Did you have a best friend growing up?
This is Nyssa.
We were inseparable. She lived about 6 houses away from me and you would always find us together getting into some kind of trouble.
Our moms were friends and our sisters were friends. We would have sleepovers every weekend. She would run errands with us or join us when we went to the library. (Or, libarry, as she called it). We would share garage sales, invite each other over for family get togethers, and hide in our bedrooms choreographing dances to Michael Jackson songs.
We grew up knowing everything about each other.
I knew she was allergic to chocolate, but she would eat it anyway and then break out in hives. I knew she collected Stretch Armstrong dolls and loved ordering CDs from Colombia Record Club. I knew she and her sister never got along, and as much as she said she hated her, she actually worshipped her.
I knew what guys she had a crush on, what color she painted her nails this week and that she was very protective of her twin brother.
We attended the same dance school and we were there 5 nights a week together.
We went to the same high school and ate lunch on the steps every day freshman year.
She was the first person I would talk to when I was happy. The one person I wanted around when I was bored. And the only person I would call if I was sad.
She made me feel safe. She made me feel loved. She made me feel like I was never alone.
And when we were 16, I marched our entire friendship into a dark, fiery building that came crumbling down on top of us.
We barely spoke again.
If you have children over the age of two, you have probably at one point or another watched, amazed, as your child confidently made friends with a complete stranger and thought to yourself: “Wow! How do they do that?!”
I know I have.
Judah could make friends with a wall if he tried, that child is so dang personable.
And I’m pretty sure, most children are that way.
They aren’t scared to be rejected. They don’t naturally walk into a situation wondering how they should act. If they should voice their opinions or keep their mouth shut.
They are genuine and free.
They are unbiased, nondiscriminatory, and approachable.
They are confident in themselves and open to meeting new people.
And then they grow up.
And suddenly they are concerned what others think.
Cautious to say something that someone else might not agree with.
Guarded and judgmental.
Of course we are all different. Maybe you are reading this, thinking “that’s not me at all“.
Or maybe you are reading this and nodding in approval.
So, I will be the first one to admit this.
I have forgotten how to be a friend.
For the past 15 years, the ability to create lasting friendships has slowly drifted from my bag of tricks.
And sadly, for the last 15 years, I haven’t made another friend like Nyssa.
I haven’t had a girlfriend that I knew everything about.
Or that sat on the couch with me till 2:00 in the morning when I was having a rough night.
I haven’t found that one friend that I always felt safe around. Or who knew everything about the tiny little details of my life.
And if I’m being totally candid;
I want that so badly, it hurts.
I want so badly to rewind time and go back to those steps freshman year, and tell my 14 year old self to not be such a sucky friend.
I want so badly to scream: Don’t mess this up! You want her around!! You’ll never find another one to take her place!
When I graduated high school, I wanted to hug Nyssa and throw a graduation party together.
But I was too stubborn to apologize.
When I was in college, I wanted to call Nyssa and talk to her about boy problems and what classes I should take.
But I was too embarrassed to go back with my tail between my legs.
When I was planning my wedding, I quietly sobbed for a week because I had dreamed about that day as a little girl, and Nyssa was always holding my bouquet for me.
But she didn’t even know I was engaged.
And when Nyssa’s mom passed away a few years ago, I wanted to get on a plane and hold her. Because I knew how dang hard she worked all those years to finally build a strong relationship with her mom. And it hurt me to know how much she was hurting.
But I couldn’t. Because I was too late.
I’m so tired of surfacy friendships.
I’m so tired of being scared to dive in head first and get soaking wet.
I’m so tired of being cautious and guarded, for fear I might get hurt.
And I’m so tired of pretending like I can do this without friends.
I will never get the last friendless 15 years back.
But I’m not interested in waiting another 15 to fix myself, either.
Ladies, don’t make the same mistake I did.
Don’t wait another minute to create strong friendships with those around you.
Don’t allow fear, or cautiousness or past relationships to stop you from taking a leap.
And don’t lose your Nyssa, if you have one already.
I’m officially open for business and now seeking best friend applicants.