Column: Just Speaking My Truth

Figuring Out Friendship


Ever since I could remember I’ve always had a hard time making friends. I was awkward (I still am), chubby, quiet, and felt generally uncomfortable in my own skin. I had a hard time believing that people wanted to be my friend and agonized over the thought of having to make conversation with people I didn’t know. Sure, I had friends. One of them was my neighbor, and another was a girl who my mother believed was a bad influence, but I stayed with them because they were all I had. On the first day of fifth grade a new girl came to school. My neighbor and her immediately clicked, so of course we became friends too. New girl was mature. She wore bras, makeup, and always had bows in her hair. She was everything I wanted to be and she was nice to me. We had sleepovers, told each other secrets, and spent our birthdays together. To me it was obvious that we would stay friends in middle school (we did)…just not for long. A few weeks into school New Girl decided she didn’t want to be friends with me anymore, nor did any of the other people we associated with. So at lunch after I sat down at our table, they all ran away from me and into the bathroom. I was humiliated. We tried to talk it out, but that was the end of our friendship.

 I met my friend (let’s call her Jill) Jill in the sixth grade not long after New Girl dumped me. I, being the socially awkward child I was (and still am), stood next to her silently and waited for the teacher to open the door to let us in. She immediately turned to me and asked if I was on the Silver Bullets Winter ball team a few years back. That fateful day, I had found my first best friend. Jill was cool. She was funny, she was loud, and she didn’t take crap from anybody; she was the complete opposite of me but it worked out. She introduced me to two other girls whom I would come to call my best friends. At first I didn’t hang out with them much outside of class because I was still friends with New Girl. After “The Incident” I walked sadly to her table and asked if I could sit there from now on, she happily agreed and we became inseparable. Often times people would mix up our names even though we looked nothing alike. Of course I made another group of friends who she expressed her distaste for, but we still had the same bond we always had. She helped me to be more confident, she laughed at my jokes, and she didn’t care that I wasn’t stick thin because she wasn’t either. 

Maybe it’s my fault we aren’t good friends anymore. We say hi and comment on each others posts’ sometimes, but it’s sure not what it used to be. Nevertheless she showed me how to be a good friend, and to drop the ones that didn’t treat me how they should. I’ll always think of Jill fondly and forever be grateful for her part in shaping me into the person I am today. She’ll always be my very best friend. 

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