To The Guy Best Friend Who Has Made Me A Better Person, Thank You

To The Guy Best Friend Who Has Made Me A Better Person, Thank You

It has been two years since I met you and I couldn't be more grateful for all that you have done for me.
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Dear Best Friend,

So, you always talk about when I am going to write about you. Well, here it is!

I have known you since the end of high school. And it is hard to believe that we never met before then. Our paths were close to crossing at several points in our lives. But as my mother put, we just weren't ready for each other yet. I can't help but agree with her. It all started with a group project.

Ever since then, we have always found things to talk about.

We were prom dates for our senior prom and we had an awesome time. We danced the night away with other friends around us. We didn't have a care in the world. Just having fun and getting to know one another. We supported each other through our senior theater production and all the concerts we had to perform in, even when I had three concerts and you only had one.

You got me through my senior year statistics class while you sat easily on your A in AP Stats. We got to know each other so well, you knew me like the back of your hand.

The summer before college turned out to the best summer of my life.

You introduced me to YouTube gaming channels that are hilarious, spent several adventures out and around St. Louis, and great conversation. We had several adventures around the area before we both had to leave for our separate colleges.

The adjustment was hard. We both had our own cases of homesickness and feeling overwhelmed due to a heavy workload. On my second day of college, I called you up on FaceTime in tears. You comforted me and a few days later, you did the same thing.

But we got through it together.

Since becoming your best friend, you have taught me a lot. You taught me that life is too short to care about what other people think of you. It is my life and I should be proud of who I am. You also taught me a very important lesson: Honesty is the best policy.

I know I learned this the hard way and because of that, we have had some major fights, like best friends do. You taught me that even though the truth may be hard sometimes, you have to do it no matter what. If not, it will only make things worse.

I also learned a lot from you.

I learned to not be afraid of anything. I shouldn't be afraid to say anything or stand up for myself, even if it means upsetting someone. I also learned that I can put anything I set my mind to. This past semester was a mess. Even when people told me I couldn't do it, you told me I could. You told me that if anyone could do it, it would be me.

Lastly, I learned to work hard. It is because of you pushing me to do my best my freshman year of college that has set the bar for how hard I work now and throughout my college career.

It has been two years since I met you and I couldn't be more grateful for all that you have done for me.

We are constantly there for one another and I know I can always rely on you for someone to talk to. With everything we have been through and all the stuff we have to put up with (including me and all my BS), you still talk to me almost every day about my life at college and comfort me on my crappiest days.

I do some really annoying, crappy things and I wonder why you still continue to be friends with me. But I am lucky to have a great friend like you.

Sincerely,

Your crazy, squirrely best friend

Cover Image Credit: Megan Pellock

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To My Little Brother

Six things I want you to know.
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I am not your mother, but I am your big sister.

I cannot even apologize for it, I am always going to act like your second mom. I am going to keep yelling at you to (please) put down the toilet seat and to clean up the mess you made in the kitchen. It doesn't matter to me how often you say "I am not your mother," because you're my little brother and I'm always going to be the boss.

I never mean it when I tell you to grow up.

I hope that you have taken, and continue to take, full advantage of your childhood. As often as I complain about your maturity level, my wish for you is to put off growing up for as long as possible. The closer I get to real adult life, the more I miss home and all of the worries I didn't have. You shouldn't rush through the years you have left at home, you are doing just fine the way you are.

No, I didn't tell Mom.

All of our secrets will always stay secrets. I may have ratted you out to Mom about being the one to break her new vase, but I hope you know that our brother-sister bond protects all of the private things we share. Please, never forget that I'll always be here to listen to you.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for giving you your first bloody nose, and for laughing at you afterward. I'm sorry for every time I have blown you off for plans with a guy, or to get an extra hour of sleep. I'm sorry for yelling at you to leave me alone and for slamming the door in your face. I'm sorry for all of the times you asked me to play outside that I didn't. I'm sorry for all of my broken promises.

I forgive you.

I forgive you for all of the “little brother" insults you have used. I forgive you for using all of my paints and letting them dry out. I forgive you for embarrassing me in front of every guy I ever brought home. I even forgive you for cutting off that piece of my hair in fourth grade.

I am so proud of you.

It isn't said nearly enough, but I am so proud of you, little brother. I am envious of the passions that you have and the way that you pursue them with no fear! I am excited to see where you go in life (but don't go anywhere too quickly). Keep working hard and doing what you love, no one can fault you for following your heart. I love you so much, and I will always be your biggest supporter and fan!

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Stop Assuming Your Queer Friends Are Going To End Up Falling For You

News flash: if you're my friend, the chances of me falling for you are slim to none.

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Ever since I came out my senior year, I've encountered bumps of my friendships due to my sexuality. I think people understand gay, lesbian, and bisexual identities rather well. However, there are other members of the LGBTQ+ community that isn't as understood as well.

I identify as pansexual but start using the term queer. Essentially, I don't have a preference if someone identifies as female or male. When it comes to love and relationships, I care about the quality of the person and if I'm getting the love and respect I deserve.

However, to some of my friends, they seemed to become afraid. They distanced themselves in our friendships in fear I would end up falling for them.

News flash: if you're my friend, the chances of me falling for you are slim to none. You are my friend for a reason. If I liked you, I would honestly be too nervous to talk to you.

It's nice to know to have that kind of self-confidence where you think everyone has a crush on you. That's the attitude to have because you are a pretty great person. However, sorry to break it to you, but you just are not my type.

There is absolutely no reason to cut off a friendship just because you don't understand. Your queer friends would probably like you to ask questions. It can be a sign you care about them and showing support. There is nothing wrong with asking questions either. When you're in class and you don't know anything, then you ask a question. When you are getting to know someone, you ask questions. Even if you knew this person for a while, ask away!

I think there is a stigma of not knowing something and feeling embarrassed. However, it shouldn't be this way. We should embrace the unknown, learn, and grow from it. It's 2019. It's all about being open-minded to differences. We have to do better for the next generation.

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