In elementary school you think your friendships will last forever, but sometimes they don't. You get older, your interests change and your friendships fade away. You may not understand why but it's often for the greater good.

I see so many posts from girls that I've known since elementary school who are still friends, maybe they got lucky, or I just wasn't. I've never had a friendship last more than five years. Recently, it's only taken a few months for people to fade out of my life, almost as quickly as they arrived. This summer I had a slight realization that brought me to tears in front of my parents, was I the issue?

But after a lot of thinking, I realized that I'm not. I found out that having a strong personality that you don't change for others is almost unheard of nowadays. Conforming to others to fit in is not what I want to do to have friends. I want friends that support me and my goals in life. I want friends who encourage my personality however annoying I may be at times. I want friends like my cousin.

Yes, she may have an obligation to like me because we're family but she is the strongest friendship I've had in my entire life. One time we didn't talk for six months, but we forgave each other. We both dated idiot boys that the other didn't approve of, but now we both realize that the other was right and we should have listened to them and we wouldn't have wasted our time. The reason why I want more friends like her is because one minute we will be having a serious conversation about school work and how classes are going and then the next we'll be talking about how my future child needs to call her "gawd mutha" (thick Boston accent) and crying laughing about how stupid we looked on spirit day in 2013 and how we ever showed our faces at the high school again. She may get mad at me, she may hold a grudge, and she may make bad decisions but she supports me and doesn't flea.

We share a bond through family that can never be taken away, but we also have a strong friendship that only can become stronger with age. We know everything that has ever happened to each other, there are no secrets. When something happens in my life, she is the first person I call. When our grandmother passed away in 2015, the first question I asked my mom was "Does she know?" and when she said yes I told her that I just needed to talk to my cousin. We then spent hours crying and telling our favorite stories about Gram. Nobody but her knew what I was going through at that time, and I needed a friend that was also family in order to understand my pain and she needed the same.

I've had five "best friends" in my life, and I'm proud to say that my cousin is the only one that stuck around. Thank you for being the greatest person in the world.