They say you know your true friends after high school. The people you still talk to in college like you never left home. The people who you catch lunch with when you're in town. The people you invite to your wedding. The people that you plan play dates with for your kids. True friends are people that will always be present in your life no matter where you.
I have many great friends from high school and made new ones here in college, many of whom I believe will be apart of my life for a long time. But I have never had a best friend. I just do not think they exist.
I moved to Virginia in the sixth grade from Brooklyn, New York. It was my first move and I was nervous but also very excited to meet new people. My neighbors across our new home also moved in that same year. She was a tall, clumsy girl who was always late for the bus in the morning even though the bus stopped right in front of her home. Her furrowed eyebrows were always on her two younger siblings.
I guess she was not happy about the move and her annoyance with her siblings was not helping either. She ended up in my English class in the seventh grade. We politely greeted each other and cheered each other on during our book presentations, but we were in different friend groups in middle school.
In high school, we crossed paths frequently. Not only did we have the same English, chemistry, AP biology, anatomy, and AP language teachers, we also had lunch together. I was surprised at how similar our stances were in many issues. As I learned more about her beliefs, priorities in education, gender equality, and most importantly, family values, it seemed like I was talking to myself. It was unsettling at first, but I was in awe. Someone my age who understands the true priorities in life!
In high school and even now, I was always focused on school, my grades, volunteering, exposing myself to diverse cultures, and a variety of clubs. I wasn't worried about boy problems and I definitely did not have any drama. I had to get myself ahead for myself and my family. Boys and unnecessary drama in high school was a distraction I never had the chance to come across and I am grateful. She understood how goal-oriented I was.
She also understood and shared the same joy I do when I volunteer at the local shelter and elementary schools in our spare time whereas when my other friends asked, "What do you do for fun, besides studying?" they couldn't understand my answer: "Volunteer." There are so many different ways I love to have fun, but there's no feeling like helping another person. When I turned down a party to volunteer at an elementary school on a Friday night, she came with me. Some things in life are more important to me — lending a hand is one of them.
She supported me and was one of my largest donors when I jumpstarted the Giving Tree Holiday Drive in our community. We went door to door and to school bus stops after school and on weekends during the cold November to remind neighbors to donate what they can. We raised over 2,000 donations together in the three months of each holiday season.
Junior and senior years were the toughest for us. We were both experiencing personal problems. She was patient. We lifted each other up when it seemed like no one else would understand. I could always count on her. She looked out for me and my whole family as I did the same for her. We indulged in helping others and in school when sometimes other aspects of our lives weren't as steady. We were similar in the way that we just cared too much for people.
We agree more than we disagree. But we never get angry at each other. We push each other to break limits that we may put on ourselves. We work together to succeed. For example, she coordinated International Night and I was there to assist her in volunteer coordination, fundraise for Girls Not Brides, and advertise and promote one of the biggest events of our high school through Key Club.
I believe there' a reason for everything. God planned our move to Virginia that year together. He knew we would need each other and that we would grow into strong women together before we headed off to college.
We FaceTime at least once a week. Now that I think about it, she's the only one who's called since I left Virginia. She's always making time for me to talk. If someone is truly your "best" friend, they wouldn't be called that. You've selected that person to be one of the most loved and trusted people in your life. Adding "best" in front of "friend" is not sufficient. They are so much more. They should be your family. They should be Maymona.