My best friend is older than me and here's why it works.

Having An Older Best Friend Is Everything And More

She's 15 years my senior, but my best friend was made for me.

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When I was a newborn, my best friend was getting her first car and applying for her learner's permit. You see, she's 15 years older than I am and even though our paths didn't cross for almost three decades, I can't imagine my life without her in it.

I first met Janie at the preschool pick-up line. Her daughter and mine were in the same two-year-old class. She was the sweet blonde who brought the teachers goodie bags and gift baskets every chance she could. She was always wearing athletic gear and heading to go walk on the track at our local high school right after telling her daughter goodbye at the gate. She wore leggings like the rest of us young moms, piled her hair into a side braid like us, and came to the school with the same exhausted yet blissful look on her face that only mamas could understand.

There was just one thing different about her: it was easy to see that Janie was older than the rest of our group, though her daughter was the same age as ours. One morning, she invited me to go walk on the track with her. My parents were keeping my son for a few hours, so I accepted her invitation and tagged along. As we walked, we discovered we had so much in common: we had both used the same contractor to build our dream home, we lived within three miles of each other, we both had the middle name, and we both loved the N.C. State Wolfpack.

In many ways, we were immediately connected and the bond was effortless.

That was three years ago, and our friendship has only continued to deepen. Janie had her daughter late in life, on her 45th birthday. It was a complete surprise that bookended a decades-long marriage based on adventure and spontaneity. She and her husband owned a small cabin in the woods long before tiny houses were a thing. Though they had another house further in the city, every weekend they would retreat to their cabin, where they'd have campfire roasts, play music too loud, and stay up far too late for people in their late thirties. Then, they discovered they were expecting. They decided to build a larger home on the property, finally pave that driveway, sell the motorcycle and RV, and start really adulting.

Their daughter was born the following August. Mine was born a few months before her, in June. They are now best friends as well. I was there when Janie got the diagnosis that her speech and crawling delays weren't just the characteristics of a late bloomer. Rather, their daughter had a rare chromosomal defect that would mean developmental delays for the rest of her life. We sat on the couch together that same evening, read as much as we could about it, got emotional together, researched options from stem cell therapy to diet changes, and left changed people.

As I write this, I have just come home from a weekend-long beach trip with Janie. She called me on Thursday, while I was getting my kids in the tub. I was knee-deep in baby shampoo, towels, diapers, and pajamas and her number popped up on my phone. "Wanna come with us to the coast for a few days? Just pack up the crew and meet us down there." Though she'd aged, she still had that child-like excitement and enthusiasm that had defined her for so long. She also knew instinctively the exact moment to call, to snap me out of my frazzled mom daze and remind me that things like last-minute beach vacations really do exist.

I agreed, and I'm so glad I did. Janie and I are polar opposites in so many ways: we missed out on years and years of life together, we weren't in each other's weddings, we never knew each other as fun-loving college kids, and we don't have any memories together in our twenties. There are things like perimenopause that she discusses and I can't chime in just yet. Then again, there are things like Snapchat that I tell her about and she just rolls her eyes.

Having an older best friend is like having a built-in mentor, confidant, and trailblazer all at once. She's been there and done that no matter what curveballs I throw her way. The best part? She never judges me, not even once, because she knows what it's like to still be figuring it all out. Luckily for the both of us, we now get to figure it out together.

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10 Struggles Girls Taller Than 5'7" Feel On A Spiritual Level

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"
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Any girl who is at least 5'8" will understand these struggles and possibly identify with them on a spiritual level.

1. Dresses not being long enough


Finding dresses for any occasion that will be long enough is like searching for rain in a drought. And when you find one, it's bound to either cost $$$ or not fit another aspect of your body.

2. Heck, pants are never long enough either

You are constantly flooding, or else you rolled up your jeans to look like capris. Unless you special ordered some jeans online in the coveted size LONG or EXTRA LONG, this will forever be your fate.

3. "Do you date guys that are shorter than you?"

This is a personal preference people! Don't assume that a girl will or will not date someone just based on their height difference! Also, don't judge if they aren't interested in someone who is shorter than them!

4. Not wearing heels because you don't enjoy being the skyscraper of the friend group

Wearing heels can be fun buuuuuuuut sometimes towering over everyone else is not our idea of fun.

5. It's hard to find cute shoes that actually fit


You would love to have all those cute little shoes in the clearance section, but most of them barely cover your big toe.

6. Everyone thinks you walk too fast


Short-legged people just can't keep up with you, even though you aren't even walking fast. Like at all.

7. People want to jump on your back

Just because you're tall doesn't give them the license to make you into their personal camel.

8. Never being able to cross your legs underneath desks and tables

You. Can. Not. Get. Comfortable.

9. Awkward hugs

Some people will never understand.

10. Never knowing how to pose in pictures

Should you sorority squat? Pop the hip? Bend the leg? Contort your body to feel like a normal sized human? So hard to decide.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Willoughby

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Surround Yourself With Matching Energies

The people you surround yourself with can make or break you.

ADECAIRE
ADECAIRE
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My whole life I've naturally been an analyzer. Due to the whole empath thing, I can read people's energies. The older I get, the easier it becomes and the more noticeable. I can tell when something irritates you or makes you angry, or if something makes you happy or sad. Naturally, that means I can tell how you respond to certain things I say or how certain words, thoughts, or phrases trigger you.

For example, if I come up to you and begin discussing how I'm an empath and you think I'm crazy, I can tell you think I'm crazy. I don't need to be looking at your face to know it hit you a weird way. I can just feel it.

This also means I naturally absorb energies and feel them as if they were my own. If I'm talking to you about something and I can tell you're disinterested or distracted, I become distracted and have to overcompensate for the both of us and find a way to force myself to focus, sometimes making me come across as overly forward or talkative. If you're tired, I become tired and tend to avoid eye contact. With a lifetime of practice, it's become easy to switch back and forth, but it's exhausting.

Imagine not only constantly dealing with your own emotions and energy but attempting to balance your own while being able to feel the energy of everyone around you. Due to this, I'm very particular about the type of people I can surround myself with because if their energies don't match my own or I feel as if we're on "different wavelengths," friendships can become more exhausting than fun.

Often, this means I keep my distance from people, which in all honesty, kind of stinks sometimes, but if I'm around people too often, I'm emotionally and physically drained, and struggle to focus on my own life because I'm constantly analyzing everyone else's.

Empath or not, why does this matter? Even if you can't feel the energies of the people you surround yourself with or notice their emotions, pay attention to who you choose to spend your time with. Whether or not you can tell those energies exist, they do exist, and sometimes you could be hanging out with someone who is more of a detriment to you than a benefit.

If you walk away from a night out with friends, exhausted, not because of the activity or because of a lack of sleep, but because you just feel emotionally drained from being out with them, take a step back and ask yourself why.

Relationships do require work, but they shouldn't be a chore. Surround yourself with people who leave you feeling, as Meredith Grey once said, bright and shiny. Or find yourself your Christina Yang if you want someone to match your dark and twisty. Whoever it is, just make sure they're your energy equals, otherwise, your friendships could leave you feeling friendless.

ADECAIRE
ADECAIRE

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