I met my two high school best friends in the 8th grade and from that time until graduation, we were extremely close, or at the very least, the two of them were very close and I was along for the ride. For the first few years of our friendship, we were inseparable, and even as it became obvious that we were growing apart during our junior and senior years, I tried to hold on. My mother always said that I would never be able to predict the people that would stay in my life after high school, but I always thought she was wrong about the three of us. She wasn’t. We all packed our bags, went away to our respective schools, and never looked back.I think I held onto them emotionally longer than they held onto me, but in the end, that’s not very important.It wasn’t a who-loved-who-more sort of situation, we just grew up, and unfortunately from three different states, it becomes difficult to continue growing up together.
What I learned from these two girls is this—friends who do not love you for who you are and make you feel as though you need to be interested in all the same things as they are, or equally talented in all the same areas are not the friends you should keep around.I spent five years trying to draw or sing or write as good as the two of them (they are both brilliantly creative and studying their crafts in college) when my talents were elsewhere. I wanted them to respect me the way I respected them, but I realized that ultimately, it only seemed like I was attempting to challenge them. I’m not trying to say that they were bad people or unkind to me in any way, because they were both there to wipe many tears over the years, but sometimes it’s important to remember that you are not your friends, and to value yourself and your own talents over those of the people around you.
Two other friends in particular stick out as people who stuck with me for the long haul—college has been much more transformative for me than high school ever was, and my best friend from the time I was seven as well as the girl I grew close to as the threesome began to grow apart, and these two were with me through high school and are still my support system today. I honestly wish I appreciated their unconditional love earlier rather than attempting to change myself and be a different person than I was to impress other friends.To these two and all of the others who stuck with me over the years, I want to say thank you, and I’m glad to have learned to appreciate myself and the loving people around me. The world is a much happier place this way.