This is a response to On losing a best friend to a boyfriend.
As a kid, some of the first stories I was exposed to were Disney movies and fairytales. My impressionable mind was filled with images of beautiful princesses, dashing princes, and the all-consuming power of true love.
In those narratives, every relationship besides the bond between two lovers was secondary—practically meaningless, in the grand scheme of things. Only two people rode off into the sunset, and we called it a happy ending.
I was a tomboy growing up. I tried to distance myself from these early ideals, feeling embarrassed at how "girly," and unrealistic they were. Still, even as an awkward middle-schooler, a part of me longed for that fairytale romance that would swoop in and bring color to my otherwise mundane life. I wanted to meet somebody who lit me up. Someone who felt like my missing puzzle piece.
As I got older and went to college, I did meet people who felt like they were cut from the same cloth. But to my surprise, they were my friends, not my romantic partners.
There's a richness to the bond between female friends that I've never felt in any other dynamic. We can share laughs, be a shoulder to cry on in tough times, and cheer each other on, but it goes further than that. As women, we relate on a level that no one else can truly understand.
We know what it's like to exist in a world that often feels hostile to us: a world that tells us we aren't pretty enough, aren't smart enough, aren't tough enough, can't be taken seriously. We know what it's like to feel in danger and devalued. We also know how it feels to be treated the opposite way— put on a pedestal by romantic partners who can't see our true depth, who see us as manic pixie dream girls rather than complicated human beings in our own rights.
When we connect with each other, we provide a space for each other to be seen. From doing each other's makeup to listening to angry outbursts and holding each other through tough breakups, we're here for it all: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Being able to witness other women through the ups and downs in their lives and have them witness mine is the closest thing I've felt to a soul bond. So, to every woman who's been my friend over the years, whether we still talk or not, I'd just like to say two things: thank you, and I love you.