Friends come through our lives for specific reasons. Sometimes you know why. Sometimes you don’t have a clue.
My very first friend lived next door to me. My earliest memory of her is at three years old, but Mom says we were friends before that. When we moved at age five, I never saw her again. To this day, I believe she was put in my life to allow me to escape the fighting that went on at home between my parents.
My first real school friends were D and N. We met in first grade. They were as frail and afraid of the world as I was, and it gave each of us reassurance to know we could be scared together. We were inseparable for the entire eight yeas we were in private school together. We had become best friends. Once we all went off to different high schools, things changed. We all made other friends and moved on with our lives, but I never forgot the lessons about friendship that each of them taught me. I carry them with me to this day. The sacrifices you learn to make for another can be very humbling.
My first real neighborhood friend lived just a few houses down the street. His name was Corey. He attended the same private school I did, but was a year older. When we would be at school, we hung out with our own friends, but at night and over the weekends, it was just us. My Dad hated that I was such close friends with a boy, and Mom struggled with trying to convince him it was healthy for me to develop relationships with both sexes.
My first real adult friend took advantage of my good nature and desire to help those less fortunate. To this day, I am skeptical about trusting people. I won’t tell my deep dark secrets to anyone anymore. I won’t share deep thoughts or ideas because of the ridicule I’ll receive. This taught me that people, no matter how great they may seem, can be evil and nasty. And I learned to quickly avoid that kind of trouble.
My most influential friend taught me it was okay to seek help for things I didn’t understand about myself.
Friendships are funny. I can be friends with another girl and be the bestest friend she ever had. But a friendship with a man is a totally different story. It can be tricky. Lots of miscommunications and unnecessary problems brought on by not understanding the opposite sex. It’s an uphill battle for most, and one that I’ve fought more than once.