When I changed schools in 2nd grade, I met my first future BFFs. We became friends when they, very kindly, offered me a seat on their table. Who would have known that those three tiny tots hanging upside down on the jungle gym would be laughing about that same moment twenty years from then.
Then when I changed school again in 11th grade as a half grown woman and stood outside the classroom doors like a loner, I met my second bunch of BFFs - the ones who asked me what my name was in a sea of strangers. Who would’ve thought that one handshake would turn into long comforting hugs, the kinds you can return to when things turn upside down.
When college happened, I was told cautiously by my mother, ‘Be careful of whom you befriend. College can be a complicated place.’ College was a complicated place, the only thing that made it easy to survive were those new yet familiar faces, waiting at the college gates to fill me up with last night’s gossip.
Then I moved to another city. A different place, different people. But I found them again, the ‘my kind’ of people who helped me muster a smile when the world seemed like a place I didn’t belong in.
All through my life, I have seen changes engulf in the world around me. From that tiny tot to a full grown adult, I have come to see the world from a different point of view, everyday. There has been one thing, however, that has remained constant - my friends. Every time things went wrong they were there to pull me out. When things were going right, they were there to pat me on the back. When I got angry, they would calm me down. And when I got mighty they were there to take me back to that jungle gym, from which we all hung together.
So what was it? What kept us together? What is this true friendship that almost every human being tends to find in this world. I used to think it’s just fate and luck that brings people in and out of your life, something we can’t control. Until, I realized it was more than that. It was luck that they had entered my life but the reason we never left each other’s lives was because we never let go.
In life, in love and in friendship, it’s easy to let go when the going gets tough (and the going gets tough a little too often). It’s difficult, however, to believe. To know, from the bottom of your heart, that this person is the same one you met in 2nd grade, that they haven’t changed. Despite the fact that we grew up, despite the fact that our lives changed - we moved apart, we learned new things, we failed, we succeeded - despite all of that, we never stopped putting in effort, from that skype call to that handwritten letter.
It is tough at times to see your friends do things you advise them against. But, it’s not important whether they listen to you then or not, it’s not important whether you listen to them when they tell you that you are wrong or not. What matters is that you stand next to each other, no matter what. You stand up for each other - whether it’s when the teacher throws you out of class or when life throws you a googly - you stand strong, holding hands. Why? Because you still remember hanging upside down from the jungle gym and the happiness you felt in that moment was unmeasurable.
So there you go, the secret to being best friends forever is not complicated, it’s actually just three things - never ending effort, patience and tons of pathetic jokes!
Published on Nov 12, 2016