Have you found her? I’m talking about the person you can call your best friend. The girl who will give up sleep to take your phone call. The one who will stand outside your hospital window during COVID with a sign because she can’t be inside, cheering you on. That person who will defend you when need to be and be your voice of reason when you seem to have lost your way a bit.
I’m one of the fortunate ones who has found her. For us, it all started when we were 12 years old. Our families lived next to each other by chance, and she pulled up to the house after having worked all summer with her aunt and sister. I had been friends with her sister for many months but hadn’t met her yet so I was excited to finally meet her. They got out of the car and the introductions were made—we have been inseparable ever since.
We’re now both 31 years old, and it’s been almost two decades of growth, tears, ups, downs, and life accomplishments. We’ve graduated high school, lived together, graduated from the same cosmetology school, worked in retail, were bartending buddies, and had three kids between us. She was the maid of honor at my wedding, and now, we are even living directly across the street from one another. To this day, we haven’t been apart longer than a week when we’ve been on separate vacations. Yes, we are that kind of best friends.
So what’s the secret to making it to two decades? The simple answer is just being best friends. The more detailed answer . . .
Patience. Just because we are best friends doesn’t mean we have always agreed on everything the other person was doing. And we have been so dang mad at the other one for those choices, but we held on. We let everything run its course even when we felt like we were losing touch.
Accountability. Holding each other accountable has been a huge part of what has made our friendship work for so long. If your best friend cannot call you out on things, you don’t have a best friend . . . you have an enabler. There is so much that happens in life and having someone there to tell you that you need to really think about things is imperative.
Flexibility. This is even more pertinent when you introduce kids into the mix of your friendship. For seven long years, she was the only one who had children, so I especially had to be flexible because she was a mother and our friendship dynamic was not the same. Now, we are both mothers, and it’s a constant juggle to find time to hang out even when we live right across the street!
Communication. Let me start by saying this is probably the hardest thing to nail down because the way you communicate will change over the years and hopefully improve. I’m the first to say I’ve notoriously been an aggressive communicator, especially if I feel strongly about something (hey now, I’m working on it!). But realistically communication in any relationship is difficult sometimes, but it is imperative to the nature of your friendship.
Love. This one is self-explanatory. She’s my sister.
While the list could go on and on, the true tests of friendships aren’t in the actual number of years but what you do within those years. So cheers to 20 years next year Vicki! We’re getting old.