My best friend, Hyesun, turned 20 at the end of October.
I first met her in sixth grade when I entered middle school. Now 10 years later, she is my oldest and most precious friend I have. This means we have known each other for half of our lives. I think that is amazing. Together we struggled through the confusion of adolescence, insecure high school days, transfers and distance, and the stress of University in discovering ‘our futures’. We also celebrated inside jokes, secrets, birthdays, graduations, and beautiful memories. With our 10 year anniversary, I thought a lot about my friendship with her. At the end of my reflection, I came to the conclusion that the relationship she and I share is a little different from my friendships with others.
I think that’s just how it is when you are so close with someone for so long. There are things that just fall into place without you even realizing it.
- You don’t need to always see them or always talk to them to feel close.
Hyesun is sort of an oddball. She’s not too big on computers or technology in general. As a teenager, she was rarely ever on MSN. Even now, she’s rarely on Facebook. I, on the other hand, am connected to some sort of social media platform 24/7. Because of this, we don’t communicate or talk as much as I do with some of my other friends. Similarly, we attend different universities so I don’t get to see her that often in person either. Also, we live very far from each other since she moved out.
I think this is one of the best qualities in our friendship. With both of us becoming increasingly busy, it is hard to always make time for each other. Even so, when we do see each other I don’t feel distant or awkward. I still feel comfortable confiding in her about things happening in my life. There isn’t a pressure to hang out just for the sake of hanging out. Some people fade away if you don’t talk to them for some time, or they get upset at me because they think I just don’t want to hang out with them. At the end of the day, you need to be able to trust that you can still be close friends even if you’re not with them every moment of your day.
- You know all the favorites.
Being friends with someone for 10 years, you just know things about them. You know the places where they go or would like to go. And you know the activities they do or want to do.
I’m a picky eater and somehow Hyesun is always able to know what I feel like eating at the moment. She knows my favorite restaurants and she can predict what I will order. If someone suggests a place I dislike, she’ll say something before I do.
- You don’t judge each other.
I make mistakes and bad decisions sometimes. It’s not like I want to. But when I do, I am scared to tell other people. I care a lot about what some people think of me. This includes my other friends, family, etc. Of course, I want them to think I am funny, nice, smart, and all that jazz. I want them to see me in the best possible light. I want them to like me.
But I don’t have to worry about my public image with my best friend. I can make no sense and look like a total mess. Things I want to say just tumble out of my mouth like a waterfall without a hint of hesitation.
- You are always on their side.
There are multiple ways to interpret this. Always being on their side means to always support them. Whether it is their decisions or arguments involving a third party, you are just on their side.
Hyesun gets mad for me when I tell her things that happen. She sticks up for me when I don’t have the courage to do so for myself. But when I say or do something wrong, she points it out. Always being on someone’s side doesn’t necessarily mean you always agree with them. It can also mean straight-up telling them they are not right, that they need to fix this, or they need to try harder. It means getting mad for them and also at them because you care.
There are more points that I came up with, but these are the major ones. Congratulations on turning 20 to my dear, best friend!
Thank you for always taking care of me.
Thank you for coming into my life so early on.
Thank you for growing up with me.
Thank you, and I love you! Here is to 10 years, and 100 more to come.
Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.
– Sarah Dessen, Someone Like You