Let’s talk about math. Do you remember in primary school, the day you learnt about fractions? Odds are you don’t, but if you missed that first, crucial lesson, do you think that fractions later on in your mathematic life would be slightly more difficult? Well that’s how I see making friends.
Now, as some of you might have guessed, I don’t have that many good friends. I blame it on fractions… well, not really. You see, way back when I was in kindergarten I became best friends with E. She was the polar opposite of 5-year-old me, brave and kooky and adventurous and wacky and fun. I have always idolized the extroverted, popular type when it comes to friends. All throughout grades K-4, she was all I ever needed. We hung out all the time, we were always partners in class and we even had our own made up language (all we did was add an f to the beginnings of words – creative right?) Anyways, I had grown accustom to relying on one sole person for all my friend needs. So little did I know, when grade 5 rolled around that E would have changed her mind about her friendship with ME.
Now, this is without a word of a lie what she told me (to my face) “You are just not best friend material”. This really really got to me. I was in grade 5, impressionable and recently low on self-confidence. Ever since that day I tried to make people like me, by being what they thought was “best friend material”. Along the way, I technically lost myself and became this really insecure version of myself who didn’t really have any friends.
Back to the fractions. Now what happened, was that since I technically “missed out” on the whole making friends thing when I was young (because I only thought I would ever need E), when I was in grade 5 and 6, it was really hard for me to fit in with the other girls (mind you that my school was VERY clique-y). Insert K into the picture. She was someone I had never been in a class with before, smart, outgoing, dressed like me, behaved (in essence) like me. Bam. It was like we were cut from the same cloth. We became friends in grade 5 and it’s safe to say that grade 5 me and K were the closest thing to best friends. Our friendship did not stand the test of time when we were in separate classes in grade 6 and 7. During this time, she became way more outgoing and popular than I ever was, and thus made new friends to fit the bill. The saying “people change” is so so so true. After my shy and awkward attempts to hang out with K 2.0 and her new posse of friends, I was once again faced with the same, exact, heartbreaking, confidence wrecking comment. You are not best friend material.
I have gotten this comment from two completely different people, during two different stages of my life and each one stung like nothing I have ever felt before. Flash forwards 4 years, and here I am, 16 years old and in essentially the same boat I was in in grade 7. For years, I have longed for the sisterly best friend who I can have sleepovers with, FaceTime after school, talk about nothing and everything and the universe with. Or just enjoy their company. I want a best friend who I don’t feel embarrassed to talk about my Harry Potter obsession with, but someone who will share it with me, or tolerate it without making me feel like I’m some geeky loser. I want to be able to share clothes and go shopping and have someone love and care about me as much as I know I can love and care about someone else. I want someone who I can be completley 100% myself around. All my life, I have read books, and seen movies and shows about best friends knowing, that people like that do exist. I want a friendship like Riley and Maya’s from Girl Meets World. I
think know I am the poster child for best friend material.
The toxic means of my past friends has done nothing but corrode away at my self-esteem. I always thought that I was the problem. That there was something wrong with me. But now, although I am still working through this psychological damage, I know it is absolutely not me. I have this feeling, that one day, maybe it’s at university, or later on in life that I am going to meet my best friend and that will be it. (OMG I sound like I’m talking about a husband LOL) Once I meet my person, all my friendship hardships will seem as if they were bumps along the worthwhile road. I know there is no such thing as perfect, and I am not looking for it, but I will take close enough. I know that the day I meet my best friend, my person, I will become more confident, more relaxed and be able to have genuine fun. My anxiety will lessen and I will be making up memories for lost time.
Thanks to all of you who stuck through that, I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but I felt the need to get this story out of my system. I hope that eventually, I will have more exciting things to write about. This is not the complete story, but complete enough for today. I hope that any of you who are struggling with friends know that there are people who feel exactly like you.
So in short, I am far from what I once was, but not yet what I’m going to be.