Losing a best friend

Breaking Up With Your Best Friend Tops All Other Breakups

It hurts like hell.

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There will come a time in your life where you'll need to encounter your most brutal breakup yet. It will be something you never could have pictured happening in a million lifetimes.

This breakup isn't going to be with the boy who took you to Chipotle on Friday nights. It's not going to be with your prom date, your first love—it won't even be with the person you saw yourself marrying one day.

No, this one is different. Because this breakup, the one that trumps all the others by miles and miles, is when you break up with your best friend. This is the best friend that you spent nights making dumb music videos with and had four sleepovers in a row with that one Christmas break. This is the girl with a bright smile and a summertime-tan on the screensaver of your laptop, the one hanging up in half the pictures in your dorm room. This is the girl whose family vacations you went on, whose siblings and parents you love like your own.

It's going to hurt like hell.

This girl knows everything about you, and she's seen you fail miserably: through every uneven haircut, every dumb choice, every stupid boy who left your Snapchats on open, and every other little problem the two of you vented about.

She was there in your childhood room, curling your hair before your very first high school dance. When you were fourteen, she watched you have your first kiss on a park bench while hiding behind the slide. Your parents scolded both of you when you stole Mike's Hards from their cooler. She was on spring break with you when you used baby oil instead of tanning lotion, and helped you put aloe on when you couldn't move your arms. You worked together in the summer and irritated everyone so much that your bosses made a point not to schedule both of you at the same time. You went to the library together and turned in your college applications at the same time.

This girl has also watched you grow immensely: through every good grade, every new journey, and every happy summer day.

If your friendship was anything like the one I had, you probably did everything together. We used to look at each other and immediately burst out laughing because we were thinking the exact same thing. There were moments when it almost felt telepathic. We saw our favorite artists in concert together, we went on crazy adventures and almost died on multiple occasions, and we fell asleep watching our favorite movies on the couch together.

At the time, it's almost like the thought itself is out of the question. Because for a blissful moment, you never can fathom a day when the two of you grow apart. We planned to be the maid of honor at each other's weddings. We planned to travel together once we finally had the money. We planned to force our children to either date or be best friends when we became parents.

You learn with time how complicated these things are because best friends can break up for a multitude of reasons. Maybe it happens suddenly, and trust can never be repaired. Maybe you drift apart over time and slowly grow to have nothing in common anymore. Maybe it's a new job, a new boyfriend, another close friend that enters the picture. Each case is different, and none end up being more bearable or less hurtful than the other. It all hurts the same.

Here's the thing. As much as this realization will pain you, as much it will make you want to rip your hair out or bite your nails or completely break down to start all over again, there is something to be gained at the end of all this. The truth is, those we hold close to us never truly leave our lives.

There's an ancient Eastern Asian belief that those who have impacted our lives are connected to us through an invisible, red, string. They call it the string of fate.

Throughout your lifetime, you'll create an intricate web of these strings. And though you and the others entangled in your web are bound to evolve in unpredictable ways, the strings you share with others can never be broken. Life gets yucky sometimes. The strength of our strings are tested: they waver, they tangle, they stretch out. But they can never truly break. The most meaningful ones will always be there for you, to smile and look back on with happiness.

Some of the relationships we think will last forever are truly only reserved for a few years of our lives because our characters are constantly shifting. I believe these people are given to us as a blessing to help us develop into the people we need to eventually become.

Growth is not possible without outgrowth.

Meaning we outgrow objects, places, and (unfortunately) people over time. So, at the end of the day, when a relationship or a friendship has been broken past repair, there is something we need to keep in mind. That is, when we begin to outgrow relationships that no longer suit us, we must gracefully accept this as a sign of personal growth and keep moving forward.

So, to my ex-best friend, thank you for helping me become the young lady I am today. You taught me so much that I will never be able to unlearn. Your influence on the most formative years of my life is unshakeable and will remain to be. It's unfortunate that things unfolded the way they did, but you will always be a part of me and one of the most important people I've encountered in my lifetime. I will always be here for you, silently cheering you on from the sidelines.

I hope the best for you. I hope you get to travel to all the places we wanted to. I hope you learn to better love yourself, and others. I hope you find someone that treats you right. I hope you find happiness and peace in your surroundings. I hope you get the job of your dreams one day and have a beautiful family.

Know that in hindsight, I wouldn't change a thing.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Odyssey, From A Creator's Point Of View

Writing for Odyssey is transitioning from the outside looking in, to the inside looking a million ways at once.

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It's 11:59 p.m. and I have two articles due tomorrow afternoon: two articles that are basically figments of my imagination at this point. When I was asked to write for Odyssey, I was ecstatic. I was a devout reader in high school and found every post so #relatable. During my short time as a "creator" for Odyssey, I've experienced what it's like to be on the other side of the articles.

Every post is not #relatable. This is a platform for anyone and everyone. I chose the articles I wanted to click on and read them, deemed them relatable, and clicked share. I, along with Odyssey's 700,000 something followers, did not go through and read every single article.

Being a creator has shown me that everyone has a voice, and by God, they're going to use it (rightfully so).

It can be disheartening at times to get what we think is a low number of page views when there are articles we don't necessarily agree with getting hundreds of Facebook shares. I don't crank out journalistic gold by any means, but being a writer isn't a walk in the park. It's stressful at times and even disappointing. Odyssey creators aren't paid, and even though it's liberating to be able to write about whatever our hearts desire, I'll be the first to admit that my life is just not that interesting.

When I first started writing for Odyssey, I vowed to never post anything basic like some things I have read in the past. If I'm going to dedicate the time it takes to write for a national platform, I'm going to publish things worth reading.

That vow is basically out the window now.

Simply stated, it's easy to write about things that are easy to write about. It's kind of like calling a Hail Mary play when it's the night before an article is due and there's been a topic in the back of your mind for days that you don't think is that great, but you think people might read. You just throw it out there and hope for the best. Being a creator gives you inside access to knowing what people are reading, what's popular, and what's working for other creators. Odyssey's demographic is not as diverse as it could or should be, so it's not hard to pick out something that the high school girl you once were will find relatable. Recently went through a breakup? Write about it. Watched a new show on Netflix? Write about it. When there's nothing holding you back, you have the freedom to literally put whatever you want online.

It's not easy coming out of your freshman year of college, one of the hardest years for any person, and being expected to whip up articles that everyone will love. Not everyone is going to love what I write. Heck, not everyone is going to like what I write. The First Amendment is a blessing and a curse. Not everyone is going to agree with you, and that's okay.

The beauty of Odyssey is that it highlights the fact that everyone DOES have a voice, and whether that voice coincides with your religious, political, or personal views isn't up to you.

You have the power to pick and choose what you want to read, relate to, and share. Remember that you have no way of knowing what every single person on the planet is going through and what they choose to write about reflects their own personal opinions, experiences, accomplishments, and hardships. Odyssey creators can spend weeks crafting articles they hope will break the Internet, but in return only get a few views. They can also pull all-nighters grasping at straws just trying to reach the minimum word requirement and end up writing the best thing since sliced bread.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that even though there are posts out there that are so easy for us to relate to, that's not always the goal for writers. We write what we feel, and if there's nothing to write about, we write what we think other people feel. The kicker is that we don't truly know what other people are feeling. You might hurt someone's feelings with your words. You might make someone cry with your story because they felt like they were alone and finally, finally, someone else feels the same way. You might trigger someone and get hateful comments. You might even change someone's life with your words.

The moral of the story is that words are pretty powerful, whether we choose to believe it or not.

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