When you're little, you have as many friends as you possibly can. There's that one friend that stands out above all the rest, though your best friend.

As we grow up, it seems almost forced that we only have one best friend. You are allowed to have a bunch of friends and hang out with as many people as you want, but it is pretty normal to have just one or two best friends. These may still be the same friends you had when you were in preschool or elementary school, or they may be new friends you've met as you've grown. Whatever the case, you can feel like you're limited to the amount of "best friends" you are allowed to have.

At least, I always did.

I always had one for sure best friend growing up. Now, the person filling that role has changed many times. Within the past few years though, I have realized that my group of close friends is more than that. We're not just "close friends," they're really my best friends.

Coming to college and talking about my friends back home, I have used the term "my best friend" a lot. To the point where my new friends say "you say that about everyone." It's made me wonder though, does the term lose meaning the more I say it?

Urban Dictionary defines "best friends" like this:

"a best friend is the one person in the world you know will always be there. they don't care about your flaws and take you for who you are."

Notice how it says "the one person." I agree with what it says that you know they will always be there. However, I do not agree that it is one specific person. I grow attached to people and I am a very relationship oriented person. So knowing that I have a base of good, solid friends who have my back no matter what is very important to me. Knowing that I have people who are always going to be there and who don't care about my flaws is crucial.

It is so easy for me to beat myself up, so I need to surround myself with people who will love me as I am.

When I find people like that and I actually let them into my life, I begin to define them as my best friends. They are the friends who make me laugh until my sides hurt, who genuinely want to spend time with me and me with them, and those who I can trust with my deepest, darkest thoughts. And honestly, that happens to be more than one person.

A best friend, to me, is someone I can call when I'm crying. Someone I can ask for advice about what to say to a guy. Someone I can make ugly faces with and then laugh about them.

A best friend is someone who is true, uplifting and makes me feel good about myself.

Now, don't get me wrong. I obviously have one friend that I am closer to than all the rest. But that doesn't make any of my other "best friends" any less of my best friends. I have ones that I talk to every day and ones that I don't talk to for months at a time. That doesn't mean they're not still my best friend.

It has taken a long time for me to get out of toxic friendships and realize my worth. I have finally gotten to the point where I know how I deserve to be treated as a friend and an individual. Yet, I also have so much love to give that I want to share it with those who make me feel good.

So I have more than one best friend. Heck, I probably have more than five. Sue me. I am going to surround myself with those who make me smile on the inside and the out. Those who want to get to know me more and make an effort, just like the effort I'm making with them. And if I happen to call them my best friends along the way, that's none of your business.

In fact, if you happen to hear me call one person and then three more right after them my best friend, mind yo business.

I'm going to have as many best friends as I want I refuse to let society restrict me to only one.