 year friendship entails and its unexpected comforts that I have come to know and appreciate.
- They know you as well as you know yourself, or maybe even better!
To use my friendship with Olivia as an example, we know each other so well because we have gone through just about everything together: admitting our first crushes, overcoming puberty, transitioning from elementary to high school to university, and last but not least, our first breakups. The best part of having the person who has gone through pretty much all the milestones you have, is that you don’t need to explain much. When you feel like reminiscing, it is much easier to do so and it spares you from recounting all the stories attached to the memory. Better yet, they might even remember details you have forgotten when explaining the story to another person, especially if your memory needs that little support when it comes to details.
- You’ve practiced maintaining a long distant relationship!
If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that some relationships are meant to last while others … perhaps not so much, and friendships are no exception. Despite being kept apart and having days or even weeks where we didn’t message one another, Olivia and I could still *figuratively* complete each other’s sentences over video call. Although there are days or even weeks where we couldn’t speak to one another, there is an equal amount of effort to catch up when we could. Effort is the only constant in the equation of keeping a relationship of any sorts.
- They have seen you grow!
There are days when we can’t see our personal growth, whether we’ve experienced significant changes in our life or not; this could include a new morning routine, a new job or a new partner. You may not see the changes outwardly in yourselves but someone close to you definitely will and remind you how far you’ve come. This can also be said for changes in your behavior or the way you dress. A long-term friend will surely point out these new changes and give you an honest opinion.
- You know they are always a phone call away!
This far into our friendship, I can confidently say that Olivia is just a phone call away. *cue the song One Call Away by Charlie Puth* When friends mean a lot to you, there is a very good chance that you mean just as much to them. Although we’ve never had to say it out loud, Olivia and I know that we are always there for each other. It may not feel like we’ve known one another for so long, but I have spent enough time with her to know just what kind of person she is. There is no hour too late or too early to call each other. I remember the concern I had when Olivia broke up with her first boyfriend and the care she showed me when the same happened to me; neither one of us hesitated to call the other and remain on call for as long as the other person needed.
Maintaining a friendship for nine years is not rocket science. You may not have an Olivia in your life, but that shouldn’t deter you from looking for her (or him!). Perhaps it is not about how many years you know someone, it is about how comfortable you are around them. As long as they assure you that when the sun shines, we’ll shine together (Rihanna anyone?), having a nine-year-old friendship is not big news. A ten-year anniversary on the other hand sounds like it requires a drink!