Sooner or later, we all lose ourselves. We all eventually taste the bitterness of failure and disappointment. The fog of life eventually overwhelms us all, leaving us heartbroken, distraught, and begging to be found.
I have been perpetually lost for a while now, and yet you have never stopped trying to find me.
You, my best friend. You, my steadfast presence in the unstable reality of life. You, my rock and my shoulder to cry on. You, my unfailing, unrelenting, and stubborn best friend:
Thank you for always finding me.
No amount of words can adequately describe how lucky I am to know you. No matter how many times I erase and rewrite, this article will still come up short.
When I met you, I never expected we would become as inseparable as we are. I never believed I would miss you after three days being apart. But somewhere between the late night snack runs after broomball, seeing Frozen the week of finals and being the only two people in the theatre, and having to cuddle for warmth on Beaver Island to ensure our survival in that damn cabin, we ended up here.
And I am so blessed that we did.
You have seen me at my best; when I felt as though I was on top of the world, you were right there to celebrate with me. You have seen me at my worst; when I hated everything I was becoming, you reminded me of all the good I was capable of. You have seen me at my most vulnerable, crying on your shoulder at 2 in the morning, scared shitless that I might not make it. You have heard me scream out of anger, holding back with everything I have to not put my fist through a wall. And somehow you have loved me through it.
You, my best friend, are the hand I reach for to steady my nerves. You are the smile that illuminates my darkest of nights. You are the first person I want to share my joy with when everything goes right, and the first person I need a hug from when everything goes wrong.
When I need to focus, you are there, slushie in hand, ready to take the library by storm until they kick us out. If I need to decompress, you are there, slushie in hand, ready to blatantly disregard our responsibilities and watch a movie instead. When I need an adventure, you are there, usually without a slushie in hand, but ready and willing to stop and get one before we embark on our latest journey.
You are the best friend everyone deserves. The kind people expect out of life after watching too much Disney.
You are the Buzz Lightyear to my Woody. The Timon to my Pumba. The Bambi to my Thumper. The Chip to my Dale. The Mowgli to my Baloo. The Mike to my Sully. The Frozone to my Mr. Incredible. The Kristoff to my Sven. The Chelsea to my Raven Baxter. The Phineas to my Ferb. Perhaps, most importantly, the Lilo to my Stitch.
You’re that kind of best friend.
The kind of best friend that makes a person feel whole again. The kind that picks up someone’s shattered pieces, and spends countless hours with a hot glue gun trying to piece everything back together. The kind that doesn’t run away from demons, but rather chases them away with a giant stick screaming, “AND STAY OFF MY LAWN!!” (That was a weird analogy, but it felt right).
My point is this:
You never asked to have a best friend who was broken and beaten down and full of baggage. When you met me, you met a version of me that I have missed everyday of my life since I felt it crumbling from underneath me. You met the version of me that took my losses and turned them into growth. You met the version of me I always thought I would be.
But I lost myself. All those losses added up to be something I couldn’t handle. Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of the person I always wanted to be, and became someone I couldn’t even look at in the mirror. But when I was at my worst, you were right there. You didn’t see someone who would never find their way back. You didn’t lose faith in me. You didn’t lose hope for me. You never asked for it, but you also never ran from it. You planted your feet right there next to me, and have spent countless hours guiding me back home.
You are the type of best friend they write novels about. I don’t write novels. I try, but I always end up getting frustrated after about 50 pages and then I delete everything. I write articles. And poems. And since I can’t be the type of person that writes a novel about how fantastic of a best friend you are, I figured I would do the next best thing.
So thank you. Thank you for being there through the good, the bad, and everywhere in between. Thank you for being my partner in crime and my right hand man. Thank you for taking this god damn world by storm with me, and reminding me everyday that I’m still the type of person who is going to make a difference in this world. Thank you for never giving up on me, no matter how many times I’ve given up on myself.
I know I will never be able to thank you enough for being my best friend. I only hope that I am at least half the best friend to you as you are to me.
PS. Finding a suitable picture for the seriousness of this article was challenging. Therefore, I went with the complete opposite. Thank you in advance for not killing me because of it.